Lifestyle – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:55:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Marie Louis, BTM, bring nostalgia, Egyptian wealth to Winter Season Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:30:35 +0000 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 Mon, 14 Jan 2019 23:10:47 +0000 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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Azza Fahmy Continues to march West Sun, 13 Jan 2019 12:30:27 +0000 Luxury jewellery legend recently opened first US boutique at iconic Waldorf Astoria in LA

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Only months after celebrating their first flagship store in London, Azza Fahmy has decided to take one step further towards international expansion. The luxury jewellery legend, has recently announced the opening of their first US boutique, located at the iconic Waldorf Astoria in Los Angeles.

Known for redefining cultural and historic references into contemporary wearable art, the brand is set to address American audience with an exclusive hand-crafted collection. Furthermore, a curated selection of the brand’s most popular bestsellers will also be available. With that said, Azza Fahmy’s famous bespoke design service is also available at the new boutique.

“We are delighted to open our first store in the US and particularly at this luxurious new icon. This addition benefits from the Waldorf Astoria’s prime position and strengthens our international retail network of 15 retail doors across the MEA and the UK, together with online retailers, and our own online boutique,” shared Fatma Ghaly, managing director of Azza Fahmy.

As a regular choice for regional and international stars, this boutique is expected to welcome Beverly Hills’ finest. Only less than a week after the store’s opening, acclaimed TV presenter Raya Abirached was spotted at the boutique while preparing for nothing less than the Golden Globe awards.

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Amany El-Cherif: 19 years of mixing colours, matching fabrics Sun, 13 Jan 2019 12:00:51 +0000 Local fashion industry managed to break geographical boundaries, address international markets

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While other children were constantly occupied with Meccano cubes, this girl’s puzzle of choice was made of fabrics. Her eye for details and colours always made her stand out from the crowd. Years before she realised that fashion would be her calling, she used to prepare for each and every weekend with multicolor ensembles.

“I have always had a thing for fashion design, perhaps you could call it an admiration that was supported by my mother since a very early age,” said Amany El-Cherif, now a seasoned fashion designer. Back then, she never thought that being able to create her own garments could be transformed into a job. It was not until she lived in the US for a while, that she came to realise the wide spectrum of possibilities which presented themselves to her.

“Starting from my middle school, I used to create a new dress every weekend. Then when I got engaged, I started putting more effort in each and every outfit.” El-Cherif explained “it used to take me two days every week in preparation for the weekend.”

With a degree in accounting and a true passion for fashion, El-Cherif decided to follow her artistic impulses and pursue a career in the creative sphere. After starting as a fashion consultant, El-Cherif was encouraged by her move back to Egypt to fully delve into bridal and evening fashion.

As the designer often says, fashion design is always driven by pure talent, whereas education can only support it. El-Cherif is a firm believer that talent, as well as acquiring an eye for details and colour, are the foundation of any successful career in fashion. “A lot of people are great dressmakers; yet, not many can match the right combination of fabrics, cuts, and colours,” said the skilled designer. Today she is closer than ever to her rapidly approaching 19-year anniversary.

Following years of exploring different trends and developing her personal aesthetic, the designer currently defines her style as elegant and rich. “I personally prefer to use rich and articulate materials.” The designer declared, adding, “on the other hand, I am always keen on addressing curvy women. I like those who love their bodies as they are and aim to always flaunt them.”

While designing, El-Cherif is always ardent on not leaving any woman out of her reach. According to her, each woman should find at least one option that was created to complement her silhouette. “It is my job as a designer to bring out the best assets of each and every client,” elaborated the designer.

While haute couture was El-Cherif’s early start and specialty before evolving into ready-to-wear, today she has a big showroom, which harbours ready-to-wear, bridal, evening wear, and casual clothes.

“My showroom is an experience on its own. The moment you step in, you become the centre of our attention. It is more of a gallery, with high levels of privacy and accommodation,” El-Cherif said, adding “part of our experience is being able to pick a certain fabric before meeting with me to find the right design for her.”

The designer’s client is a sharp and elegant woman, someone who appreciates trends while remaining precise and practical. On the other hand, El-Cherif’s casual line currently targets a younger age, which is constantly looking for trendy pieces. Meanwhile, she is also focused on modest fashion. Even before modesty became a global trend, she has always been quite aware of the size and importance of such marginalised market.

“My biggest challenge today is to balance my flair for richness with simplicity as well as lightness. These three factors can secure obvious confidence and ease of movement,” El-Cherif declared, elaborating, “despite how complicated it might be at times, I am committed to targeting all body types. It is a designer’s job to bring forth any woman in the best way possible.”

As the designer chooses to describe her working process, she approaches each dress as if it was a painting. Her favourite fabrics are those that are handmade or embroidered. In parallel, she prefers light colours. Meanwhile, she enjoys mixing and matching surprising combinations of colours and fabrics.

After almost two decades in a relatively young industry, the designer has been at the core of the local fashion scene as it took several leaps. “When I first started, people had various mistaken ideas about the fashion industry, for example the majority used to mistake designers for tailors,” said the designer about her battle to make people see what designers are supposed to be doing.

“If you want to find the right dress, then you need to put your trust in a real professional. I got to my prominence after a long howl, however, today it is far better. We currently have a strong and promising generation of young designers,” said the designer proudly.

Based on her involvement and observations, she believes that the local fashion industry has already managed to break geographical boundaries and address international markets. Three years ago, designers only dreamt of reaching out to the world. Nonetheless, today they need to leave a remarkable footprint.

“We need to grow beyond dazzling runway shows to become masters of high quality and attention to detail. As the Germans say, dresses should be sold for what is inside before what is outside,” explained the designer.

With a grand legacy behind her, El-Cherif plans to further develop her quality as well as open up new international channels and portals.

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S.A.D.A.F.A.: profound mother of pearl Mon, 07 Jan 2019 16:21:01 +0000 Designer not only created collectable art pieces, but also managed to effectively empower one of Egypt's time tested crafts

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Each time she closes her eyes, she imagines and sees patterns and illuminating precious materials. Her moves are often calculated by the most minimal units of measurements, as her details are always eloquently intricate. Between art and timeless expression, she plans to spread beauty whether in the east or the west.

