Lifestyle – Daily News Egypt https://www.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Thu, 23 May 2019 01:41:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Sandbox Celebrates Ramadan at “Below Arid Lands” https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/sandbox-celebrates-ramadan-at-below-arid-lands/ Wed, 22 May 2019 15:00:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698813 Sandbox jewellery is known for its firm belief in tying design with personal growth and self-expression. In time for Ramadan, the home-grown conceptual brand chose to shed light on a new aspect of human experience.

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Synonymous with spirituality and peace, the holly month is an opportunity for fresh starts and settling emotional disputes. Whether inside the Islamic world or outside it, the 30 days often encourage clearance and spiritual progress.

Sandbox jewellery is known for its firm belief in tying design with personal growth and self-expression. In time for Ramadan, the home-grown conceptual brand chose to shed light on a new aspect of human experience.

“Below Arid Lands” is a new collection that depicts the transformative effect of this special month on millions of people around the world. The transformative designs are inspired by a mythical concept which was formed by the founder, Suhayla Al Sheikh.

Dreamt and imagined by Al Sheikh, the concept was inspired by two imaginary unearthly beings who share the knowledge of the unknown, as well as mystical magical powers. These two heroes have the ability to bind constant spiritual motion to cast a spell in the Sahara Desert. Over the course of 30 days and nights, the spell brings peace and love across the world.

According to the designer, these beings remain dynamic and fully equipped with their jewellery for the spell to work. Aside from the spiritual influence of Ramadan, the collection reflects the designer’s unique character and charm. With a smart fusion of stones and irregular shapes, Al Sheikh’s untraditional theme and charm delivers effortless extravagance for everyday wear.

This profound story was supported with intricate silver design, crushed stones, eloquent engraving, and an enchanting photoshoot. Captured amidst a vast desert, the images feature two charismatic females, who reflect passion, soft power, and self-assurance.

With that said, the collection remains loyal to the designer’s aesthetic. From stackable rings to statement earrings and layered necklaces, “Below Arid Lands” demonstrates detailed and timeless silver work, as well as an assortment of crashed natural stones.   

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Reform Joins IKEA in an African Design Mission https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/reform-joins-ikea-in-an-african-design-mission/ Wed, 22 May 2019 14:00:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698808 Being one of the world's most innovative furniture aficionados, IKEA is synonymous for minimalism and smart solutions

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Sustainability and ethical production are finally occupying centre stage in design-based industries. After years of environmentally-dangerous conducts, the world is currently embracing a new production method. With the younger generations preferring practical interiors, furnishing a home is no longer about clutter; rather it is about selecting products with a strong design personality.

Being one of the world’s most innovative furniture aficionados, IKEA is synonymous for minimalism and smart solutions. Meanwhile, IKEA is also notorious for its dependence on a large team of international designers.

Accordingly, the Swedish furniture connoisseur chose to shed light on African design. In collaboration with Design Indaba and 10 African designers, ÖVERALLT explores the contemporary African design theme. The selected designers represent five different countries and specialise in a number of design disciplines, such as fashion, textile, architecture, and furniture design.

Inspired by the need to build bridges and expand the horizons of international design, the limited-edition collection features a few products designed by the award-winning lifestyle and sustainable lifestyle brand, Reform.

The Egyptian brand created four pieces, including a fashion tote bag, a rug, and a cushion. As a continuation of their design aesthetic, the tote bag is a sustainable and ethical choice for the beach as well as the coast side. Available in two sizes, the ÖVERALLT tote is made of upcycled waste crispy packaging material; usually the result of the production of chocolate bars and chips bags.

Known to be one of the most stubborn materials to recycle, the design team at Reform found an innovative method to weave these long threads of waste on hand looms in order to create an intricate and modern product.

In parallel, the flat-woven rug also depended on the same key material; in addition to hemp material, a textile that gives a rug its tough and bristly texture. Finally, the environmentally-friendly cushion embraces an aquatic colour pallet.

With that said, the collection in general strives to advocate global unity while demolishing mistaken stereotypes. Through featuring a range of furniture and home décor, the ÖVERALLT collection aims to expand the limited perspective the global audience has about Africa and African creativity.

Each piece reveals a tale about African designers, their diverse cultural traditions, and their craftsmanship.

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Aiisha Ramadan & SADAFA Collaborate for SS’19 Arab Fashion Week https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/aiisha-ramadan-sadafa-collaborate-for-ss19-arab-fashion-week/ Wed, 22 May 2019 13:00:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698802 In time for the Arab Fashion Week, acclaimed designer Aiisha Ramadan and SADAFA chose to address the will power of redefinition and change through their latest collections. Their collaboration focused on self-expression and inner beauty.

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Embracing the notion of change as their main message, a troop of models confidently walked down the runway. Their rainbow of dresses varied between blood orange, teal blue, grass green, and pearl white. Meanwhile, their determined strut sent their dress trains flying behind them. Nevertheless, amidst this show of extravagance, their grips remained firm around boxes of luminous colours.   

In time for the Arab Fashion Week, acclaimed designer Aiisha Ramadan and SADAFA chose to address the will power of redefinition and change through their latest collections. Their collaboration focused on self-expression and inner beauty.

While the Lebanese couture designer chose light fabrics and non-conventional silhouettes to explain her message, the high-end clutch brand depended on a mixture of geometric shapes and floating lines.

Ramadan’s “Change” collection and SADAFA’s “Redefined” SS19 collection flatter and continue each other. Aside from their coordinated colour palettes, their design aesthetics also walk the same lines of fluidity and progress. The clutches perfectly matched Ramadan’s elegant and sultry pieces giving it the glamorous touch it needed.

The Egyptian accessory brand is specialised in turning dreamy mother-of-pearl into timeless clutches. Featuring a wide range of little bags, SADAFA focuses on creating heirlooms that can be passed from one generation to the next, due to its timeless design and evident Egyptian identity.

SADAFA was recently shortlisted for the Fashion Trust Arabia in Qatar due to their intricate finishing quality and innovative techniques. Jessica Kahawaty, Arwa Gouda, Injy El Mokkadem, and Tara Emad are among those who admire the brand.

On the other hand, Ramadan has already crossed boarders with her couture master pieces. Her designs were previously spotted on Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Aishwarya Rai, and Ariana Grande. She often celebrates diversity through modern designs and beautifully-crafted garments, which speak to feminine women across the world.

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NY Design Week features 13 Egyptian Designers including (re)New & (re)Work https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/20/ny-design-week-features-13-egyptian-designers-including-renew-rework/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:30:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698565 The main aim of this pioneering endeavour is to start a conversation between local talents and their confrères around the globe. Meanwhile, it is also expected to spark commercial and creative opportunities for the participating Egyptian innovators.   

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History is often documented by words, and yet, design is always an accurate historian with the ability to fluently narrate events, aspirations, and realities. Under the title, (re)New (re)Work, a glimpse of Egypt’s wealth of colour, emotions, and artistry was brought to life. Full of hope and pride, each element stands tall aiming to represent Egypt.

For the first time, 13 Egyptian designers are determined to cross borders and prove their creative input on a global scale. With the support of the United States embassy in Cairo and due to the organising efforts of the Egyptian government, represented in the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), Egypt is set to participate in Wanted Design Manhattan during the New York (NY) Design Week from the 18th till the 21st of May.

The main aim of this pioneering endeavour is to start a conversation between local talents and their confrères around the globe. Meanwhile, it is also expected to spark commercial and creative opportunities for the participating Egyptian innovators.   

“I am excited about the idea of bringing Egyptian and American innovators and designers together, so they can see each other’s work and hopefully be inspired and perhaps collaborate,” the US Embassy’s Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs stated, adding, “I would love to see more Egyptian design in the US and vice versa because Egypt is a crossroads.”

With that said, the Egyptian pavilion plans to highlight the tales of each participating designer as well as the crafts they chose to display. Therefore, the selection masterfully brought together a diverse bunch of product designers. From light units to furniture, home accessories and textile – together the designers and their artisanal products advocate a comprehensive perspective of modern Egypt.

“What makes these designers different is the fact that they look at traditional crafts and materials while choosing the city as a source of inspiration. Their work aims to renew these things and create new products. Naturally, the theme aimed to translate this edge,” said Mohamed El-Shahed, the pavilion’s curator.

With a PhD from New York University’s Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, El-Shahed is a multidisciplinary scholar, who is constantly driven to portray a modern image of his country through architecture, images, and objects. He previously curated Egypt’s medal-winning pavilion at the 2018 London Design Biennale.

“My goal at the London Design Biennale was to make a ripple to reveal that Egypt does have something to offer,” El-Shahed said, adding, “The same mind frame applies here, in these kinds of big events you need to remain focused on a clear purpose or else you might end up losing your way amidst the crowd. This time, the goal is to make it as simple as possible so we can actually achieve it.”

As the curator best describes his intentions, he wants people to leave the space with the memory that Egypt was present and presented something interesting. However, on a wider scale, another essential purpose is for the designers to translate their presence into contracts since it is an event that focuses on the business of design.

In parallel, the road to NY Design Week has already been paved with numerous milestones for participating designers.

For Rasha El Gammal, this experience has already encouraged her to venture into a handful of firsts. While juggling several careers such as TV presenting, acting, writing, and theatre, design has always been her business. “One day my mother, who was a public figure, told me that if I want to follow her lead, I had to earn my money elsewhere otherwise I will never be free. Accordingly, I started my furniture business 20 years ago. Then, 10 years ago I became a retailer,” said El Gammal.

Nevertheless, this was the first time for the founder of Asfour El Nil to utilise her writing skills to advocate the furniture business. According to her, all preparations for the design week have taken her through a learning journey. “The IMC got us coaches, we had business and export workshops. I suddenly found myself taking notes, and researching. I even developed a website for the first time,” shared the designer excitedly.

The seasoned designer is set to bring her vantage point of view to the pavilion. Inspired by traditional heritage, her colourful designs aim to add a modern and relevant twist to popular Egyptian designs, motifs, and fabrics. One of her participating products is an eloquent chair, which bears an adapted illustration based on the flight of bird papyrus – currently displayed at the Egyptian museum.

In addition, metalwork artist, Yasmine Fahmy, hopes to both positively represent her country and further develop as a designer. “I would love to be able to create an artistic fusion between the two cultures. My work is always based on our Egyptian heritage and it would be interesting to absorb their perception and create a product which can combine the two ends of the world,” shared Fahmy.

As a true aficionado of Islamic art, Fahmy seeks to constantly capitalise on opportunities of redefinition. Her work focuses on representing the new traditional. Participating with a number of light units, the selected chandeliers highlight unexpected meeting points between several historical eras.

“Inspired by Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah Mosque, one of my lamps has an Islamic dome, a folkloric form, and a mixture of ancient Egyptian and Roman patterns,” explained Fahmy. 

Furthermore, Asheya’s Aisha Elwaqad is a firm believer of the synonymous relationship between tableware and traditional pottery. While her ceramic pottery tableware is inspired by nature, she also uses Egypt’s landscape as a main creative reference.   

“The main idea behind my work was inspired by the fact that chinaware nowadays is extremely expensive. Therefore, I wanted to create something more hip, affordable, and suitable for everyday use,” Elwaqad declared, adding, “Egypt is well-known for pottery; however, I did not want to recycle traditional designs. Instead, I wanted to modernise them. My work still has a strong local flair, but it has a finer quality,”

Finally, Fahmy perfectly summarises the objective of this venture as well as the participating designers when saying “if you want to make new products that have the potential to take on the world, you might as well look back to your culture and present it in a different way.”

