It is often hard to find souvenirs in Egypt that aren’t kitsch or inexpensive. The battle for sourcing souvenirs is a battle waged by both locals seeking gifts for friends abroad and local expatriates hoping to find a little something for family back home. The key is to capture the thrill and madness that is living in Cairo.
Susanne Tabet is a German expat who has been living in Cairo for four years. Having trouble finding gifts for family back home, she took it upon herself to come up with something witty and relevant to Cairo.
Moving from Dubai, “I was so overwhelmed by the city, but as an artist, she says it in the same breath with much praise for her new adopted hometown. “I’m giving Cairo the glitz that it deserves.
So inspired by the city and the pop culture, Tabet has set about exploring its history and the region’s silver screen icons then translating that into her t-shirt line aptly called 100% Cairo.
“I’m the t-shirt lady of Cairo I guess, she says.
Two lines have been created for her brand. The Art line has renderings of her designs inspired by Egyptian pop culture, which she describes as “something from my heart. She likes to play with images of icons, translating them into modern t-shirt patterns.
“I love people’s faces, I project my thoughts on their faces. In one t-shirt, a silhouette of Om Kolthoum is outlined but her glasses are a snazzy purple; another is embellished by Souad Hosny’s sultry gazes.
The other is the City line, where she pokes fun at all sorts of funny episodes she is privy to as an expatriate. “A group of expat wives were sitting one day complaining about their [hired help] and a male friend who overheard them said ‘If I die and go to heaven, I want to come back as an expat wife,’ and so I decided to put ‘Expat Wife’ on a t-shirt.
There is a line for both men and children with different prints and slogans. The t-shirts are made from the softest cottons, and do well in the wash. There is no fear of shrinkage.
Tabet is potentially expanding her City line by putting her art on towels, flip flops and other assorted paraphernalia that will be available in outlets including Egyptian Duty Free shops.
100% Cairo Available at Mounaya Gallery, 14 Kamil El-Tawil Street, Zamalek.CSA Village Shop, 4 Road 21, Maadi, Cairo.Susanne.firstname.lastname@example.org