Dina El Sheikh is a designer by nature. However, her road towards becoming a bag designer was in fact paved by various experiments. Her eye for meticulous details has positioned her as a prominent name in a rapidly growing industry. Through her brand, S.A.D.A.F.A, the designer has managed to not only create collectable art pieces, but, she has also managed to subtly and effectively empower one of Egypt’s time tested crafts. 

El Sheikh believes that her earliest start was inspired by nothing other than her natural interest in arts and crafts as well as her family’s creative flair. With a degree in theatre, a specialisation in costume design and a minor in art, El Sheikh left her years at the American University in Cairo with a versatile set of skills and knowledge. However, her educational journey only accelerated after studying at Istituto Di Moda Burgo in Milano, and later Azza Fahmy’s design studion by in Cairo. “It was only natural for me to try to express myself through design.” El Sheikh added “I had spent a few years working in the field of styling and fashion consultancy.”

Even though she has never imagined herself designing bags, her design-fuelled experiments-ranging from sewing, pattern making, or even creating jewellery-has led her to an unexpected fate. Her lucky trail of coincidences started in 2013, when she picked up the hobby of street photography. “I have always been on a quest to discover new places, but more importantly, I wanted to get closely acquainted with my city, roaming old alleys, trespassing deserted mansions, and entering rundown buildings,” said the artist passionately.

Her quick chitchats with strangers as well as her interest in non-traditional venues, rapidly and regularly introduced her to friendly faces and opened her eyes to many hidden gems. According to El Sheikh, Egyptians by nature are very talented and masters in artistries. Yet, they tend to forget these facts about themselves. Saddened that ready-made commodities have already controlled the centre of attention and consumed the majority of local customers, the designer was suddenly inspired to bring back to the spot light the preciousness of handmade art.

“I guess what actually pushed me into designing bags, is that it gave me a chance to combine all my interests and educational background together in one field.” Said El Sheikh, adding “I spend my days roaming the streets, taking pictures, talking to friendly strangers, digging for gemstones, and even sewing pouches for my bags. Somehow, everything synced in together and merged into a single design.”

Aside from her picturesque designs, which instantly standout amidst any given crowd, S.A.D.A.F.A is also quite distinguishable due to the designer’s choice of materials. Far from traditional options such as leather or even brass, El Sheikh favours mother of pearl and abalone. According to her, both materials are romantic mediums to work with.

“Their colours are very vivid, iridescent, and ever so versatile. There is a magic to them in how they capture and reflect light. I personally find them just as precious as diamonds, but they have not gained the same attention or propaganda,” described El Sheikh with a fond twinkle in her eyes.

With that said, the designer’s main goal behind S.A.D.A.F.A is to revive longstanding Egyptian craftsmanship and techniques by adding a contemporary twist to a long forgotten craft. According to the designer, she aims to flaunt her personal pride in Egyptian handmade skills as well as honour the fact that Egyptian hands delicately craft every single piece.

In parallel, as a master of many trades, everything around her is an inspiration. All the traveling and living abroad as a child has taught her to appreciate diverse cultures and surroundings. “I find it fascinating, how people react differently to their environments, especially in how they dress, and how they choose to carry themselves,” said El Sheikh.

Moreover, nature on the other hand is one of her constant sources of inspiration. As a firm believer that rich resources are everywhere around those who choose to notice, she advocates the need to simply be more observant and attentive to the planet.

For her latest collection, the designer decided to delve into her own childhood memories and revisit the African beauty, Cote d’Ivoire. Although I have lived there for only two years (1988-1990), it has shaped a great deal of my personality. It was a completely different lifestyle for me, such a rich culture and fascinating people,” explained El Sheikh, who still has a soft spot for the country.

With a reminiscent approach in mind, the designer still perceives Cote d’Ivoire as the land of her beautiful childhood dreams, and the closest she could get to Alice living in Wonderland.

Aside from her personal admiration for the country, this collection was rather another experiment for the designer. According to El Sheikh, she was very curious to play around with different patterns and colours of abalone shells. In addition, tribal patterns kept on popping in her head, hence taking hold of the collection. “It finally ended with the concept of using earthly tones for the clutches, but, with a touch of vibrant colours through the bag’s agate closure,” elaborated the designer.

When asked about where she would like to spot this particular collection, El Sheikh shared that her greatest source of pleasure is seeing different women wearing S.A.D.A.F.A., be it an accomplished public figure, or a young teenage girl. “I always like to remind people that this brand is very close to the heart, I like them to wear my clutches as a form of self-expression, and they are capable of dress in anytime and anywhere,” said the designer with a confident smile.

As for what the future still holds for the designer and the brand, El Sheikh prefers to take things one step at a time as she rather enjoys the journey.

In the interim, she is far from done with experimenting. The designer already looks forward to exploring with other brand domains.

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‘Selissa’s Jewelry’: turning scars into beauty Sun, 06 Jan 2019 11:00:51 +0000 Each detail made to serve grand philosophy.

The post ‘Selissa’s Jewelry’: turning scars into beauty appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Intimate, sincere, and outspoken, ‘Selissa’s Jewelry’’ is an unapologetically beautiful brand that aims to address women who hate shackles and boundaries. The homegrown brand depends on unbalanced and chaotic metals to deliver genuine fashion statements. Each piece is an eloquent advocate that recounts a story.

Made by women and for women, the brand does not shy away from focusing on the hardships which women face on a regular basis. Most recently, Selissa’s chose to unfold the tales behind the ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’. The brand’s debut collection features sincere sensations in a minimal form.

Between earrings, rings, bracelets, and bold chokers, the collection depends on the familiarity of geometrical shapes. On the other hand, it delivers a modern twist and raw aesthetic through the hammered finish as well as an unruly elegance.

As women often choose to hide their struggles and burdens within themselves, far from those they love the most, this collection plans to achieve the opposite. The intricate pieces transform such hardships into accolades that should be flaunted in public.

According to Norhan Selim and her partner Laila Abdelkerim, women should proudly wear such scars. Motivated by the beauty, inspiration, and the strength of women, each detail is made to serve a grand philosophy.   