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Rihanna Joins LVMH with New Fashion Brand https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/20/rihanna-joins-lvmh-with-new-fashion-brand/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:05:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698548 On Friday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, officially confirmed their upcoming venture with the star. A fashion line by Rihanna is expected to be the conglomerate's newest offering.

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More than a decade after her first big hit, Rihanna has surpassed her umbrella days with a long list of awards, record-breaking achievements, and a globally-successful makeup line. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old singer and actress still has a few milestones in mind.

On Friday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, officially confirmed their upcoming venture with the star. A fashion line by Rihanna is expected to be the conglomerate’s newest offering. Meanwhile, the first products are set to see the light of day in few weeks.

This seemingly simple announcement entails a handful of firsts for the company as well as the fashion industry. Rihanna will become the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of colour at the top of an LVMH Maison, and her line will be the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987.

While many pop and street stars have managed to start their own clothing lines, Rihanna is taking unprecedented steps in the world of luxury, putting her name on the same level as Dior, Givench, and Fendi. Meanwhile, this announcement reflects the group’s firm belief that someone like Rihanna currently has the same influence and recognition as coveted fashion designers. Therefore, the luxury industry might have good chances at exploring new aesthetics rather than just reinventing well-known names.

Named Fenty, the Paris-based brand will offer a range of ready-to-wear, accessories, and footwear. According to the group’s statement, it is centred on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision.

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Virginie Viard Embarks on a New Journey https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/virginie-viard-embarks-on-a-new-journey/ Sat, 11 May 2019 12:00:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697706 Slowly overcoming the shock and sadness surrounding Karl Lagerfeld’s sudden death, Chanel has recently welcomed the dawn of a new era led by Virginie Viard, the house’s new creative director. As Lagerfeld’s successor, the designer presented her first solo show for the Parisian fashion house in time for the Cruise 2020 collection. Following Chanel’s traditions, …

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Slowly overcoming the shock and sadness surrounding Karl Lagerfeld’s sudden death, Chanel has recently welcomed the dawn of a new era led by Virginie Viard, the house’s new creative director. As Lagerfeld’s successor, the designer presented her first solo show for the Parisian fashion house in time for the Cruise 2020 collection. Following Chanel’s traditions, the collection was showcased at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. The prestigious venue was transformed into a Beaux Arts train station.

While the models walked down a train platform with tracks in the background, the star-studded audience occupied classic benches. “Like the promise of adventure, the main hall is traversed by railroad tracks over which one can just picture trains setting off for one of the destinations posted over kiosks and benches,” read the official press release.

The audience included a number of global celebrities and loyal clients, including Keira Knightley, Lily Rose Depp and Claudia Schiffer.

Furthermore, Viard introduced a collection that respected her iconic predecessors. Her 79 runway looks paid homage to Lagerfeld’s eye for geometrical silhouettes as well as Gabriel Chanel’s more feminine aesthetic. Varying between signature Chanel styles, tweed classics, and bold coordinated ensembles – the new collection simultaneously caters to several age groups.

Viard started her journey at the fashion house in 1987 as an intern. She was later referred as Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman. Accordingly, it was only natural for her to succeed him after his death at the age of 85.

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Deana Shaaban Salutes Women with Her Spring 2019 Collection https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/deana-shaaban-salutes-women-with-her-spring-2019-collection/ Sat, 11 May 2019 11:30:10 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697697 The mesmerising tunes of jazz embraces women as they walk into her studio. Welcomed by coffee aroma, eloquent tulle gowns, and proud silk drapes – stepping into the world of Deana Shaaban is as smooth as sailing through a charming, yet calm ocean. Over the duration of 10 years, she has managed to remain at …

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The mesmerising tunes of jazz embraces women as they walk into her studio. Welcomed by coffee aroma, eloquent tulle gowns, and proud silk drapes – stepping into the world of Deana Shaaban is as smooth as sailing through a charming, yet calm ocean. Over the duration of 10 years, she has managed to remain at the focal point of a growing and continuously shifting industry. Between haute couture, bridal and prêt-à-porter– it is safe to claim that the designer has tried it all. However, it all led to a forced hiatus.

Away from the demanding business and biased feedback of clients, Shaaban preferred to step out of the ring of fire, reassess her motives, and then dive back in. After what seemed like a few seasons too many, the designer finally came back with a collection as light as clouds, as optimistic as teenagers, and as determined as womanhood.   

“It has been a very long journey and I believe that when it comes to art, if you do one thing obsessively for too long you end up getting burnt out. At some point, I came to realise that I have given my all to my art; and I ended up losing myself completely,” recounted the designer, adding, “I had been obsessed with a million different things within that world and how to make it work to the extent that I forgot why I was doing this to begin with.”

With a firm conviction to stop worrying about money and focus on creating art for the sake of it, Shaaban found herself retracing her earliest steps into the industry. “I started taking a lot of courses again,” said the designer, who began restricting her time at the studio to mere creation; not for clients or certain collections. “I slowly found my way back onto the right track and why I decided to pursue this journey almost 10 years ago,” shared the designer with a wide grin.

Her newest haute couture collection is an expression of that spectacular moment when a woman becomes whole. “I do not believe people truly fathom the power of their clothing; the majority still think that fashion is a mindless activity,” said the designer. However, encouraged by firm belief, Shaaban aimed to prove it to be a powerful method of expression. “This collection says I am who I am, no apologies and no compromises. Therefore, this was the most effortless collection I have ever worked on just because I let it be,” shared the designer.

Over the course of 18 months, Shaaban dedicated herself to address every woman, because each one needed her attention and support. Whether women who are lost, to those who have finally found themselves, those who are comfortable with their bodies, to those who are not; “I feel that in this collection, you will find something for everyone at every stage in their lives,” summarised the designer.

In parallel, the collection also gives equal attention to girls who are just about to become women. Based on personal experience, the designer already identifies this phase as quite challenging. “Even though it often goes unnoticed, it plays a huge part in shaping women’s personalities,” said the designer, who also catered to women who are older and about to redefine who they are.

Inspired by emotions and feelings, this collection manifests the designer’s personal notes on womanhood and what it takes to stand up for what you aspire for. Synonymous with intricacy and well-thought details, some of the dresses consumed four months in execution. The designer depended on silk, tulle, and organza as well as French and Italian lace to bring her dreamt-up deigns into reality. On the other hand, she used different kinds of beading and even incorporated fresh-water pearls to bring out her ideas loud and clear.

“Collections are often risky because clients prefer bespoke pieces that were designed specifically for them; however, I did it for me. I needed to design and create art without having to worry about external factors,” Shaaban said, proudly adding, “it actually worked out and exceeded my expectations, I have already sold 85% of the collection.”

According to Shaaban, being able to be herself and express her thoughts freely eventually helped her attract the right clientele and even celebrities, and women who appreciate the same principles and do not seek to force their own perspectives. “Mona Hala found me through a friend and contacted me while she was abroad for a dress to wear to the Cairo Film Festival. She gave me a wide range for innovation. She flew in two days before the festival, came to my studio and put on the dress before she stared at me and announced that it was exactly what she was looking for,” recounted the designer.

Known for being a woman who knows exactly what she wants in every aspect of her life, working with her was both refreshing and reassuring for the designer. In the meantime, another inspiring woman found her way to the calm studio. While planning for an upcoming premiere event, actress Injy Abou Zeid contacted Shaaban for a dress. With zero intentions to interfere with Shaaban’s design process, the end result was satisfying for both parties.

“I have been fighting for a decade to reach out to celebrities and design things for women that I could never truly connect with. However, when I finally focused on myself, I ended up meeting just the right people,” explained the designer happily. Furthermore, actress Tara Emad is also someone who slowly but surely became a muse and a true close friend of Shaaban.

As much as the designer has matured into a focused and determined artist, the industry has also taken a few turns on its way to development. As the designer best describes it, one of the greatest changes that has taken place is the courage people have garnered to just design. With the number of local designers on the rise, it is safe to assume that previous social restrains and cultural stigmas have started to dissolve in the face of creative freedom.    

“In our roots as Egyptians we are artists and craftsmen; that is who we are and what pharaohs were most brilliant at. Nevertheless, somewhere down the line someone told us that we need to solely be doctors and engineers,” said Shaaban.  According to the designer, her early steps were threatened by the fact that fashion and design were not valid options at the time. “There were only a handful of designers and it was a huge leap of faith; I had no support system,” said Shaaban at a time when design was becoming a popular and valid choice that is often supported by parents and society.

As for her future plans after finding the right route, Shaaban is encouraged to take international sprints. Following her constant desire to associate her work with women who inspire her and play positive roles in their societies, she has been busy reaching out to a number of international celebrities in search for collaboration opportunities. “I was absolutely astonished to receive positive and encouraging feedback from several of my biggest idols. I want to take this slowly and smoothly in order not to collapse back,” concluded the designer on the verge of greater accomplishments.

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Tod’s bring back Alber Elbaz to Fashion Scene https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/22/tods-bring-back-alber-elbaz-to-fashion-scene/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:30:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696526 The Italian leather goods aficionado, Tod’s, has recently announced what could be the biggest fashion collaboration of the current year. The factory series is set to be Alber Elbaz’s long-awaited return to the fashion scene. The former creative director of Lanvin has been away on a hiatus since his well-publicised exit from the brand in …

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The Italian leather goods aficionado, Tod’s, has recently announced what could be the biggest fashion collaboration of the current year. The factory series is set to be Alber Elbaz’s long-awaited return to the fashion scene. The former creative director of Lanvin has been away on a hiatus since his well-publicised exit from the brand in 2015.

Named after Andy Warhol’s iconic New York studio, the factory series is set to include a number of capsule collections designed by international design patrons. “It is going to be fantastic. He has such vision, he is three steps ahead,” Tod’s Group President and majority shareholder, Diego Della Valle added, “His sense of modernity is extraordinary and we are very, very happy to see him restart in fashion with us.”

This collaboration is set to give Elbaz unrestricted margin of creativity as well as access to the brand’s archives and workshops. With that said, the reveal is expected to take place in spring.

After his separation with Lanvin, Elbaz has received the Officier in the Légion D’Honneur, worked with Frédéric Malle, the founder of Editions de Parfums, to launch a number of scents, and designed an accessories collection for LeSportsac. 

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Spring Affair Returns for Second Season of Shopping, Charity https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/22/spring-affair-returns-for-second-season-of-shopping-charity/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696520 While the city buzzes with unwavering energy and the weather starts to embrace a warmer detour, the scene inside a certain Zamalek-based fashion store does not veer away from the capital’s frantic vibes. Harboured at Maison 69, the latest season of fashion fund’s seasonal fashion events returned with a new selection of local and regional …

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While the city buzzes with unwavering energy and the weather starts to embrace a warmer detour, the scene inside a certain Zamalek-based fashion store does not veer away from the capital’s frantic vibes. Harboured at Maison 69, the latest season of fashion fund’s seasonal fashion events returned with a new selection of local and regional designers. Just as the invitation promised, the Spring Affair event brought a handful of fresh and nonconventional brands under one roof.

Welcomed by the store’s regular assortment of flowers, guests got to walk through a colourful display of fine jewellery, accessories, ready-to-wear garments and haute couture. Catering to a wide diversity of women, the event did not leave any of the season’s trends out of its scope. While the fashion fund’s regular community greeted, discussed their favourite brands and heavily invested in the season’s must-have items; the designers explained their sources of inspiration, made suggestions, and created a new base of loyal clients.

According to the founder of Fashion Funds, Heba Serag Eldin, this stronger form of communication is exactly what she wanted to achieve this season. After a few seasons of successful fashion brunches, Serag Eldin was in fact aiming to create a progressive shopping experience to allow her designers the maximum possible exposure.

