Rich and poor alike wear it in Egypt; it is after all as ubiquitous as the Pyramids and the river Nile.
Household slippers, or flip flops, have been increasingly worn outside of the home by fashion conscious teens and youth after the trend of Brazilian Havaiana flip flops became the footwear de jour. Brightly colored and light on the feet, Egyptian teenagers have taken to the cool factor that flip flops elicit. The irony of course is that the traditional household footwear has had its status elevated.
In Arabic, the term for slippers is “shibshib,” and three women in their early twenties —Nadia Ahmed, Sarah Hamza and Dina Naguib — have gotten together to create a brand which they’ve named “ Shibshibi” (my slippers) taking the basic form of the flip flop and jazzing it up with bright colors, pompom embellishments and traditional patterns.
The mashrabiya, geometric forms taken from decorative motifs on Ancient Egyptian tombs and the silhouette of the traditional olla — the clay watering jug that keeps water cool — have all been played with to create modern patterns as designed by the young women themselves.
Move over Havaianas.
After appearing on a BBC segment earlier this month focusing on young Egyptian designers, the young women have been overwhelmed by the amount of orders placed for the flip flops, some as far away as Japan.
There has also been interest from retail outlets abroad in both the United States and Paris that are hoping to carry the brand. The young women are somewhat surprised that such interest could be generated since the brand was released earlier this summer. They are hoping to develop a children’s line and a men’s line for their upcoming collections.
Currently selling through consignment shops and online, the flip flops retail for LE 140.
For more informantion check out the Facebook group: Shibshibi.