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Menna Khalil delves into “Grandma’s Treasure Box” Sun, 23 Dec 2018 12:00:57 +0000 In 37 days, Khalil was able to create 160 different designs distributed over 210 pieces

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Memories are often acquainted with scents, colours, and events. For a lifetime, what she could remember from her long-gone childhood has managed to guide her. With technology and modern momentum taking over the world, her eye eternally remained loyal to what it saw years before.

Trends are momentary, but, fashion tends to move in continuous loops. Rather than surrendering to the tide, she chose to direct the wind – to return to her childhood. In time for the new season, Menna Khalil chose to close her eyes and recollect the her grandmother’s memories. Her newest collection is an ode to a woman, who has shaped her personality.

Composed of limited-edition pieces, Khalil’s Fall 2018/19 collection was forged encompassing the sense of nostalgia; a longing of her grandmother’s scent; mouth-watering cooking, and her voice as she narrated story after story about her favourite pieces of jewellery.    

“You can neither go through your present nor plan for the future without acknowledging the importance of your past; the past shapes people. My family, especially my grandma, is an essential part of who I am today,” Khalil stated, adding “on another note, I am not quite a fan of today’s fashion. Therefore, I prefer to create my own style, which is often inspired from the past.”

Frequently known for tackling cultural topics inspired by iconic poets, painters, and philosophers – this collection is one of her most personal creations. This eloquent statement comes as a personal experience, and attempt to immortalise her grandmother. When Khalil was told by a supplier that some of her favourite stones can no longer be stocked, she decided to use her 12-year-old collection and create a love letter to days long gone.

The grand idea took almost a year to be executed. While flirting with the in the back of her mind, the designer invested the time in collecting materials and precious stones. Meanwhile, she had her eyes set on vintage-jewellery auctions.

When all the dots aligned in October, she started working on the pieces. In a matter of 37 days, Khalil was able to create 160 different designs distributed over 210 pieces. Instead of duplicating her designs, Khalil wanted to share her sense of intimacy with her clients. Accordingly, she gave her clients the utmost exclusivity in order to make them enjoy the possibility of actually wearing their grandmother’s jewellery.

“On average, designers work on 15 or 20 designs per collection. After 6 years of jewellery design and 13 collections, I wanted to fly away from the flock,” Khalil confessed, adding, “the real challenge was to create 160 designs and develop 210 pieces in a very short period. Actually, this collection was by far the biggest challenge I have ever faced.”

Fuelled with gold chains and vintage coins, the collection merges timeless aesthetics with the season’s top jewellery trends. Meanwhile, the designer’s personal style could be vividly seen in many pieces. According to Khalil, her grandmother cultivated an exceptional taste, often preferring vintage and authentic pieces. “She commonly wore statement jewellery, and yet, in her everyday life she was simple and elegant, and smelt like honeysuckle flower, one of my favourite floral scents,” remembered Khalil with a reminiscent smile.

With that said, the collection is inspired by various trends and historical, cultural and societal movements; from the 19th century to the 1990s. Meanwhile, it is not limited to a certain culture or country. “You will find pieces inspired by the Edwardian, Georgian, and Byzantine eras. From French aesthetics to Italian detailing; Pharaonic, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese personas are also present,” explained Khalil.

Accordingly, the collection caters to a large audience of diverse ages. Nevertheless, all the pieces aim to communicate personal messages that anyone can easily relate to. “Giving a chance to all my friends and customers to own pieces again from the past,” shared Khalil.

As her brand’s most skilled representative, Khalil always chooses to flaunt her jewellery. Her fingers are often an elaborate display of her most memorable designs. Meanwhile, she tends to stack her necklaces and bracelets in a mixture of admiration and pride. From this collection, the designer chose a retro English gold bracelet which she defines as delicate.

Meanwhile, her favourite pieces also include a real-pearl necklace and a stunning Swarovski brooch, which her grandmother used to regularly pin on her shawls. “I remember when she passed away, as my mother and aunts distributed her jewellery, I instantly asked for her Russian fur hat, pearl necklace, and this particular brooch,” Khalil declared then added “I have always loved how it could illuminate the entire room.”

Aside from her artistic venture into the past, Khalil also has a few other things lined up for the upcoming year. While she plans to start the year with an exotic trip to both refresh herself and get inspired, she is also focused on expanding her business. The designer already has a showroom and private workshop in the pipeline. Meanwhile, she plans to launch her website and restock the best sellers of her previous 13 collections.

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Winter Equinox Fashion Brunch: invitation for shopping, charity Tue, 27 Nov 2018 13:00:21 +0000 While the exact cause is yet undetermined, last season's proceedings went to a transplant case. Instead of giving the money to charity organisations, Serag El-Din prefers to oversee the entire process herself

The post Winter Equinox Fashion Brunch: invitation for shopping, charity appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Once again, the capital had a rendezvous with Fashion Fund’s seasonal brunch event. Over the duration of seven hours, the country’s most recognised fashion experts and socialites shopped the latest trends, courtesy of Egypt’s finest designers, while devouring mouth-watering delicacies.

Organised by the well-known philanthropist and socialite, Heba Serag El-Din, the Winter Equinox Fashion Brunch aimed to newly bridge the gap between fashion and charity. Aside from being an ideal destination for shopaholics, the event also promised 15% of the proceedings to a selected charity mission.

While the exact cause is yet undetermined, last season’s proceedings went to a transplant case. Instead of giving the money to charity organisations, Serag El-Din prefers to oversee the entire process herself. Therefore, she personally identifies and locates the needy cases.

Hosted at Sass restaurant and bar, the event corresponded with the introduction of a new brunch menu.  On the other hand, it also shed the light on numerous local talents, while it also welcomed the beginning of a new season.

Selected based on the quality, presentation and branding, the featured designers varied between emerging talents and well-established households such as Bazic; Hype; Boutique 17; Avalanche; Unmatched; Trophy Wives; Georges Sara & Co; Moda Fit; Zag Store; Posh Shades and Camicie. All in all, the event featured 14 designers and brands.

Meanwhile, the event also included a themed photo-booth by Iram Jewellery, the local synonym for glitz and glam, offered a sneak peek of the newest Siran collection as guests tried on the contemporary pieces and even snapped a few glamorous pictures.