“We are a fashion company and every time we organise an event, we aim to introduce a new element. For the past couple of seasons, we have been focusing on merging fashion and lifestyle. However, this time we wanted to further highlight the fashion element in order to allow the designers to experiment more, and have a one-on-one conversations with the attendees,” shared the entrepreneur.

With fashion being the one and only topic of interest, Serag Eldin and her team looked past their regular venues of choice in order to obtain their goal. “Normally, many of our attendees did not use to give enough attention to the participating designers and their available merchandise; instead, they would eat, drink and socialise,” said Serag Eldin.

Nonetheless, as the founder chose to explain, this season is all about fashion. Therefore, it was natural to notice that the designers did end up selling much more. With that intention in mind, naturally, the team selected Maison 69 as their venue. According to Serag Eldin, the untraditional concept store gave her an opportunity to further play with the display and expand their creative ceiling. 

“Maison 69 has its own vibe and flair. It is a prestigious, well-established name. It was only normal for us to collaborate with them. The venue was, by definition, well-prepared to host such an event,” stated Serag Eldin.

With an inventory as big as 23 designers along with Maison 69’s summer collection, anyone who stepped into the fashion haven from the early afternoon until 10pm ended up finding exactly what was promised by the team: the season’s most articulate fashion statements courtesy of exceptional local and regional designers.

Aside from the format of the event, Fashion Funds has also managed to expand the spectrum of their designers for this season. With the intention of gathering all promising and well-established local designers under one roof, the team also added a hint of regional talent to their mix, just in time for the second season of the Spring Affair.

Bejewka and Paula Fashion House did not only make a relatively long trip from Beirut straight to the event–they also did it as a family. As mother and son, the two designers took two booths next to each other to display their latest collections.  With that said, the event also featured the latest collection from Lou, an Egyptian designer based in Dubai.

“We have many interesting designers this season. L’omdaboga is a nonconventional bag designer, who produces all of her designs in Egypt with impeccable quality. Meanwhile, 9 Crimes is quite young and unconventional,” said Serag Eldin.

Concurrently, in time for Ramadan, Dina El Missiry, Mazoura, Koukla and Nazeeka displayed a diverse range of contemporary kaftans. On the other hand, the event also featured a number of couture designers such as Sara Onsi, Malak El Ezzawy, Christine Massarany, and La Reina Gowns. As for the accessories category, the team’s choice of designers brought a balance of great quality and flamboyant designs. Manoya bags added a touch of timeless simplicity and Hayden Official revived Venus through jewellery, belts, and bags.

Accordingly, the event still walks the same lines of the previous seasons in terms of its charity aspect. With increased sales, a percentage of the revenues will be dedicated to those in need. “I spoke to the Helm Foundation, and we are set to meet after the event to discuss options to utilise the money,” stated Serag Eldin.

After a number of successful seasons, Serag Eldin is proud of the event’s consistency and the strong rapport she has managed to build with the designers. On the other hand, she wishes to see more Egyptian designers, who take their branding and finishing seriously. “There needs to be a lot of education to guide up-and-coming designers,” said Serag Eldin.

    

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Boyfriend Champions Minimal, Gender Fluid Basics https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/21/boyfriend-champions-minimal-gender-fluid-basics/ Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:00:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696386 With a warm smile and attentive attitude, he welcomes his guests. It is not hard to see why his aesthetic has been favoured by various top publications over the past six years. His low-key confidence is reflected by his seemingly simple attire. While his turtle neck sweater and classic rounded glasses can suggest his eagerness …

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With a warm smile and attentive attitude, he welcomes his guests. It is not hard to see why his aesthetic has been favoured by various top publications over the past six years. His low-key confidence is reflected by his seemingly simple attire. While his turtle neck sweater and classic rounded glasses can suggest his eagerness to hold on to timeless jewels, his stack of dainty tattoos offers a different perspective.

Amine Jreissaty is a 35-year old Lebanese creative director, stylist, and most recently a designer, who is notorious for his minimalistic take on cutting-edge trends. His artistic vision has encouraged many leading brands and publications to travel all the way to his hometown in Beirut to work with him. With an eye for gender-fluid glam and understated sophistication, his heroes are free of time and place restrictions; instead, they are an artistic statement who champion freedom.

After curating an inciting portfolio of iconic styling projects, Jreissaty finally embarked on a long-delayed design journey less than two years ago. His ready to wear brand, Boyfriend, was recently short-listed for the debut season of Fashion trust Arabia (FTA). Being one of 25 exceptional regional talents that were judged by the world’s top fashion experts, helped Boyfriend jump to the forefront. Even though Jreissaty did not win the big prize, he identifies the opportunity as a life-changing experience.   

When asked about his early beginnings, the fashion visionary suggests that it was a long journey which led him to where he stands today. So many routes ended up colliding and leading him toward fashion; starting with his parents, who appreciated beautiful things to his travels which helped him nurture an eye for eccentricity.

With that said, Jreissaty did not study fashion at the beginning. Instead, he started with business hospitality in order to enter the luxury domain before specialising in fashion design, where he learnt everything about pattern making, cutting, production, etc. Nevertheless, his career started when he took a styling job for Marie Claire Arabia, before becoming a freelancer for six years.

“Growing up, I knew that I wanted to work in the fashion field. However, it is a generic world that has so many different options aside from design.” Jreissaty said, adding, “I chose styling because it does not adhere to a certain routine. It gives you the space to interpret your vision within different contexts, bodies, and stories. Your imagination can truly run wild; it offers variety and creative freedom.”

Inspired by his raw talent to mix, match, and layer clothes, Jreissaty soon enough cultivated an eye for a certain silhouette, something which later led him to his own brand. “My brand is basically a styling course because it is made of items that you can layer on top of each other in order to wear them in so many different ways.” Jreissaty explained, elaborating, “Boyfriend is a very minimal brand, made of basics that both genders already have in their closets. It is minimal in the cuts that I use; meanwhile, it is subliminal in the way I tend to add details to these basics to make them versatile and wearable in many different ways.”

As part of his desire to empower his clients of both genders to wear the same piece of clothes multiple times, all of his designs aim to make people forget that they are wearing the same shirt once again because it can look absolutely different each and every time due to simple styling tricks. “In this region, it was very important for me to make people realise that a basic piece is just as trendy as any trendy alternative. People here tend to buy flashy items for a fortune then end up wearing it very few times before it either goes out of style or they grow bored of it.” The designer explained, adding “On the contrary, I want people to see that basics could be worn over and over.”

Accordingly, the designer tends to tell everyone who will listen that each person has the ability to make a piece look good and never the other way around. Made mainly of white shirts, blazers, trench coats, kimonos, and similar basics, the designer’s previous three capsule collections add to each other – ultimately creating one full story.   

“These are items everyone will continue to wear for decades to come. These are not pieces that you will forget or grow tired of. I mean what can possibly be a better investment than a white shirt, I can own hundreds of them,” said the designer with enthusiasm.

With that said, the designer recounts his time at the FTA as a surreal experience. “Getting there and standing alone in the booth with my designs to have a huge number of industry pioneers check my work with genuine interest, surprise, and enthusiasm was an unforgettable experience. Each of these experts had his own file and they knew exactly who each one of us was. They gave us advice about how to move forward, what to enhance, and what to capitalise on,” shared the designer.

The non-profit initiative aims to find, fund, and nurture fashion talents around the Arab world. With a strong executive committee of regional experts, the shortlisted designers get an unparalleled chance to benefit from their experience. Meanwhile, the jury includes 45 top-notch international designers, models, and journalists.

“From the executive committee to the judges and the prominent journalists attending, they all had private talks with each one of us to help us see ways to further develop our brands. Whether it is a designer who has been in the industry for 20 years or someone like me that has only been active for the past year and a half, it was an exceptional event that was nothing less than surreal,” said the designer with a warm smile.

At the end of the star-studded celebration, the FTA winners were Krikor Jabotian for the couture category, Roni Helou for the ready-to-wear, Zyne for footwear, Sabry Marouf for handbags, and the Mukhi Sisters for jewellery. However, all those shortlisted for the prize already acknowledge the opportunity as a life changing one.

As for what the future might bring to his brand, the designer plans to maintain his consistency and upgrade his resources to reach a bigger audience. “I still do not have a team, I started Boyfriend in parallel with my other job as a stylist, and I did not expect it to garner such feedback in a short period of time. I was honestly not prepared for such feedback.” Jreissaty declaring, adding, “I only give the brand 20% of my time, so I am absolutely surprised and proud of what it has reached in less than two years.”

The brand is currently available only in Beirut. However, with strong demand everywhere around the region, from Dubai to Kuwait, Egypt, and Qatar – the designer hopes to cross borders soon.

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Louis Vuitton removes Michael Jackson-inspired pieces from fall 2019 collection https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/01/louis-vuitton-removes-michael-jackson-inspired-pieces-from-fall-2019-collection/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:30:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694636 When Virgil Abloh decided to base his latest menswear collection on Michael Jackson in January, he intended for his nostalgic source of inspiration to address a large segment of young costumers. Much like his generation, Abloh was fascinated by Jackson’s legacy. Accordingly, he captured the signer’s most iconic moments through his work for the Louis …

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When Virgil Abloh decided to base his latest menswear collection on Michael Jackson in January, he intended for his nostalgic source of inspiration to address a large segment of young costumers. Much like his generation, Abloh was fascinated by Jackson’s legacy. Accordingly, he captured the signer’s most iconic moments through his work for the Louis Vuitton fall 2019 collection.

The collection included loafers with white socks, encrusted graphic t-shirts and sequined gloves. Meanwhile, his show was choreographed to resemble one of MJ’s video clips.

Nevertheless, after receiving tremendous acclaim from critics and fans, the designer’s luck turned around when the new documentary Finding Neverland became the hottest new trend. The HBO documentary features the real stories of men, who shared an intimate relationship with the pop star during their childhood. According to their testimonies, their interaction with MJ surpassed average fan-idol encounters to include sexual abuse. 

Due to the sex allegations targeted at the late singer, Abloh and Louis Vuitton were compelled to cancel all the pieces directly inspired by the singer from the collection by not sending them into production.

“I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence, or infringement against any human rights,” Abloh told Women’s Wear Daily.

“My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers,” Abloh asserted.

On the other hand, the brand has highlighted the fact that the team was unaware of the allegations and the documentary, when they launched the collection. “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” the brand’s CEO, Michael Burke, said, adding, “child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”

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By the Sea, MEFF 3 brings regional fashion talent to beach https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/01/by-the-sea-meff-3-brings-regional-fashion-talent-to-beach/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694638 For the third year in a row, a combination of fashion experts from around the region came together for a glamorous day. From the Levant all the way to Morocco, they all fluently parleyed with fabrics and embroidery. In order to truly celebrate the warmer season ahead, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) brought a …

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For the third year in a row, a combination of fashion experts from around the region came together for a glamorous day. From the Levant all the way to Morocco, they all fluently parleyed with fabrics and embroidery. In order to truly celebrate the warmer season ahead, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) brought a number of designers and aficionados to the charming coastline of Hurghada.

Hosted by City Gate M65, the event featured a bazaar area which offered a variety of merchandise as luxurious as diamonds and gold. Meanwhile, an elevated runway promised a glittering night ahead. On the other hand, a mixture of local and foreign fashion experts flocked toward their seats on either side of the runway.

