With social media controlling general trends, pop culture, and ultimately fashion—technology is often regarded as a main leader of shifting fast fashion. Nonetheless, technology’s interference in the massive industry is still highly stuck at the Avant Garde and experimental levels. With an equal interest in both fashion and technology, she often regards each daily habit with the approach of futuristic advantages.
After acquiring her master’s degree in digital media, she was no longer capable of remaining silent and letting the familiar online-shopping obstacles hinder one more of her spree sessions on the wide web. With a determination to utilise her knowledge as a solution for her millennial generation, she found herself on the right route to change the fashion industry, empower under the radar talents and making online shopping far more reassuring.
Born and raised in Canada; yet, still in touch with her Egyptian roots, Nada Marzouk is an entrepreneur on the path to bridge the gap between North American and Egyptian heritages. The young technology connoisseur can still recall her regular visits to Egypt during her childhood, trips that were often documented with unique pieces that spoke of her Egyptian heritage. Years later, Marzouk can still remember her excitement when bringing those finds back to Canada, an event that was always peppered with inquiring questions from her Canadian friends.
Accordingly, it was no surprise that Marzouk has decided to dedicate her time to create a digital market place, which can bring her cherished local treasures to the far boarders of Canada through the most feasible online channels.
Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Marzouk in celebration of Authentique’s launch from the Fashion Zone at Ryerson University, Canada’s first incubator in fashion-inspired businesses. The tech aficionado talked inspiration, empowering young talents, as well as millennials shoppers and bridging the Canadian as well as the Egyptian fashion industries. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
How would you define Anthentique?
Authentique is the first e-commerce platform, which empowers local Canadian and Egyptian designers to showcase their products through a 3D virtual fitting room. The platform collects top high-end local Canadian and Egyptian brands for costumers to try their new collections via their own personalised avatars.
With so much talent evident in young designers between the two countries, I was determined to bridge the existing creative gap—blending both cultures in a westernised manner, while still holding on to the authentic roots.
How does your concept combine several brands in one space?
Each and every designer is carefully selected, the main goal is to select designers, who can add to your wardrobe unique pieces that you will cherish for years to come. Fashion is usually an evolving and changing process; but, with Authentique we want you to purchase something that you will stay authentic in its look and feel after years of purchase.
Tell us more about your concept and how it works?
Authentique is using cutting edge technology, which aims to make clothing fit for all by digitising every garment for everybody to try on; from the comfort of their homes. This revolutionary technology will solve many difficulties of buying and selling online. Shipping costs for return items, as well as complaints about damaged merchandise can be minimised and avoided entirely.
What was your main source of inspiration?
With an avid interest in technology always at the back of my mind, I started my research while studying for my master’s in digital media at Ryerson University to find ways that can really ‘break the internet’ in the online fashion industry. In particular, l have experienced (as I am sure most girls do) a problem with the “right fit” while shopping online. The hassle of not being able to see the quality in advance or even worse having to return something because it does not fit your body shape.
What do you plan to add to the current fashion industry?
Most importantly I want to empower our fellow local Egyptian and Canadian designers, who do not have the abilities of tapping into the Canadian market. I want the stories behind these brands to be shared globally. In a nutshell, I see a lot of value in facilitating convenience for Egyptian and Canadian shoppers as well as offer them the best online shopping experience.
As for the technology, the virtual “try-on” experience will allow the best personalized shopping experience in the online fashion world. With a couple of clicks, one will see a ‘3D look alike’ version of themselves. By plugging in a few simple measurements, consumers will be enabled to create avatars, which reflect their body shapes and sizes.
How will you be participating in VFW?
We will be showing our new collections in the Designer Showroom from 21-23 September. We will also be showcasing our 3D Virtual fitting room for people to try out. We are so excited to be the first Egyptian marketplace to be showcasing Egyptian designer products here in Canada!
Who are the participating brands?
The five Egyptian Brands that we are representing through the Pop-Up are: Alicia Arts, Camicie, Farah Wagdy, Ramla, and Sadafa. Along with one Canadian-based jewellery brand called Claurete. Authentique brands are carefully selected from Ramla’s effortless chic embodied in tassel-topped embroidered mules to Farah Wagdy’s sequinned-embellishment blazers.
These brands in particular have been valued so much across Egypt and I really want to shine the light on them in Canada. Not only will they be present in Canada; but, also their products are showcased via the virtual try-on technology, which is only out there for commercialised brands!
What was your criteria when selecting these brands?
Each and every designer is carefully selected, the main goal is to choose designers, whom can add to your wardrobe unique pieces that you will cherish for years to come. At Authentique we want you to purchase something that will stay authentic in its look and feel after years of purchase.
What is next for Authentique?
Raising more awareness about the Virtual Fitting Room Technology. In particular, enabling more comfort for the Egyptian millennials in online shopping and virtually trying on their selected items before adding them to cart. Meanwhile, we also aim to strengthen our brand recognition in both the Canadian and Egyptian markets.
My vision is to have the best personalized shopping experience; something that we all long for while still remaining inspired to find outfits, which people would love without having to see them in offline.