In parallel, BTC watches offered a timepiece fortress. The celebrated brand gave guests a discerning segment of international iconic watches. Celebrities such as Mona Zaki stopped their rounds throughout the venue just to admire the new collection.

With that said, the event’s biggest highlight was the reveal and auction of Zaam’s new exclusive pyramid bag. The Polylogue featured the designer’s love for retro aesthetics and keenness on utilising only the finest real leather. More importantly, all the proceedings collected from the auction went to charity.

Concurently, the attendees included a vast number of well-known celebrities and influencers including actresses Mona Zaki and Dalia El-Beheri as well as TV presenters Sherif Nour El-Din, Samar Yousry and Karine Fahmy. Meanwhile, fashion influencers such as Zayneb Azzam, Heba El Dessouky, and Gehad Abdalla were also spotted during the event.   


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Weaving Grace: bridal haven in Zamalek Tue, 27 Nov 2018 12:30:11 +0000 "We look for full experience; plan to pamper our brides, make them happy," says co-founder

The post Weaving Grace: bridal haven in Zamalek appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Located in the heart of Cairo and amid the bustling streets of Zamalek, a hidden gem glimmers under the sunlight and illuminates the darkest night.

The pink walls and white marble promises fairy-tale fashion, paralleled by the minimal gold staircase which expresses timeless sophistication. In the midst of it this stand three proud partners, focused and inspired. Rana Faramawy, Nahla Boshra and Sama Faramawy have decided to change bridal routines with an enchanting new concept.

The three musketeers plan to relieve brides from endless shopping trips, cheap quality, and limited options with their bridal haven. Situated upon two floors, their newly-opened concept store caters to women with extraordinary taste and an eye for beauty.

“We wanted to have a one-stop shop for brides; everything from the dress to the veil, the shoes and even the lingerie,” said Sama Faramawy, adding “We are looking for a full experience; we plan to pamper our brides and make them happy. I want to give them the amen comprehensive experience that they might get abroad.”

According to the founders of Weaving Grace, their main goal is to offer a different experience that cannot be matched anywhere else in Egypt. Consequently, their target audience are brides, who used to have to travel abroad to find their sought-after dream dresses.

“Our bride is most certainly feminine; yet, she is bold and adventurous. She never follows the crowd. Therefore, our selection of dresses is quite far from what is available in the market. We have Boho dresses for destination weddings, as well as contemporary designs for unconventional brides,” explained Sama.

Handpicked by the three partners, the majority of dresses are in fact imported. However, the store also offers many exceptional local options. Weaving Grace stocks the designs of YolanCris from Spain, Alessandra Rinaudo from Italy, and Bambah from Dubai as well as Kojak, Christine Massarany, Amany El Cherif, Yosra El-Barkouky, and Caroline Yassa from Egypt. On the other hand, the store also harbours items from Halo Headpieces, Misura’s footwear and Nada Adel Apparel’s lingerie.

Between the white floor and mirror ceiling, the store encapsulates everything that an upcoming bride might be interested to check, including the dress, accessories, and wedding details.

“We offer wedding-planning services, from the venue to the decorations and even the DJ. Meanwhile we also have dresses for the bride’s close family such as her mother and sister,” Sama added “Aside from our displayed merchandise, we have a number of collaborations such as have Soha Khoury for makeup, Richard Boustany for hairstyling and Remon Markiz for photography.”

When asked about favouring an offline store in the age of e-commerce, the founders expressed their appreciation for the traditional physical experience, given the fact that the bridal experience is often emotional and overwhelming. “I personally like to dress the bride for her final fitting, see the mother cry when we find the perfect dress, and the eye twinkles that her friends share in unison,” said Sama.

With that said, the founders’ evident involvement in the minor details as well as the big picture are evident in the exclusive number of dresses and top-notch services. Given that she personally selected the displayed dresses, Sama would opt for a big wedding that can fit all of the gowns, which she has in stock.

“I would like to have a very big wedding, where I can actually wear every single dress I have in my store. They are all quite beautiful; every dress has a special vibe. I would certainly like to have a hundred-day wedding to wear all of the dresses that I love by the designers that fascinate me,” said Sama with a giggle.

As for their near-future plans, the three founders plan to expand online in a untraditional way.

Meanwhile, they have their eyes set on the region to expand in several cosmopolitan Arab capitals.

The post Weaving Grace: bridal haven in Zamalek appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Jude Benhalim celebrates her first flagship store in Cairo Sun, 18 Nov 2018 11:00:24 +0000 Located in heart of Zamalek, store marks an important milestone in designer’s journey

The post Jude Benhalim celebrates her first flagship store in Cairo appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

After a few years of determining the season’s top jewellery pieces, Jude Benhalim has finally launched her first flagship store in Cairo.

The homegrown brand has already garnered a strong base of loyal followers. With eloquent calligraphy and intricate inscriptions, her designs have managed to occupy the front pages of many regional and international publications.

Located in the heart of Zamalek, the store marks an important milestone in Benhalim’s journey. At a young age, the designer has managed to redefine luxury jewellery with cutting-edge feminine designs and contemporary themes.

Furthermore, Benhalim is on the path to gain international momentum.

The newly opened store features minimal white columns, gold hanging wracks, and smooth glass cabinets, which provide an unparalleled cosmopolitan vibe, while allowing the jewellery to occupy the centre of attention.

With New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue in the back of her mind, the designer aims to give her clients a slick shopping experience every time they step through the contemporary doors.  On the other hand, the displayed jewellery corresponds with the interior theme. The collections include her signature gold plated brass and 925 sterling silver pieces, which come in a myriad of varying vibrant colours.

The opening night was hosted by Egypt’s sweetheart, Salma Abu Dief, who is also one of Benhalim’s top supporters and endorsers since her rise to fame.

The formal event was also attended by a number of influential celebrities and fashion experts such as Yosra El Lozy, Zaynab Azzam and Radwa El-Ziki among others. Furthermore, Egypt’s Social Solidarity Minister, Ghada Wali, also made an appearance along with local press and Benhalim’s top clients.