After much anticipation, the show started with a number of speeches and honours before the models started strutting down the runway. Tunisian-Egyptian designer, Sarah Tayel inaugurated the show with a myriad of dreamy couture dresses. Between silver and canary yellow, the dresses agreed on trailing details and hints of illuminating embellishments. The show later proceeded to reveal the rest of the rainbow. The summer collection hopped from fuchsia to aqua blue and coral. Furthermore, it also included navy blue and black. 

The designer’s preference of light fabrics such as chiffon and lycra helped her to deliver fairytale charm. One of the most memorable looks was a detailed black jumpsuit trailed by a beaded chiffon cape. 

Tayel’s bridal models paved the way to Brand House’s collection of sophisticated and untraditional menswear. Designed by Hassan El Mansy, the collection experimented with rich fabrics such as velvet, combined with subtle details such as double chains and stacked brooches.

With that said, El Mansy was also quite keen on breaking the borders of traditional cuts. Designed to fit like a glove, the suits varied between monochrome three pieces to those that blurred the lines between blazers and tailcoats.

Syrian designer Omar Mahfouz followed with his couture brand, Joudi Bella. His opening look was nothing less than a maximalist silver dress with feather trimmings. Bella’s collection was both intricate and constantly over the top. Therefore, it was no surprise that his brides were as lavish as queens. Precise busts, oversized skirts, hand-embroidered sequins and extra-long trails composed his winning formula.

Finally, Agista took control of the runway with a distinct collection. Starting with swimwear then proceeding all the way to the eveningwear category, the designer was after elegance. For her beach looks, Agista designed retro swimsuits, which she chose to compliment with tulle cover-ups. One of the most memorable looks featured a white one-piece swimsuit paired with a flattering cover-up, which cultivated true Marilyn Monroe vibes.

As for the cocktail collection, it varied between playful short dresses with swaying fringes and dazzling options with a dash of bling. At last, the evening collection included swooping dresses with magical silhouettes fit for a true Cinderella.

Unfortunately, an unexpected change of weather brought an abrupt end to the amusing night. Due to the hostile wind and sand, the show was prematurely stopped.

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Middle East Fashion Festival kicks off showcasing Hurghada’s charm https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/30/middle-east-fashion-festival-kicks-off-showcasing-hurghadas-charm/ Sat, 30 Mar 2019 12:31:12 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694401 On the largest open theatre in the Red Sea, with the presence of Egypt, Syria and Tunisia and after the great success of its first and second editions, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) presents its third edition for the first time in Hurghada. The MEFF is to be held from 28 – 30 March …

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On the largest open theatre in the Red Sea, with the presence of Egypt, Syria and Tunisia and after the great success of its first and second editions, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) presents its third edition for the first time in Hurghada.

The MEFF is to be held from 28 – 30 March on the largest open theater in City GATE M65, in Hurghada, minutes from El Gouna.

This comes after the big success and excellence of the MEFF in its first and second editions, making it among the most important fashion events in the Arab world and the Middle East.

Waleed Khalil, the president of the MEFF, and the owner of the organising company, has confirmed that organising the festival in such place is considered a qualitative move to promote tourism and investment.

He pointed out that the festival is held under the auspices of the Red Sea Governor, Major General Staff Officer Ahmed Abdullah; the Head of the Red Sea Ports Authority, Major General Ayman Saleh, and the businessperson Sameh Shalaby, who is responsible of City Gate M65 management.

Shalaby explained that Hurghada is an integrated tourism and an economic city, and presenting an international festival for fashion in it is a great opportunity to promote tourism and encourage investments.

Many countries will also participate in the festival, where each designer will be representing his/her country. The participating designers will display a collection of their own fashion for spring and summer of 2019.

Participants are to include the Tunisian Sarah Tayel, the Egyptian Mirna Egiza, and Mayada Charps, as well as the Syrian designer Omar Mahfouz, providing fashion lines for summer 2019 for women.

Moreover, Brand House will present the fashion line for the summer 2019 for men, in addition to the makeup expert, Morshed and the beauty expert Heba Gomaa, to provide the latest fashion trends for 2019.

Marwa Talaat, former Miss Egypt and the professional model, will direct the shows for the festival.

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Dior Dubai Show brings circus to desert https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/dior-dubai-show-brings-circus-to-desert/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/dior-dubai-show-brings-circus-to-desert/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2019 11:30:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693805 The Dior magic parade finally stepped foot in the Middle East amidst contradicting feedback. Occupying Safa Park in Dubai, the Parisian fashion house brought its colourful circus tent to the opposite side of the world. While a number of regional influencers were spotted amidst the crowd dressed in Dior from head to toe, many loyal …

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The Dior magic parade finally stepped foot in the Middle East amidst contradicting feedback. Occupying Safa Park in Dubai, the Parisian fashion house brought its colourful circus tent to the opposite side of the world. While a number of regional influencers were spotted amidst the crowd dressed in Dior from head to toe, many loyal clients were keen to express their disappointment online.

While the brand has already introduced their ready to wear fall/winter 2020 collection back in February in Paris for their middle-eastern debut, they chose to once again visit the couture collection, which was initially introduced in January for the current spring/summer season. Even though, the creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, introduced 15 new designs, made especially for the region, loyal clients seemed to hope for more.

Saudi blogger and entrepreneur, Marriam Mossalli, who is recognised by Business of Fashion as one of the 500 most influential fashion experts around the world, was quick to discuss the redundancy of this particular show on her Instagram account. Many of her 51,000 followers replied with comments about their disappointment as they anticipated to see more clients than influencers amidst the crowd as well as more exclusive designs. 

According to Chiuri, the 15 exclusive items were inspired by Christian Dior’s rich archive. Nevertheless, they also highlight the designer’s flair for feminism as she chose to reinterpret those classic designs to suit a modern woman. The items varied between colourful pleated skirts that glimmered under the spotlights as well as picturesque mini dresses that were embellished with clown collars. All ensembles were accessorised with netted face veils and skullcaps, which maintained the circus theme.

With that said, the makeup delivered absolute mastery and attracted praise. Peter Philips, who is the creative and image director for Dior’s makeup line flew all the way from Paris with the circus in order to recreate the same beauty looks. Philips subtly managed to turn his models into edgy clowns with old and graphic black eyeliner. Furthermore, with the hair turned into slick ponytails, he also went further with sparkling “clown tears”.

Despite the earlier promises of a show that is a replica of the original Parisian spectacle, the acrobats were missing from the Dubai evening. Meanwhile, celebrities such as Yousra, Nelly Karim, and Mona Zaki enjoyed a nostalgic atmosphere inside the gigantic tent. Seated in a central centre, all guests were able to absorb the walking designs up and close.

According to the brand’s history, the circus theme is not a foreign element to Dior as Christian Dior was known to be a big fan of Cirque d’Hiver. Meanwhile, the brand’s very first female creative director, Chiuri, describes the circus as the most magical venue.

   

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Up-fuse, Farahzada El Shihy create ‘The Ripples’ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/up-fuse-farahzada-el-shihy-create-the-ripples/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/up-fuse-farahzada-el-shihy-create-the-ripples/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2019 10:30:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693803 Farahzada turns any waste into coveted accessories

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Plastic waste is a global dilemma which multiple entities are trying to control. With marine life suffering the most from unrecycled waste, many already advocate cutting down universal plastic production. Nonetheless, handling the current amount of unprocessed plastic remains to be a threat to nature everywhere.

Today, the civilized world produces nearly 300m tonnes of plastic every year, half of it is for single use. More importantly, more than 8m tonnes of plastic is dumped into oceans annually. Furthermore, a study recently suggested that the total amount of plastic ever produced around the world is 8,300m metric tonnes. While tycoon brands, such as Burberry, have already promised to gradually eliminate plastic from its operations in the near future, other innovators are taking a more pro-active approach. 

Up-fuse is not only a conscious fashion brand which advocates a wearable solution to the environmental dilemma, but it also introduces contemporary fashion statements. Known for their upcycled handbags and eco-friendly products, the team behind Up-fuse joined forces with one of the country’s most known young artists to create a colourful capsule collection.

“We have been following Farahzada El Shihy’s work for a while,” said Yara Yassin, Up-fuse’s co-founder and design director. “She has a very different and unique work aesthetic, which really adds to what Up-fuse does. Therefore, we decided to approach her as an emerging designer in the scene.”

Known for her minimal illustrations and tribal references, El Shihy was a natural choice for the brand’s debut collaboration. The artist was encouraged to bring her unmistakable aesthetic to the ecological collaboration. Together, the two local talents brought The Ripple Collection to life. Made of plastic waste and decorated with doodles, the outcome is young, practical, and effortless.

With El Shihy’s ability to turn any average medium into magical art and Up-fuse’s ability to turn waste into coveted accessories, The Ripple Collection provides a wide range of sustainable bags, from a shoes bag to a gym bag, a shopping bag and a waterproof laundry bag.

“El Shihy is a young talented artist. We believe that it is always good to work with designers from other fields and backgrounds. Also, her illustrative art designs have added uniqueness to an up-cycled bag that is not only functional, but also trendy and in style,” explained Yassin.

Mainly depending on a black colour pallet, the collection embraces hints of vibrant colours. Yellow, pink, and blue attracts a fresh clientele, who is searching for daily fashion companions. Meanwhile, El Shihy’s illustrations take the centre stage.

According to Yassin, the main design elements in this collection come from Up-fuse’s brand book, inspired from up-cycled material together with El Shihy’s tribal effect. Made entirely out of plastic bags, the collection advocates reducing waste as well as nurturing a more conscious attitude toward pollution. “Around 2,500 plastic bags were used in producing The Ripples collection. On the other hand, the collection is produced by 10 female artists; four of whom are Syrian migrants,” shared Yassin. With that said, Up-fuse has already managed to turn 18,000 plastic bags into fashion-forward accessories during the past year.”

In parallel, the fashion brand has also supported 50 women by giving them a sustainable source of income. Due to their commitment to their community, the founders of Up-fuse are determined to identify, train, and hire women in need. Their workshop mainly consists of females who financially support their households.

Founded by Yassin and Rania Rafie, then later joined by Lama El Khawanky, Up-fuse embraces sustainability as a core value. Together, the three leading ladies combine their mixture of expertise to balance environment-friendly innovation and fashion.

As true pioneers, the founders were the first to introduce upcycled fashion to the local market. While the initial reaction might have been apparent reluctance, the founders can already sense the difference. “The local perception of upcycled fashion is still growing, but we are very optimistic with The Ripples collection to change the perception of just functional upcycled bags to fashionable and in style upcycled bags,” shared Yassin.

Accordingly, the brand is currently considering multiple expansion plans. First, they plan to collaborate with more artists in the near future in order to further support emerging talents as well as add a new look and feel to their products. Second, they are also contemplating the possibility of expanding into jewellery soon.

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Celebrate her Youth: An Initiative to Grow Bolder https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/celebrate-her-youth-an-initiative-to-grow-bolder/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/celebrate-her-youth-an-initiative-to-grow-bolder/#respond Sat, 16 Mar 2019 11:00:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692957 With March being the month of women in general, and mothers in particular, many international brands are already lining up to salute females. Whether through special designs or with dedicated campaigns, local designers jumped on the wagon with few memorable shoots. Nonetheless, jewellery designer Jude Benhalim stood out amidst the trend by choosing to shift …

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With March being the month of women in general, and mothers in particular, many international brands are already lining up to salute females. Whether through special designs or with dedicated campaigns, local designers jumped on the wagon with few memorable shoots. Nonetheless, jewellery designer Jude Benhalim stood out amidst the trend by choosing to shift the narrative and celebrate mothers in an extraordinary manner.