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Naomi Filmer challenges essence of jewellery design concept Sun, 18 Nov 2018 10:00:20 +0000 I want to look into how one form of expression demonstrated by hand can inform, evolve a piece of jewellery, says designer

The post Naomi Filmer challenges essence of jewellery design concept appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

While the world might perceive jewellery as a decorative luxury, she approaches it as a method of self-expression. To her, each piece is not a mere just a replaceable accessory; but rather an extension of her own personality. Over the duration of 25 years, she has spent many nights analysing the connection between jewellery and the body – do gestures require specific designs or do they in fact inspire it.

Often seen moulding and reshaping materials to her own creative whims, she is a shaper of all things intriguing – someone who does not plan to limit her potential in order to appeal to commercial preferences or short-lived trends.

After studying jewellery and metalsmithing at the Royal College of Art, Naomi Filmer has embarked on a journey of designing, experimenting and tutoring. For over 20 years, she has found true joy and excitement in teaching ambitious talents between London and Europe. On the other hand, exhibitions have always been her method to creatively vent and delve into intricate subjects.

Much like an intense love story, before long, Filmer completely fell in love with jewellery design and all its secrets. She best describes her versatile projects as an exciting trail that has shaped her as a designer. Her most notable catwalk collaborations, include her work with Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen, as well as working on fashion exhibitions for international fashion curators, such as Judith Clark.

On the other hand, Filmer spent a handful of years freelancing as a senior designer in Milan. Most recently, the jewellery aficionado took a plane towards Cairo, Egypt to meet he eager students of The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy. Her concise workshop did not only widen their horizons, but it has also introduced her to new hypotheses.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Filmer ahead of her workshop to discuss her unparalleled career, her teaching experience, and what she still plans to explore, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What made you pursue a career in jewellery design?

I am interested in challenging conventional and traditional jewellery through creating pieces that explore the relationship between the body, objects, and materials. My career is in fact broader and vaguer than you might think, as I do not make jewellery and I do not describe myself as a jewellery designer.

I am a designer-maker, who creates pieces about the body rather than pieces to be worn on the body. I work and flirt with the world of jewellery and in doing so, I cross borders between design, craftsmanship, jewellery, contemporary accessories, and fashion.

What are you always keen to add to the international jewellery scene?

I hope that my work encourages new attitudes towards the role of jewellery, materials and our bodies. As my work is not part of a commercial scene, I do not aspire to offer trends or aesthetic direction. Instead, I aim to open up discussion channels regarding the role of jewellery beyond adornment and display.

After working with the likes of McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, which of your previous collaborations would you define as a favourite?

I do not have a favourite. Out of the catwalk collaborative projects, I would say each was unique and offered me different opportunities to pursue new ideas, which was quite rewarding for me. However, I suppose there are some pieces or objects that I connect to more in on the long-term, such as the ‘Orchid Neck Piece’ for Anne Valerie Hash 2008, the ‘Ball in the Small of my Back’ for McQueen 2001, and the ‘Mouth Light’ for Hussein Chalayan 1996.

However, as collaborative projects in themselves and in terms of my experience working with the designers, I do not have specific preferences.

What encouraged you to give a workshop at the DSAF?

I find it interesting how people think and communicate their own expressions and identities through creative practices, as well as how that can change from one culture to the next.  The opportunity to come to the DSAF arose through Doris Maninger, one of the original founders of the Alchimia, Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence, who is very involved at the DSAF.

We met 18 months ago at the Royal Academy of Arts, Antwerp, where I teach the third year BA jewellery students. Doris regularly visits Antwerp as one of our external examiners and when we meet, I always enjoy our conversations and views on education, as well as the role of jewellery design as a social facilitator on various levels.  

Doris asked if I would be interested to give a workshop at the DSAF. Later on a warm invitation from Yasmine Hamalawy followed. I am curious about the design studio in Cairo because it seems quite different from the schools where I currently teach.

What is the workshop’s main topic?

The workshop is based on hand gestures as a mode of self-expression and communication. We all use our hands as an integral tool for communication; yet, that changes from person to person, culture, era, and context. Today we even substitute hand gestures with emoticons in social media, offering universally understood expressions such as appreciation, faith, humour, jubilation, disappointment, etc.

I want to look into how one form of expression demonstrated by the hand can inform and evolve into a piece of jewellery. I want to make wearable gestures with the participants of the workshop. 

What are you most excited about regarding the workshop?

Being my first time in Cairo, Egypt, I am both curious and excited to experience the city, the culture and the people. Travelling for work, I consider it a pleasure and a privilege, because you get to see a different side of the city through the generosity and perspective of those you work with— it is always a learning and enriching experience.

Also, this workshop and project is new for me, so I am happy to work on a theme that is close to me, as well as match some of my previous works. Yet, I have never worked on this as a theme in itself for a workshop. 

What are your near-future plans?

In terms of work, I will continue to teach but I also have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. One of which is designing display installations for jewellery brands for a showroom or trade fair context. I am doing this as a collaborative project with a good friend, Alice Ciccolini, who is also a jewellery designer.

This interests me as an area because it allows me to focus on a space and a communication platform that lies between the jewellery and the body. It is an area that I believe deserves more attention and tackles much of my experience and knowledge to date, so watch this space!

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The CFF celebrates 10 seasons of fashion, talent, passion Mon, 12 Nov 2018 14:00:54 +0000 While some names already walked runways of previous seasons, others were brought to mix to throw real fashion fiesta—in most Egyptian way possible

The post The CFF celebrates 10 seasons of fashion, talent, passion appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

After a number of opulent runway shows and quirky fashion presentations, the country’s biggest fashion event has celebrated their 10th season on the 25th of October! In time for the remarkable milestone, the team behind the Cairo Fashion Festival (CFF) organised their most memorable season to date. Between a fashion installation, several all-star runway shows, and entertaining presentations, the guests once again experienced local fashion during a memorable night.

“This season is dedicated to all the things we have achieved through the CFF. Meanwhile, it is an opportunity to visit our most memorable events. Therefore, it was only fitting that we celebrate with the country’s top designers, who originally started their career with us,” said Omar Madkour, the CFF’s proud founder.

After putting on their meticulously thought-through red-carpet outfits, the country’s top fashion aficionados, bloggers, VIPs, celebrities, and media representatives were welcomed with a fashion installation featuring the work of over 30 local designers. While some names have already walked the runways of previous seasons, others were brought to the mix to throw a real fashion fiesta—in the most Egyptian way possible.

With the mannequins placed on colourful blocks, the dresses grabbed the most attention and a stream of camera flashes during the entire event. Designers included Vivian Moawad, Bardees, Pacinthe Radwan, Amanda Kamkam, Abayology, Samy Designs, Nesma Helmy, Mona Selim, and Ahmed Nabil among others.

After such a grand entrance, up and coming talents got their share of attention with a choreographed fashion presentation. The elevated stage witnessed the debut designs of many fashion students. Represented by Career Gates, the young talents offered a diversified take on the FW18-19 trends. With daring cuts and surprising fabrics, the show garnered multiple positive cheers.

Meanwhile, Donia Ashry Studio and Laila Eid also presented two memorable collections. While Ashry favoured a modern minimalistic approach, Eid chose a variety of bold colours and classic cuts. Nonetheless, the most long-awaited presentation was courtesy of menswear designer Moaaz El Behery. After a long hiatus, the designer brought back his contemporary approach to the CFF. His designs addressed millennial gentlemen, who are uninterested to follow in the footsteps of previous generations.

That being said, all eyes were now directed on the runway, where the festival’s biggest stars showcased their latest collections. Names such as Bardees, Maison PB, and Malak El Ezzawy made an unmistakable comeback to their original Launchpad. As Bardees once again stood out due to her eye for colour, Maison PB went for a primary colour pallet with mesmerising handmade embellishments.

On the other hand, El Ezzawy offered a fresh take on tomorrow’s classics. Furthermore, Vivian Moawad remained loyal to her feminine aesthetics. Confidence depicted her collection in black and gold, while her hemlines embraced edginess.

As part of the night’s many surprises, Oppo joined forces with Zaam Designs to incorporate technology with design. Ahmed Azaam utilised his creative talents to develop a limited-edition collection as vibrant as the company’s new mobile phone. Inspired by the gadget’s rainbow of gradient colours, the designer presented a capsule collection of ready-to-wear garments and bags. With avant-garde head pieces and colour-blocked ensembles, the outcome blurred the lines between the two industries.

Meanwhile, the grand finale embodied the event’s main purpose and continuous quest. Farida Temraz made an exceptional comeback to the CFF with a daring collection, entitled Femme Formidable. The collection left the audience in awe as each dress made a statement on its own. Between bold black, royal blue, luxurious purple, the designer occupied centre stage. 

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Taste of Oktoberfest in Jeddah’s Assila Hotel Thu, 08 Nov 2018 12:00:27 +0000 Jeddah-based hotel mixed between eastern warmth of Arabian hospitality with Rocco Forte Hotels’ international experience

The post Taste of Oktoberfest in Jeddah’s Assila Hotel appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

During this October, there was no need to travel far to escape the daily routine and stress, as the Assila Hotel instead brought one of the most celebrated events to the Los Angeles of the Red Sea, Jeddah.

This October, in the heart of Jeddah’s fashionable business and shopping district, the new Assila Hotel, which is known to harmonise the warmth of Arabian hospitality with Rocco Forte Hotels’ esteemed service, has brought the taste of Bavaria in the heart of Saudi Arabia by celebrating the Oktoberfest.

The Assila Hotel is one of the newest establishments of a Rocco Forte Hotel. Oktoberfest is probably the most famous family festivals on the planet. On a yearly basis, the Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany, in late September and early October. It’s considered the largest people’s fair in the world with over six million people attending, from over 80 nations, to share in local German food, folklore and the good life.

Since early 1990s the Oktoberfest is being celebrated in other major cities in the world, to promote the Bavarian tradition of sharing local food with family, old and new friends. Elderly and young are all welcome to share in the Bavarian feast sitting along long tables, telling life stories and fables, enjoying the festive atmosphere.

From the 13th to 20th of October, the hotel’s 5-star 24-hour restaurant, provided the most succulent apple-strudel or the selection of sour-dough breads, pretzels and more for brunch.

The opening night of the Oktoberfest hosted by both the Consul General of Germany in Jeddah, Holger Ziegeler, and by Assila Hotel’s newly appointed General Manager, Khaldoun Hayajneh.

Guests enjoyed a juicy veal stew and spread, hand crafted bratwurst, sausages and cold cuts. The delicacies were served at a buffet style dinner throughout the week. The interesting and rich menu was designed and executed by German Executive Chef Alex Stephan and Rocco Forte Hotel culinary experts Charles Hotel in Munich.

This month, however, was not all festivals, food, and drinks, as relaxation and self-indulgence was on the menu for the guests as well. Male and female guests can enjoy the Assila SPA with its body-purifying spa package.

The blissful experience started with a Body Composition Test to check the body toxins levels followed by a detoxifying body scrub, lymphatic drainage massage, and foot reflexology.

Another package was available which is the Serenity package that can be enjoyed alone or as a couple. For those looking for the latest treatment in the spa’s facial section, it offers remodelling face treatment to erase any post summer blues with a Biologique Recherche Remodeling Machine: the most advanced bio-electrotherapy beauty treatment available in Jeddah. Such a machine will gently stimulate skin derma for an improved appearance, while smoothing your facial contours, and helping even out impurities and skin tone.

You can expect to see a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, improved skin texture and tone, accentuation of the eye area and a toned overall feeling. 

The Hotel also offers a variety of membership packages, a squash court, unlimited access to the rooftop swimming pool, for males only, unlimited access to the Assila Spa facilities area, deals on spa packages, restaurants and laundry services, complementary Wi-Fi, and valet parking.

Having stayed at several other Rocco Forte Hotels, the familiar hospitality can be spotted between the branches of the hotel all over the world.

It is in every way a family business; a shared love evident in every Rocco Forte hotel – each exuding the Forte’s innate Anglo-Italian style, sophistication and warmth. They bring this signature style to Jeddah in the Assila Hotel. Assila is the combined creation of two families: the Fortes and the Al Issas.

It is the marriage of European and Arabian sensibilities – a truly worldly luxury hotel.