Synonymous with edgy and young jewellery, the designer chose to shed light on women through defying stereotypical age boundaries. With the aim of making mothers feel young and fashionable, Benhalim championed the notion of growing bold rather than old.

Her Mother’s Day campaign features a number of mothers who are fierce and glamorous. From the avant-garde styling to the unexpected combination of colours, Benhalim’s leading ladies are an example of embracing beauty at any given age. Under the name, “Celebrate her Youth”, the campaign is an open call for women to wear what they want and not what the society labels as age-appropriate. With that said, the designer’s statement work of hand-carved calligraphy and coloured resin stones occupies centre stage.

Shot by Amina Zaher, the editorial shoot elaborately evokes the brand’s attitude as effortlessly carried out by a number of mothers and grandmothers. Aside from the grand goal, the campaign also positions Jude Benhalim as a jewellery brand for all ages. According to the designer, her jewellery is meant to empower, embody, and embolden all women. Walking the same lines of her brand’s ethos, Benhalim believes that as women grow bolder, they tend to grow more comfortable in their own skins, and eventually flourish more confidently with a stronger sense of self-identity.

Benhalim started her brand at the young age of 17 with the assistance of her mother and partner, Rana Al Azm. Together, they are always enthusiastic to address and empower women to savour life and follow their dreams.

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Jaidaa Jewellery: synchronised design medley https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/jaidaa-jewellery-synchronised-design-medley/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/jaidaa-jewellery-synchronised-design-medley/#respond Sat, 16 Mar 2019 10:00:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692960 Stepping into their showroom feels like crossing the threshold of a cosy house, where cookies are plenty and coffee is always hot. In every direction stands a testament of their attention to detail. While the silver shines vividly, rubies demand attention. Lined up next to each other, each design tells a fraction of their story. …

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Stepping into their showroom feels like crossing the threshold of a cosy house, where cookies are plenty and coffee is always hot. In every direction stands a testament of their attention to detail. While the silver shines vividly, rubies demand attention. Lined up next to each other, each design tells a fraction of their story. Between their lifelong friendship and their 20-year journey in the world of jewellery, Iman and Eva are true artists, who choose silver as their main medium.

For 20 years, Jaidaa Jewellery has been synonymous with articulate artistry. The brand’s wide range of silverware includes statement jewellery, contemporary must-haves, and even tableware. Iman Farouk started the journey with her partner Eva as an answer to her talent. Together, the two designers have managed to turn their casual free time into a thriving brand; meanwhile, they have also developed a growing base of loyal clients. The two founders are always keen on personally welcoming their clients. Over the years, they have even established a personal relationship with all of their clients.

In time for the brand’s anniversary, the founders could not help but look back at their early steps and contemplate how a random encounter managed to change their lives.

“I come from a family that highly appreciates nature. Accordingly, I am constantly inspired by flowers and plants. However, through my studies, I was forced to leave my passion behind and follow a more traditional direction,” Farouk said.

Despite being university friends, the two designers drifted apart post-graduation until they met again at the doorstep of their children’s school. “It was our children’s first day of school and just like that we rekindled our friendship in mere seconds and even our children became classmates,” Farouk declared, adding, “Soon enough we started to feel boredom seeping into our lives as the children grew older and started to slowly, but surely, depend on themselves. At the time, jewellery design was the only thing we could do while being able to care for our households.”

Starting with a few scattered designs here and there, the partners decided to give the brand a name that was far from theirs. Accordingly, they agreed on a distinctive Arabic name; Jaidaa. “It means a slim neck in classical Arabic. This eloquent meaning goes with the idea of a beautiful woman wearing a stunning necklace,” explained Farouk. 

Together, the two designers complement each other’s aesthetic. Presenting two polar opposites is the founders’ secret formula to target a wider range of women. According to Farouk, they certainly complete each other; even their areas of specialty complement each other. “We were both naturally talented and both of our mothers were equally as talented before us. Therefore, we did not hesitate and started designing right away,” said Farouk cheerfully.

Despite what they were capable of creating due to their natural talent, they still knew that they needed to study in order to perfect their skills. After searching for educational centres, the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy came up as a suitable choice given its positive atmosphere and reputable teaching staff.

“Until this very day, every time they announce a new suitable course for us, we immediately apply for it. The teachers are quite cooperative and helpful; they even continue to help us long after we finish the courses. They are always reachable for guidance,” said Farouk.

Most recently, the two designers attended a class at the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy about the various art movements that have taken place throughout history. Inspired by the information that they learnt, they chose to focus on minimalism and art deco for their latest collection.

In time for their 20th anniversary, the brand plans to target a new segment of young clients; therefore, they utilised straight lines and minimal shapes. “Nowadays less is more, favouring simpler concepts is currently a global trend. Therefore, it was a natural choice for us to delve into the art deco school. In parallel, they were also inspired by the oriental tanoura. Accordingly, they reinterpreted its circular shape into minimal jewellery that could be worn every day.

With that said, Jaidaa also offers timeless silver tableware that equally attracts different age groups. “We currently have a collaboration with Ghada Nawara, a leading caterer. Meanwhile, we are set to attend a specialised exhibition at the Egyptian embassy in France for the third time,” announced Farouk proudly.

According to Farouk, the local market still appreciates silverware. Young housewives are just as enthusiastic about tableware as their mothers before them. “No woman would say no to upgrading her silver collection, even if by just adding a new plate,” said Farouk with a giggle.

As for their near-future plans, the best friends plan to study more as they believe that it is never too late to grow further. “I am a grandmother and I plan to go further and grow my brand more. In parallel, we plan to offer more diversity in order to address various age groups,” shared Farouk with an enthusiastic grin.

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Namshi Announces Expansion into Egypt https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/namshi-announces-expansion-into-egypt/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/namshi-announces-expansion-into-egypt/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:00:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692153 With e-commerce being the most promising business on the rise around the region, a new tycoon has announced its intention to enter the Egyptian market. Ever since its inception in 2011, Namshi has been one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the region. Specialised in mid-market goods from fashion to beauty and home ware, Namshi …

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With e-commerce being the most promising business on the rise around the region, a new tycoon has announced its intention to enter the Egyptian market. Ever since its inception in 2011, Namshi has been one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the region. Specialised in mid-market goods from fashion to beauty and home ware, Namshi reportedly generated $230m last year, a 16% increase from 2017.

Emaar Malls recently completely acquired the platform after buying the remaining 49% stake for $129.5m. With the new plans, the company also highlighted its intention to establish a warehouse and logistical base in Saudi Arabia in order to have direct access to its expanding base of customers. The new warehouse is set to enhance customer service as well as cut down on shipping timeline and costs.

This announcement follows Noon’s expansion into the local market earlier this year; another leading regional e-commerce platform. Along with Amazon, they currently represent 30% of the region’s e-commerce market. According to a report from Bain and Company, the region’s e-commerce market is currently worth of $8.3bn, with a 30% per year growth rate.

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Mikiel Benyamin: Egyptian Stylist Taking Hollywood by Storm https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/mikiel-benyamin-egyptian-stylist-taking-hollywood-by-storm/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/mikiel-benyamin-egyptian-stylist-taking-hollywood-by-storm/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 12:00:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692152 In the midst of the chaos, when day light is masterfully brought to the heart of night and greenery is planted indoors, the cameras point to one joint direction while hundreds of crew members buzz around energetically. To produce a five-minute music video, the industry’s top professionals come together to materialise fantasy in record-breaking timeframes. …

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In the midst of the chaos, when day light is masterfully brought to the heart of night and greenery is planted indoors, the cameras point to one joint direction while hundreds of crew members buzz around energetically. To produce a five-minute music video, the industry’s top professionals come together to materialise fantasy in record-breaking timeframes. Accordingly, it is hard to believe that a certain 23-year-old has managed to uproot himself from his hometown in Egypt in order to plant himself in the glamorous world of Hollywood.

Mikiel Benyamin is an Egyptian celebrity stylist, who has already managed to work with the likes of Cardi B, Bella Thorne, and Sza, among many others. His work has been part of the most viral video clips as well as Hollywood’s top red-carpet events. His journey might be concise in terms of the number of years he has spent in the industry; nevertheless, his rapidly-growing portfolio has already positioned him at the top tier.

Benyamin was born and raised in Cairo until the age of 11, when he travelled to the United States with his father. According to him, the abrupt move was anything but easy, especially at the beginning. For a young boy, leaving his family and friends behind was a complicated sacrifice that he had to endure.

“Leaving everything behind was not easy. On the other hand, I spoke more Arabic than English; accordingly, keeping up a conversation was very hard at the beginning,” Benyamin added, “However, I was only 11, so it was easier for me to adapt unlike my dad.”

While having to cope with his new surroundings, Benyamin soon found himself leaning toward the fashion world. At the age of 17, he started to juggle the idea of a fashion career. Even though working in the fashion industry has always been his dream, he never truly knew what to do. “I wanted to make clothes or be a stylist; but, was that even a real job? At the time, I didn’t know. For a while, I tried to understand whether it was a hobby or a job, if I can do it for a living and if I could be paid for it,” said the currently acclaimed stylist.

Motivated by his lifelong tendency to dress up and look different, he decided to put his head into it and figure it out. Therefore, his earliest step was accompanying a friend who already worked as a professional stylist. As her assistant, Benyamin got introduced to a wide world of possibilities.

“I learned a lot by just working along her side. Then I started working for other stylists and each week brought a different job with it. Soon enough, I found myself working and growing along the way,” stated Benyamin. From working with editorial stylists to accompanying a stylist while he worked with the biggest rappers in the US, such as Rihanna – the young Egyptian boy finally found himself at the heart of the global entertainment scene.

“A bit by bit, it became bigger and bigger – it took me a while to realise that I have managed to curate a strong portfolio in almost no time,” said Benyamin with an honest grin. According to the stylist, his first big break was no less than styling the award-winning rapper Cardi B.

In a time when she was still trying to win over the general public, she did not have access to any reputable designers. Therefore, he was the first to contact her and offer his services. She instantly put her faith in him and together they went on to break the stigma that used to follow her name.

“I have always thought that I was blessed to live in America during that period of my life. I had the right passion for the opportunities found around each corner in the US.” Benyamin added candidly “Fashion is what I love. There is so much competition and not enough guidance on how to get where you want, so I always thought of myself lucky to make it at such a young age and almost straight out of Egypt.”

While he always contemplates before taking any new step about what would make his family proud, his mantra is to constantly remain as unique as possible. When he first started, he already knew that there were so many different stylists; but, he already believed that they were mainly focused on chic aesthetic. “I thought to myself, how can I make this different, should I work with artists that are talked about more or select those who are not known for their fashion choices then turn them into fashion mavens? I thought in different ways that would help me get people’s attention,” said the stylist to the stars.

However, all of these questions evaporated when he secured the most-sought after video clip of the year. Bodak Yellow by Cardi B repositioned the rapper and broke several records. It was also dubbed as the music video of the year given its viewership online. “I think Bodak Yellow was definitely a restart point to my career. It was like okay, I worked for free as an assistant for so long and now here you are working on the biggest music video in America,” said Banyamin proudly.

Despite the fact that he is constantly surrounded by stars and has access to the most coveted venues and events, Benyamin believes that his job is anything but glamorous. On the contrary, he repeatedly reinforces that in reality being a stylist is a hectic job, which requires hours of non-stop work. “Once you decide to become a professional stylist, you have to dedicate your life to your clients; it is no longer yours. For example, your clients might call you at two in the morning asking for something and you would have to leave your bed, go get them what they need and make them happy,” shared the stylist.