Its palate spans the finest Arabic, Italian and Argentinian cuisine. Its design adjoins cooling, contemporary Middle Eastern architecture with a warm, light-hearted European touch. And its hospitality invokes both cultures: the genuine care to gratify every guest, and a level of expertise that lets you know this is a Rocco Forte hotel.

As you enter, you are greeted by the subtle scent of oud in the air, and an Arabic welcome of coffee and dates, as you enjoy the vast collection of Saudi art; the splashes of rich, local earth tones, hand-woven rugs and filigreed screens. And you know quality when you head to the rooftop to look across the

shimmering pool, over the city, and out to the Red Sea.

Residences at Assila mean exceptional apartments balancing space, comfort and home privacy with the five-star service, design, facilities and cuisine which is a unique way to experience the city of Jeddah.

Choosing from expansive, individually designed one-to four-bedroom Residential Suites, guests can enjoy tailored services, dine in any of Assila’s five restaurants, order in to their apartments, or

opt to use their state-of-the-art kitchens.

Guests can also expect personalised concierge guidance, and once you exit the hotel onto Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Street, you can enjoy touring the heart of modern Jeddah.

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Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski’s food fiesta: food for everyone’s taste Thu, 08 Nov 2018 11:00:57 +0000 In Bab Al-Qasr we were served kabab, chicken shawarma, and grape leaves rolls stuffed with rice, which were the plates we liked the most

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while people’s cravings usually drags them into a strongly desired cuisine, having all kinds of kitchens in one place where all tastes are satisfied, is the main purpose offered by Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski people last week, at the food fiesta.

Gathering all the four different restaurants, the fancy glamorous hotel—with horizon pools—each competing to serve the best plates from its kitchen: a variation of mouth-watering food was the result dozens of people enjoyed.

The food fiesta witnessed food competitions between the chefs of the five different cuisine restaurants located in the hotel: “Bab Al-Qasr” the eastern kitchen, “Lucca” the Italian, “the State” which offers a mixed twist of European-eastern dishes; “Ramanov” the steakhouse, and “Yana” the Thai cuisine.

The light cold breeze of November, along with the warm sun, and the music of the live band and singer, created the looked-for atmosphere to spend your weekend chilling. Digging into appetisers, all sorts of seafood salads, steaks, sushi, burgers, grilled kabab, chicken sweet and sour, and risotto among many others plates, not to forget the deserts with all the colours of the rainbow, is all what is needed to satisfy all tastes and desires.    

In Bab Al-Qasr we were served kabab, chicken shawarma, and grape leaves rolls stuffed with rice, which were the plates we liked the most.

The kabab was well seasoned, slowly grilled to be served moist and tender. The chicken shawerma sandwiches are also a good choice to taste the result of mixing Arab herbs all together in a plate. For the appetisers, nothing beats the grape leaves which was served with extra lemon and with the rice well-cooked inside.

A Ramanov steak is also one of our recommendations. Served medium-well, chili barbeque sauce is one of the unique dippings to ask for. However, the steak slightly missed being extra juicy.

The State offers some of the best seafood salads and appetisers one can have. Cold shrimps dipped in sweet-chili sauce is one of our most liked appetisers of them all.

Yana also offered one-of-a-kind chicken sweet and sour, and our Asia’s most preferred and rarely found in Egypt fruits.

The served food was too much than our ability to try it all, so we might have missed even more delicious choices.

All restaurants are available for reservation at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski.

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Azza Fahmy builds silver, gold, turquoise Nubia Tue, 06 Nov 2018 13:37:33 +0000 It was not until designer came across a collection of turquoise stones during India trip, that she decided to turn her favourite destination into jewellery statement

The post Azza Fahmy builds silver, gold, turquoise Nubia appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Stories are often told eloquently with the most non-verbal methods. Jewellery, like many other forms of art, is a tool for both expression and documentation. With a strong bridge between jewellery and architecture, she has taken many trips across the two-way route, over the duration of 50 glorious years. Her designs are often given from one generation to the next, due to its vivid representation of the world, as well as its intricacy.

Azza Fahmy, a true local pride and design aficionado, has just taken a creative trip to the enigmatic Nubia. Through utilising her eye for luxury and details, the designer turned the touristic destination into a stunning eight-piece hand-crafted collection, which could be described as a true ambassador.

Inspired by the colourful architecture of Nubian houses, as well as Hassan Fathy’s old Nubia’s extensive photographic archives, this fabulous collection depicts miniature sculptural renderings which capture the smallest details seen in Nubia’s domes and artistic motifs. The wearable city is encrusted with champagne diamonds and semi-precious stones, including Turquoise and Aquamarine.

“This collection holds a very personal resonance, as the theme is reminiscent of ‘Houses of the Nile’, my very first collection, which launched my design career.  For ‘Nubia’, I was creatively drawn to the structure and characteristics of Nubian houses and those of the city. The collection artistically depicts authentic architectural details, and also includes a representation of lake Nasser, through the use of a statement irregular Turquoise stone.  It is great to be able to celebrate the city through our jewellery,” said Fahmy, with a passionate twinkle in her eyes.

Consisting of rings, earrings and necklaces, this contemporary artistic collection reveals Fahmy’s personal connection to this historical city in the south of Egypt, and echoes her successful design approach of translating cultural and historic international references to contemporary jewellery.

“I have always carried Egyptian and Sudanese blood in my veins. My father was born to an Egyptian man and a Sudanese women.” Fahmy added with a nostalgic smile “I have always remembered my grandmother as an angel, something that might explain my powerful longing for the south.”

According to the designer, Hassan Fathy, the renowned architect was in fact the first to introduce her to the exotic region during her years at university. His passion for traditional Nubian architecture and his elaborate theories on how it could be utilised in modern cosmopolitan architecture ignited Fahmy’s interest. For years after, she would still remember his analyses of local traditions, colours and domes that decorate each corner.

“Nubia is full of women, who are true artists, creatives, and advocates of beauty. I have always loved the sketches, hand painted with precision on the majority of houses. The primary flock of ducks walking through vast greenery, as well as alligators, geometric motifs and lions among others,” elaborated Fahmy regarding what captures her interest in the exceptional city.