With that said, he is quite proud of working with all of his clients. As he certainly believes that he was lucky to work with each of his female clients because each of them had a different life and experience. From Cardi B to Bella Thorn, sweetie, Sza, Normani and Shantal Jeffery, he is very happy that he got to work with such a wide range of talent.”I could have never thought that I would reach some of them and I have and it still amazes me,” said Benyamin passionately.

Leaving his country at a young age with his dad has brought Benyamin closer to his father and his country. “My dad is a doctor and he has never asked me to choose a certain path. At the beginning, he could not fathom why I would voluntarily do the donkey work for free. To this day, he still does not really understand my hours or the details of my job but he is quite supportive and proud,” said Benyamin with a warm smile.

On the other hand, the stylist is currently keen on visiting Egypt every year in order to remain in touch with his family and friends as well as catch up on the events that take place all year round. In spite of having his entire life in the US, he still feels at home in Egypt.

“I actually keep up with news and events taking place in Egypt. I love few of the local designers, which I am currently quite connected with. I love Kojak and Okhtein for example. And I would certainly love to collaborate with them. It would be fantastic to give big moments to Egyptian designers,” said the stylist, who would love to target noteworthy red carpets or award shows to connect his two worlds in front of global cameras.

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Stella McCartney introduces sustainable eyewear https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/27/stella-mccartney-introduces-sustainable-eyewear/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/27/stella-mccartney-introduces-sustainable-eyewear/#respond Wed, 27 Feb 2019 11:00:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=691257 As a lifelong vegetarian and a conscious designer, Stella McCartney is notorious for advocating ethical fashion. From being one of the earliest designers to ban real fur and leather, to her constant strive to embrace the latest technologies, McCartney is credited with making the fashion industry environment friendly. With that said, the designer recently decided …

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As a lifelong vegetarian and a conscious designer, Stella McCartney is notorious for advocating ethical fashion. From being one of the earliest designers to ban real fur and leather, to her constant strive to embrace the latest technologies, McCartney is credited with making the fashion industry environment friendly.

With that said, the designer recently decided to continue her commitment through launching a sustainable eyewear collection. Developed in partnership with Kering Eyewear, the collection utilises the latest cutting-edge technologies and responsibly-sourced materials, including bio-acetates. The biodegradable material is renewable and phthalate free, which makes it effortlessly balance the brand’s luxurious aesthetic with its drive to reduce pollution.

The collection favours statement frames that inspire a retro aesthetic borrowed from the 1970s and 1980s. With the designer’s name spelled out in rhinestones, these pairs are traffic stoppers. Meanwhile, the collection also introduces cat-eye shaped optical glasses for those who prefer subtle drama.

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Kojak works with female artisans to explore gypsy life https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/27/kojak-works-with-female-artisans-to-explore-gypsy-life/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/27/kojak-works-with-female-artisans-to-explore-gypsy-life/#respond Wed, 27 Feb 2019 10:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=691250 With the political and economic turmoil taking over the Middle East, creative industries such as fashion are deemed to embrace more socially-constructive approaches sooner rather than later. While beautiful clothes are often the focal point of any fashion house on the rise, regional and local talents are currently more focused on garments which deliver eloquent …

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With the political and economic turmoil taking over the Middle East, creative industries such as fashion are deemed to embrace more socially-constructive approaches sooner rather than later. While beautiful clothes are often the focal point of any fashion house on the rise, regional and local talents are currently more focused on garments which deliver eloquent messages to a pro-active audience.

Mohanad Kojak is one of the most recognised names who are currently making an impact in the regional fashion scene. Known for his peculiar style and honest interpretation of sizzling topics, the young designer is constantly keen on translating the country’s heart-beat into garments. While the world is still divided over the immigration crisis and the on-going war taking hold of Syria, the fashion designer once again chose to express his thoughts through fabrics. 

“It all started when we approached the International Organisation for Migration because we wanted to highlight that Kojak as a brand is always keen on evoking social impact within different aspects and in different directions,” said Kojak while sitting at his picturesque office in the heart of Garden City, Cairo. The designer, who has previously tackled subjects such as sexual orientation and family detachment, is on the path to not only educate people, but also to open their eyes to various uncommon topics.

He said, “Recently, I have heard many people claiming that Syrians are replacing Egyptians in certain domains,” Kojak added passionately, “such accusation has never appealed to me and I never thought that it is even valid; if someone is qualified for the job then he cannot be replaced.” On the contrary, the designer believes that their skills have created healthy competition, as it can be regarded as an invitation for the local talent to work harder to maintain its place.

“Syrian workforce has the ability to help our economy in many ways. Many businesses have already benefited from this change. Accordingly, I wanted to highlight the idea of inclusivity through incorporating both cultures and identities,” explained Kojak.

Motivated by his convictions, the designer started working on this social project last year. Between developing a programme and finding the right artisans, Kojak admits that the road included multiple road pumps. According to him, reaching final decisions with the IOM was not simple. 

Nonetheless, at the end, the team settled on including five women, a mix of Egyptians and Syrians, and had them work on a mini collection. “We interviewed about 30 women in order to find these five heroines, who complete each other and fulfil cohesive tasks,” stated Kojak. The designer’s main goal was for him to help them develop their skills. “I started with what they were already great at, afterwards, I focused my attention on widening their perspective and connecting them with current trends,” explained Kojak.

Coming across a recruiting ad online, Lamia from Egypt was instantly motivated to apply for the programme. “I love tailoring and design, it has always been one of my main hobbies. Even though I have been designing and tailoring my own wardrobe for over eight years, I have never thought of pursuing fashion as a career.” Lamia added “after this experience, I am certainly inspired to pursue this as a full time occupation.” 

As the designer would choose to summarise it, he worked with the female artisans to help them find means to capitalise their time and effort in order to create garments that are suitable for the right target segment. “Creating beautiful creations is great. Yet, is it truly what people want now?” wondered the designer.

Due to the strict selection process, the participating seamstresses already knew their way around fabrics and materials; they even created amazing garments. However, they lacked a sincere connection with the market to fathom what truly sells today. On the other hand, the team also collectively worked on enhancing the artisan’s finish as well as their ability to edit their work to reach pieces that have a strong story; yet, are still wearable and contemporary.

With that said, the participants were asked to create ready to wear pieces out of left-over materials. “I wanted to limit them in order to make them appreciate their resources far more in the future. Artisans often tend to find excuses such as shortage of fabrics. Therefore, working with limited resources can make you change your perspective,” said Kojak.

According to the designer, the girls did in fact absorb all the information quite fast as he has seen them work on things that are cool and interesting; yet, still reflect their own DNA. The main theme of the capsule collection was a result of a group brainstorming session. Inspired by the artisans’ individual stories, the collection focuses on the gypsy life.

After leaving her hometown in Syria five years ago, Hanouf spent a year in Turkey before moving to Egypt, where she pursued her career as a tailor and established her own workshop. “I am mostly happy about working on a certain Abaya, for which I used three different types of fabrics, each piece was only half a metre. I have also mastered mixing and matching contradicting colours and patterns. This experience made me much more courageous,” stated Hanouf with a giggle.

In parallel, Lamia’s favourite piece from this collection is a two-layer skirt. “At the beginning, I had doubts because I only had a very small piece of fabric to work with. Yet, I was proud of the end result. It merited me a new perspective on the potential of each and every scrap of fabric,” said Lamia excitedly. 

Due to the selected materials, the collection depended on patch work and rich embroidery, which showcased the participants’ techniques. As for the silhouettes, the team wanted to mainly target practical women, who want something to wear to either on a shopping trip or for a brunch, therefore, favoured loose fits. Meanwhile, they included versatile pieces that can be layered.

In conclusion, as the artisans are happy about their progress and how their aesthetic has been permanently affected, Kojak is also thankful for the experience for expanding his horizon as well. “I believe that as designers we should always be open to learn.” Added the designer “as the girls learnt, I was also allowed to be part of their journey and consequently broaden my viewpoint.”   

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Dior to bring its SS19 haute couture to Dubai https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/20/dior-to-bring-its-ss19-haute-couture-to-dubai/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/20/dior-to-bring-its-ss19-haute-couture-to-dubai/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 16:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690496 With female acrobats pulling off their most magnificent tricks in mid-air, “the metaphor- women supporting women, was not lost on anybody” said Dior’s Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female designer to lead the fashion house. The audience seasoned the show with gasps of excitement and breathless attention as the models strutted down the …

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With female acrobats pulling off their most magnificent tricks in mid-air, “the metaphor- women supporting women, was not lost on anybody” said Dior’s Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female designer to lead the fashion house. The audience seasoned the show with gasps of excitement and breathless attention as the models strutted down the runway.

From the designer’s signature tulle dresses floating through the guests to the tailored suits, the displayed fashion radiated with grandeur and brilliance.

The Parisian fashion house, Christian Dior, recently announced their intention to bring a replica of their most recent couture show to the one and only Dubai, in the UAE.

The team is set to organise their first couture show in the Middle East in March 2019. The show will include the brand’s SS19 collection, as well as a few exclusive pieces designed for the region.

For Dubai, it is a major fashion moment. Chiuri is to fly to Dubai for the historic event.

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MITCHA: digitalising local fashion scene https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/20/mitcha-digitalising-local-fashion-scene/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/20/mitcha-digitalising-local-fashion-scene/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 15:30:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690497 We must educate market, raise awareness regarding quality, creativity of our designers, says Louca

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With the local fashion scene thriving with new talents, the made-in-Egypt label has become a trendy must have. From haute couture to athleisure and accessories, a wide spectrum of local options is not only taking the local market by storm, but is also building a regional fan base. However, as the market is rapidly developing in terms of talent, the purchasing behaviour has been dragging at a much slower pace.

Hilda Louca, along with her team of seasoned market experts, decided to take a leap of faith. Together they have created an e-commerce platform to celebrate and support local talent. With 20 years of experience in marketing and management, Louca spends her days scouting for new talents and mentoring others.

Her brainchild, MITCHA is a local platform for curated fashion. The team works day and night to bring together a variety of home-grown designers in one easy-to-use digital platform, which follows international standards. The founders rule by simplicity, elegance, and modernity, all while remaining loyal to their local roots.

The idea was first born in 2016. At the time, Louca chose to apply her extensive knowledge by starting with an extensive market research. Soon after, she was determined to change the fashion game by giving more power to customers and unlimited reach to the designers. Accordingly, she partnered with Glint Consulting, a Cairo-based management consulting and investment boutique firm, and Susan Sabet, the founding editor of Pashion magazine.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Louca to talk about the local fashion, e-commerce, and what the future still holds for the Egyptian creative and fashion scene, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What encouraged you to start MITCHA?

I am a very proud Egyptian. MITCHA started with a simple dream: a dream of a fashion culture in Egypt, a dream to revive the glory and elegance of the bygone era when Egyptian women were simple, elegant, yet sophisticated. I looked at the incredible talent and creativity of Egyptian designers, their spirit really inspired me to create MITCHA. These designers go against the stream to create, from finding good craftsmen to buying materials and fabrics that may be available today but not tomorrow. They deserve to shine and be seen.

What did you aim to add to the industry?

The fashion industry has witnessed a significant growth over the past seven to eight years. Many local artists and designers have successfully created a niche for themselves. Meanwhile, more people started to develop an appetite for everything that is home-grown.

We believe that designers deserve better exposure and a wider reach. MITCHA comes as a game-changer by introducing a new culture of fashion. We aim to be a hub for home-grown designers as well as a digital destination for fashion by bringing designers to the right customers through a world-class digital platform.

Why should clients buy through your website and not directly from the designer?

MITCHA offers a new and unique online shopping experience. Our platform is easy and intuitive to browse. Customers can browse our curated collections and shop styled looks by their favourite designers. They can also mix and match fully styled outfits from head to foot whether for work, weekend, beach, or special occasions. Furthermore, they can complement their looks with statement accessories, bags, and jewellery.

Quality is our number one driver; every piece is carefully selected and goes through extensive quality and authenticity checks to be featured on the platform. Our dedicated team of fashion-forward buyers, stylists, and editors scour the fashion landscape for real talents so only the best designers are stocked on MITCHA.

We offer a personal service through dedicated customer care, hassle-free shipping in our signature packaging, free returns, and a fully-secured online platform on the web and mobile phones.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?

We faced many challenges and still do. From the designers’ side, we are working with them on several issues; from improving the quality, to overcoming inconsistency and lack of stock, as well as convincing them to not only depend on their social media followers for growth, but to look further and dream bigger.

We bring a complete business solution, from photo shooting to marketing campaigns and PR, to quality control, and logistics. All that should support designers to showcase their pieces to the world, eliminating all the hassle they go through, so they can focus on creating art. There is a whole industry that is emerging behind the designers, and every touch point needs to be done right.

How would you evaluate the current status of e-commerce in Egypt?

The need for e-commerce and online shopping in Egypt is increasing by the hour, yet there is still a huge space for growth. Some barriers still exist especially when it comes to buying fashion items. For example, while a customer would opt to purchase her bakery, grocery and household items from online marketplaces, the same customer may prefer face-to-face interaction when buying a pair of new boots or a piece of jewellery.

Others may prefer dealing directly on Facebook or Instagram in what we call a very developed ‘social e-commerce’ for fashion. We built a true e-commerce solution that offers an attractive, efficient and secure alternative which preserves and guarantees both customers’ and designers’ rights under one platform.

Customers can track their orders, build wish lists, manage their returns, and give feedback, all in one place at the press of a button and from the comfort of their homes. It is a cultural mindset that we are trying to build and it is growing.

What are the most common stereotypes that you often have to deal with? 

Our efforts are geared toward changing the perceptions of customers about the quality of Egyptian-made garments, accessories, shoes, etc. and the price they are willing to pay for it. Customers may buy a comparable item from a global fashion label for the same price or even higher.

We believe that we have a responsibility to educate the market and raise awareness regarding the quality and creativity of our designers. That is why we are uplifting the whole shopping experience to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. We are very determined and passionate to fulfil this dream.

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La Sierra: Jude Benhalim’s wearable safari https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/la-sierra-jude-benhalims-wearable-safari/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/la-sierra-jude-benhalims-wearable-safari/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 13:00:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688938 A safari trip is set to delve through the golden dunes of the desert and bask in the illuminous rays of the sun. At the heart of the Saharan Desert, oceans of sand warmly welcome visitors and palms stand leisurely around the glimmering crystal portions of water. Often perceived as the land of minimalism, the …

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A safari trip is set to delve through the golden dunes of the desert and bask in the illuminous rays of the sun. At the heart of the Saharan Desert, oceans of sand warmly welcome visitors and palms stand leisurely around the glimmering crystal portions of water. Often perceived as the land of minimalism, the vast land harbours illustrious nature and various wonders.

For the cold season of 2019’s fall and winter, local jewellery designer, Jude Benhalim, decided to leave behind her well-acquainted urban city in favour of the mesmerising desert. La Sierra is her artistic exploration of the rarely discovered region. From the grandeur of the landscape to the magic found in the tiniest particles of sand, the collection mimics the curvy dunes and the engulfing hue of gold spotted at every direction.

Much like the surrounding sand, the collection gives an impression of liquid gold. The pieces creatively embrace the desert’s typography through turning them into wearable pieces of statement jewellery. Made out of Benhalim’s signature 925 sterling silver and gold-plated brass, the 11-piece collection is a fashion-fuelled interpretation of movement. From necklaces to earrings, bracelets and rings – all pieces embrace a pop of colour through the utilisation of hand-painted resin stones. The colours vary between burgundy, petroleum, and teal, all contrasting with the powerful silver and gold.

Much like all of the designer’s previous work, this collection highly depends on traditional local craftsmanship. Benhalim is notorious for working with skilled local artisans, who contribute quality and uniqueness to each of her creations. Ever since her earliest collection in 2011, the designer has managed to provide a winning high-end formula of contemporary designs and local craftsmanship.

According to the designer, her keenness on working with local artisans is attributed to her desire to continuously pay tribute to her roots. Despite her regional and international expansion, which was driven by media praise and a wide chain of outlets, Benhalim is not planning to change her means of production anytime soon. Supporting Egyptian art and craftsmanship will remain to be a core value that the designer goes by. With that said, Benhalim is also invested in supporting female breadwinners in particular.

The team is currently specialised in hand piercing, stone setting, and resin shaping. According to the designer, the resin alone requires an intricate process of hand piecing by using a strong adhesive. Furthermore, the designer is still on the path of exploring new designs and manufacturing techniques. 

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Mouawad Dragon: world’s largest round yellow diamond https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/mouawad-dragon-worlds-largest-round-yellow-diamond/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/mouawad-dragon-worlds-largest-round-yellow-diamond/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 12:30:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688930 For many years, several generations have passed down stories about dragons living in faraway kingdoms. The tales spoke of the creature’s power, wisdom, and good fortune. Meanwhile, deep within the earth’s upper mantle, extreme heat, and pressure cocooned a stone that was destined to become the world’s largest graded diamond to date by the Gemmological …

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For many years, several generations have passed down stories about dragons living in faraway kingdoms. The tales spoke of the creature’s power, wisdom, and good fortune. Meanwhile, deep within the earth’s upper mantle, extreme heat, and pressure cocooned a stone that was destined to become the world’s largest graded diamond to date by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). The exceptionally polished 54.21 carat round brilliant cut, fancy vivid yellow – Mouawad Dragon – is as magical and fierce as the name might suggest.

The precious stone was discovered at the ancient alluvial deposits in South Africa, a land known for harbouring a number of the world’s largest diamonds. After emerging on the surface of the wealthy land, the rough stone immediately received the kiss of life from Mouawad’s master cutters. Over six months, the intricate process of planning and cutting was executed in order to transform the crystal into a breath-taking 54.21 carat gem. Aside from its size, the diamond’s rich colour is rendered the most desirable and rare hue on the yellow diamond spectrum by experts.

The diamond’s name is inspired by its resemblance to ancient myths, which tackle the mystical creature and its magical powers. After crafting such extraordinary beauty, the jewellery experts are currently working on a master-piece design that can match the diamond’s value. The Mouawad Dragon is set to be included in the jeweller’s coveted collection, which includes the 51.12 carat D Flawless Dynasty diamond, the 245.35 carat Jubilee Diamond, the 135.92 carat Queen of Holland diamond, the 69.42 carat Taylor Burton, and the largest cushion shaped D IF weighting 218.08 carat diamond.

Mouawad is notorious for creating priceless jewellery and timepieces for royalty, high society, and celebrities, who seek quality and innovation. The family business has been offering unique crafting and an excellence in gemmology for four consecutive generations. The family’s name is already associated with a handful of the world’s record-breaking precious creations, such as the $3.8m worth Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, the $11m worth Very Sexy Fantasy Bra, and the Mouawad Splendour the world’s most expensive single pear-shaped diamond in 1990 which is worth $12.76m.

On the other hand, Robert Mouawad received the Lifetime Achievement award from the GIA. The GIA campus was also named after him due to his contribution to the industry.

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N by Natalie invites women to ‘Living City’ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/n-by-natalie-invites-women-to-living-city/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/05/n-by-natalie-invites-women-to-living-city/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 12:00:22 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688931 Busy schedules require smart fashion decisions. As everyone is running to catch up with their expanding to-do lists, some women choose to depend on trusted pieces of clothes in order to never lose a beat. In a bustling cosmopolitan city such as Cairo, the winning combination of well-fitted pair of denim and versatile white shirt …

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Busy schedules require smart fashion decisions. As everyone is running to catch up with their expanding to-do lists, some women choose to depend on trusted pieces of clothes in order to never lose a beat. In a bustling cosmopolitan city such as Cairo, the winning combination of well-fitted pair of denim and versatile white shirt can never be rivalled.

Ready to wear brand, N by Natalie, is specialised in nothing but clever tops that can match a handful of dress-codes and never swim against the trendy tide. The designer’s latest FW2018 collection, Living the City, aims to live up to its name. Through a number of practical designs, the collection presents different looks that empower women with effortless elegance while she is busy attaining her dreams in the big city.

As modern schedules rarely offer a window for wardrobe change during the day, each design from this collection plans to accompany women from their early mornings at work, to their afternoon lunches with friends, to even last-minute business dinners, and finally fancy nights out.

N By Natalie has the long-awaited answer to the long dilemma, balancing simple elegance with smart twists. The collection bridges the need to meet expectations as well as stand out effortlessly. Ultimately, saving women from the hassle of changing outfits and shopping for every occasion, Living the City’s statement pieces should become an essential part of every urban woman’s wardrobe.

The home-grown brand is known for mastering shirts and blouses. For the new collection, the brand utilised local top-quality materials, varying between silk, lace, and even denim. The collection’s core pieces include another rendition of the classic white shirt, but with a contemporary twist, giving it a glamorous touch.

Furthermore, the collection features a number of limited-edition evening tops fit for special occasions. The tops are made in very limited quantities leaving its wearer feeling unique and special.

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Ohhana celebrates ‘Rebirth of Nile’ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/31/ohana-celebrates-rebirth-of-nile/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/31/ohana-celebrates-rebirth-of-nile/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 13:00:09 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688585 Debut collection consist of limited-edition pieces which balance comfort with luxury

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As many people end up choosing their new-year resolutions to revolve around being more active, a homegrown brand has decided to connect the upcoming year with centuries that have already gone by. Egypt’s brand new athleisure luxury brand, Ohanna, is giving us just that. Athleisure luxury brand, Ohhana is inspired by ancient Egyptian history and its mighty human civilisation. Created in the heart of Alexandria, the brand attempts to woo powerful women, those who strive to revive the glory of the ancient kingdom. Through contemporary designs, the brand aims to revitalise the iconic pharaonic aesthetic while redefining athleisure fashion. 

The debut collection consists of limited-edition pieces that brilliantly balance comfort with luxury. Inspired by how ancient Egyptians used to give meticulous attention to details, the linings are made from silk and satin, embodying ancient Egyptian designs found in temple wall art.

From jogger sets to dresses, the edgy pieces are fit for eventful mornings as well as unforgettable nights. The Fall/Winter 2019 collection gives women a number of malleable and versatile designs which can be styled up or down depending on the occasion. 

Rebirth of the Nile features a variety of pieces that can be mixed, matched, and deconstructed into several different looks. As true fashion investments, each piece offers a wide range of styling options.

The ‘Kissa’ jogger set, meaning ‘Twins’ in ancient Egyptian, is a set of edgy joggers with a matching shirt. Both items can be altered due to their adjustable strings. The shirt can accommodate casual morning dress-codes and it can also be turned into a cropped jacket for nights around the capital.

‘Tuya’, which can be translated into sunbeam, has panelling neon details similar to sunrays. It can be zipped and worn as a dress for a day look or modified into a night look by unzipping the piece and turning it into a crop top with a matching skirt. It also gives another option by folding the shoulders of the shirt to display the patterns.

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Iman Saab launches ready to wear fairy tales https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/31/iman-saab-launches-ready-to-wear-fairy-tales/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/31/iman-saab-launches-ready-to-wear-fairy-tales/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 12:00:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688593 “Collection was inspired by everything in air, under water,” says designer

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It was back in 1840 when the first bride decided to begin one of the most momentous walks in her life while dressed in white. Queen Victoria chose the heavenly colour, then it became history afterwards. Since then, women around the world are opting this minimal colour on their big days.

Her atelier is often buzzing with future clients flocking in and out while searching for a fashion fairy godmother who can materialise their childhood dreams into one unforgettable white dress. Her tendency to plant flowers amidst metres of tulle, and borrow stars from the farthest skies to decorate hemlines has made her a renowned name in a rapidly growing fashion scene.

The Lebanese designer, Iman Saab, has managed to carve her name on the local bridal walk of fame. Her designs have already been an evident part of many spectacular wedding parties around the country. Her voluminous silhouettes and dramatic designs have been the choice of brides who aim to celebrate with true extravagance.

In time for a new year with an eminent change, the designer decided to expand her horizon beyond bridal collections and move towards the bride’s entourage. Accordingly, Saab recently launched her very first ready to wear collection. Made with the same intricacy while aiming to weave pure beauty, the collection offers a wide variety of options for those who are closest to the bride.      

Saab stated, “We wanted to keep all the customisation focus on bridal gowns for girls to have their dream wedding dresses,” further adding, “however, we could not deny the extremely high demand on customised evening gowns.”

As the founder and lead designer of an ambitious fashion house, she could not neglect the repetitive requests. Meanwhile, her knowledge of what goes into the customisation process from time and effort made her think of different approaches in order to meet the demand.

“The idea of starting a ready to wear line emerged from the need to offer evening gowns too,” Saab explained, “Usually the bride’s mother, sister, or friends want to have their dresses customised here as well.” Therefore, the designer took the bold step to create ready to wear dresses with the advantage of customisation as the brand only makes a very limited number from each design.

The debut collection maintained the designer’s favourite signature elements, making each design instantly identifiable. The dreamy collection showcases a rainbow of exquisite options which vary between monochromic minimalism to sweeping ball gowns. Nevertheless, they all share few design elements which Saab directly borrowed from her famed bridal gowns. From the floral belts to the unique selection of fabrics and the determination to keep it simply contemporary, the dresses aim to reach the excellence of haute couture.

According to the designer, this line also plans to target her acquaintances. Despite their different age groups, her clients are expected to be those who appreciate feminine silhouettes which can eloquently highlight their confidence and class.

Saab explained, “The collection was inspired by everything in the air and under water.” She continued, “For the air element, the collection is inspired from the far galaxies, planets, stars, and everything in between them. While for the water, the collection unravels the deep mysterious gems hidden within the oceans.”

The designer was inspired by nature and all of the secrets which scientists are still discovering after centuries of expedition and studies. Her fascination with the sky is apparent in the details invested in each and every gown. Her vision is translated in how the dresses represent celestial interpretations embellished with embroidered stars and planets.

The ready to wear pieces of art are available at the designer’s boutique in New Cairo, where she juggles production, appointments, and clients. Saab stated, “We also have a schedule for everything, we set due dates and timelines which we follow very strictly,” further adding, “For example, if we are set to test the quality of few new dresses this week as well as finish two bridal dresses, then we would have to do everything possible as a team in order to finalise those tasks before the workers leave on Thursday, which is the last day of the week at our atelier.”

As one of the early designers who contributed to the local fashion industry, Saab has been at the focal point of all the recent developments which are taking place in the local scene. Accordingly, she believes that the industry still requires further development. “We certainly need specialised fashion schools in order to guide the new emerging talents,” said Saab.

On the other hand, the designer also admitted that finding the required materials and fabrics is still a challenge which she has to overcome when working on each new dress.

As for her upcoming plans, the designer aims to expand in new areas and establish more boutiques in new regions such as the currently booming Gulf region. Moreover, she is also looking forward to organising runway shows in order to showcase the full spectrum of her designs. Finally, she is determined to create an online website, which can give her customers the ability to directly order online.

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Marie Louis, BTM, bring nostalgia, Egyptian wealth to Winter Season https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/21/marie-louis-btm-bring-nostalgia-egyptian-wealth-to-winter-season/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/21/marie-louis-btm-bring-nostalgia-egyptian-wealth-to-winter-season/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:30:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=687464 Designer recently celebrated launch of her newest collection, which targets both genders

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Nestled on the edge of the city, her beehive has been working around-the-clock for decades. From one generation to the next, the Bishara family has managed to follow the frantic pace of local fashion to constantly deliver relevant and contemporary styles. Every morning she heads to the place that she knows better than her own house. She walks through the heavy machines as they weave, dye, and put together a spectrum of ensembles.

The busy rhythm and systematic moves of the vast factory have always moved in unison, similar to an independent universe, where sketches are turned into seasonal must-haves. Marie Louis is a veteran fashion aficionado, who has managed to continue her family’s legacy and resuscitate the local fashion industry several times.

Aside from operating one of the country’s largest apparel factories, she also manages a chain of retail stores around the country, as well as numerous fashion lines, for every member of the family. While her attention has always been divided between local production and international export, the designer has already participated numerous offshore shows.

In time for the new season, Louis decided to dedicate her attention to the local market. The designer recently celebrated the launch of her newest collection, which targets both genders—with a special concentration on bridal fashion.      

“My inspiration came from the earth and the land. Most of the colours utilised were borrowed from Egyptian nature; the greenery that Egypt is synonymous with, as well as the vast surrounding desert,” Louis explained, adding “Accordingly, the collection’s pallet revolves around hues of olive, orange, brown and those colours that dominate the fall season.” Much like the hues often observed between the fallen tree leaves, the collection is both contemporary and nostalgic. 

Depending on layering as a fashion method to survive extreme temperatures, the collection offers a wide diversity of shawls, coats, and faux fur options. “We wanted to deliver a subtle statement fuelled with unexpected colour combinations. Therefore, we included a variety of shocking fur outerwear such as the lemon-green fur jacket to maintain the theme,” shared the designer.

In parallel, Louis also included another theme, which was dominated by vibrant shades of turquoise and fuchsia. According to the designer, this mini story was inspired by precious stones, which Egypt is quite rich in. 

Aside from the eloquent colours selected for this collection, the designer was also inspired by an unforgettable moment in time. “The 1960s was a very important era for local fashion. It was a transitional period, which witnessed massive advancements,” said the designer passionately. Between the straight lines, delicate cuts, and Charleston trousers, the collection is peppered with all the retro trends that are currently making an evident comeback.

“This season has already brought back wide-leg trousers and capes, as well as the big volumes that Pierre Cardin used to favour. Therefore, I was keen to also give a nod to such an instrumental decade,” said the designer with her customary warm smile. Along with the tailored power looks for women and the smart outfits for 21st century men, the collection included a number of bridal dresses that indicate a new milestone for the brand.

The long-awaited collection was first showcased during a private fashion show. Organized in the heart of Manial Palace, the 45-minute show was attended by the industry’s most prominent experts and media representatives. It started with casual womenswear before delving into the designer’s timeless take on millennial menswear. Finally, the show was wrapped up with a number of white dresses, which brought fairy tales right to the runway.

The historic palace was an ideal choice for the nostalgic collection given its high ceilings, elaborate gold details, state-of-the-art pillars and grand chandlers; iconic details that went hand-in-hand with the garments, as well as the designer’s plan to base her newest creations on the country’s historic and natural wealth.

Given the brand’s long history, Marie Louis, BTM is already known for their grand fashion shows, which have previously taken place at breathtaking venues around the world. According to the designer, her recent hiatus from elaborate presentations was due to her pre-occupation with the operational side of her business.

“I have been quite busy recently. We have a vertical operation; starting from weaving to dying, printing, and finishing. Our main focus was exports, as well as our base of clients abroad,” shared the designer. However, she is now aware of the fact that the local market needs a revamp. Accordingly, the Fall/Winter 2018 season is in fact the ideal time for Louis to take care of the Egyptian market, especially following the recent fluctuation.

“Our products are currently very suitable to the market in terms of quality and price. It is the right time for a strong show to create the needed buzz,” declared the designer with apparent excitement.

As the brand can only promise further growth and more collections that will be passed from one generation to the next, the Bishara family is currently also on the verge of launching their newest family member to take fashion as a lifetime passion and profession. Louis chose to introduce her daughter to the audience by the end of the show. Anne Marie Kirollos is Louis’s uber-talented daughter and the mastermind behind one of the country’s most anticipated brands.

“Anne Marie has been getting prepared since her childhood years. She has been taking part in all of my shows since the age of two or three, and she has always found her true passion backstage,” said the designer lovingly. The ambitious daughter surprised Louis at the age of 13 with her interest in designing. According to the designer, she could not believe at the time that talent and passion can pass from one generation to the next through mere genes.

“Seeing her sketches and love for this art made us further believe in her; it gave us strength to send her away for six years in order to get the education that she deserves.” Louis added “our entire family and I are eager to see Anne Marie take her first professional steps and shine as she lives her own dream.”

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Valuable tips for choosing the right consulting coach https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/15/valuable-tips-for-choosing-the-right-consulting-coach/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/01/15/valuable-tips-for-choosing-the-right-consulting-coach/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 23:10:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=686880 Making the choice to invest in consulting sessions, with an experienced coach marks a key step in your consulting career path.

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Making the choice to invest in consulting sessions with an experienced coach marks a key step in your consulting career path. Not only do you trust this professional to guide you, but you will also learn a lot about optimising your abilities and demonstrating your skills and strengths as a professional consultant.

So just what should you consider when choosing a consulting coach?

I have come across several resources, generic lists and guidelines which offer advice on what to look for when choosing a consulting coach. However, while these lists provided good deliberation points, they address significantly very little about the fundamental value you should be benefitting from these consulting sessions.

A few of the most common points and guidelines to consider when choosing a consulting coach include:

  • Work with an experienced, qualified/mentor and coach
  • Case interview preparation services with actionable feedback
  • Track and assess your performance progress

Now while these guidelines offer you the basic preparedness points, it does not tell you what you should expect to take away from the sessions with the right consulting coach. Therefore, let us take a more in-depth look at what value you can expect from choosing the right coach.

Knowledge vs Skill

The right consulting coach will not direct your attention to what everyone else knows. The role of a consultant is to resolve problems and provide answers or propose recommendations to the business-related question the client is asking. How to solve the problem is something that is taught in academia which includes solving the problem using any one of the many prepackaged exemplars.

The right coach will instruct you on how to utilise your knowledge and skill to deliver client-driven solutions. While exemplars constitute the foundation of problem-solving, knowing how to offer client-driven solutions through constructing your own exemplar, based on the customer’s needs, remains the main unique way to stand out.

Performance Feedback

While tracking your performance is a service most coaches offer, it does not offer the self-assessment questions you will be asking yourself. Am I prepared? Will I be equipped? Select a consulting coach that will assess your performance after every case practice. Written performance reports, goal-specific feedback, and a scoring system will all offer you goal-specific advice on the key performance areas, and how best to focus your planning efforts. A written report will allow you to continuously assess your performance and enable you to focus your attention where it is needed.

Real vs Academic

The internet is replete with resources that offer you all the information, videos, and guidelines that explain to you all the tricks and secrets to acing the case interview. However, what you learn in theory vs the realistic practical experience can be significantly different. In theory, you comprehend what to expect therefore when something does not go according to plan, it can leave you feeling unprepared.

Therefore, it is important when you come to choose a consulting coach that you take the time to research and fully comprehend what to expect from your coaching sessions.

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