Nevertheless, it was not until the designer came across a collection of turquoise stones during a trip to India, that she decided to turn her favourite destination into a jewellery statement. Sourced from the Tibet, the big stones capture the essence of Lake Nasser while simultaneously using gold and silver to capture the Nubian city.

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Soraya Bakhtiar: cosmopolitan blogger with Egyptian roots Wed, 31 Oct 2018 13:00:42 +0000 Her Middle-Eastern roots, unconventional upbringing, resulted in unique mixture of authenticity which can survive today’s world

The post Soraya Bakhtiar: cosmopolitan blogger with Egyptian roots appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Amidst the whirlwind of back-to-back fashion weeks, star-studded events, and unforgiving trend reports, she stands firm in her recognisable vantage point. While hashtags are thrown between pictures of significance, as well as utter randomness, her eloquent rapport with the written word is evident. Her Middle-Eastern roots and unconventional upbringing have resulted in a unique mixture of authenticity which can survive the cosmopolitan world of today.

Soraya Bakhtiar is an international blogger based in London, the UK. Nonetheless, she never gave her back to her Egyptian roots, constantly giving a nod to regional designers and local heritage. With a master’s degree in fashion journalism, from the respectful London College of Fashion, Bakhtiar comes from a long line of inspirational women, who always found a way to demonstrate their creative thoughts. Her mother is an aficionado of knitwear, her grandmother is known for her elaborate writings, and her aunt is a celebrated artist and poet.

“My love for putting outfits together has naturally led me to a career in the fashion industry.” Bakhtiar passionately added, “I have always had a thing for beautiful fabrics; meanwhile, I love discovering new design talents from across the world.” Her early steps were supported by her vast academic knowledge, which puts her a step ahead of other bloggers. According to Bakhtiar, her degree gave her credibility to report on trends. “I had a foot through the door, and this is where my blog originated from,” said the blogger cheerfully.

With an eye for fashion and art, Bakhtiar started her journey with a few sought-after internships, including publications such as Elle UK, and Tank Magazine. Nonetheless, her most evident breakthrough was joining Elie Saab’s PR team in 2013. The coveted job took her utmost attention, until she finally decided at to concentrate on her growing blog.

“Being a blogger is quite exhausting. However, at the same time it is an adventurous journey around the world. Every day you get to meet new people and discover new talents,” said the blogger about her biggest passion and current occupation. With a signature eclectic bohemian aesthetic and an appetite for colour, the blogger has already carved her niche at the centre of the competitive scene.

According to Bakhtiar, bloggers are always stereotyped as fake individuals, who are constantly on their phones. Nonetheless, she aims to reverse such mistaken ideas through focusing on what she is doing. “I ignore negative comments and cyber hate-speech most of the time. I know who I am and what my values are. Someone else’s comment cannot affect me, I learnt how to block such negative energy,” stated the blogger. 

As a proud Egyptian and Arab, Bakhtiar has always found herself driven towards Middle-Eastern talents, especially after her first trip to Dubai, the UAE. This is where she came to realise that the region currently harbours an astonishing number of fashion talents. Her current list of favourite designers includes Azza Fahmy, Mohanad Kojak, and Laila Wahba from Egypt, as well as Sandra Mansour, and Vanina from Lebanon.

Despite living in another continent, the blogger still manages to take regular trips to her homeland, as well as other cities around the Middle East. Bakhtiar recently visited the picturesque Aswan, where she managed to create fashion-fuelled content. Afterwards, her Instagram account showed her networking meetings with the country’s top fashion experts in the capital. When asked, the blogger always insists that Khan-el-Khalili is her favourite local attraction, in spite of failing to visit it during her latest trip.

With various notable collaborations with international households such as Chanel, Piaget, Topshop, Sandro, LuisaViaRoma, Net-a-Porter, and The Outnet, among others, under her belt, the blogger is currently focused on a new project that she best describes as ‘scented’. Meanwhile, she is also dedicating her time to support and lead emerging talents to their desired destinations. Her support varies between styling the brand’s visual content and providing her seasoned opinion in terms of the design development.

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Michael Kors to celebrate fall with special-edition Whitney Handbag for the Middle East Fri, 26 Oct 2018 12:00:53 +0000 This fall, Michael Kors will introduce a special-edition Whitney handbag, which will be available in branches around the Middle East

The post Michael Kors to celebrate fall with special-edition Whitney Handbag for the Middle East appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Often seen in head to toe black attire, the urban fashion designer has managed to change the way people regard casual wear around the globe. His colorful, confident and easy-going aesthetic is synonymous with the era’s contemporary rhythms. While women trust his judgment when selecting either their office or summer-break wardrobe, teenagers regard his bags as a fashion declaration of growing up.

Michael Kors is a fashion aficionado that best represent today’s fashion preferences and trends. With an increasing interest in the Middle East, the brand is set to expand its presence in the region with two new projects. This fall, Michael Kors will introduce a special-edition Whitney handbag, which will be available in branches around the Middle East. Meanwhile, they will also move their store at Dubai Mall, UAE to a new expanded location within the mall. The new flagship is set to showcase a bigger part of Michael Kors’s world.

The Whitney made its debut last summer before becoming an iconic accessory from Michael Kors. Designed as a group of 24/7, work-to-weekend bags, the Whitney combines sophisticated silhouettes with on-the-go versatility. The subtle but distinctive “M” shape on the front refers to the designer’s initial; a letter he’s been sketching since he was a child. Every bag also features a sleek, distinctive push-lock fastening with pyramid stud detailing.

On the other hand, the new Dubai flagship store is set to harbour a bigger selection of products including handbags and footwear from Michael Kors Collection as well as ready-to-wear and accessories from Michael Kors Mens.

Kors is an American designer, who has managed to bring Jackie Kennedy’s American casual chic to the new millennium. His monogram is currently a permanent resident in millions of wardrobes around the globe. Meanwhile, Michael Kors Ltd. Is on the verge of becoming the first American luxury fashion conglomerate after acquiring Jimmy Choo and Versace.

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Dusty Modern rescues beloved clothes with art Fri, 26 Oct 2018 11:00:05 +0000 Aya Hallawany is a firm believer in turning misfortune into a chance to stand out amid the boring regular

The post Dusty Modern rescues beloved clothes with art appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

While fast fashion demands more purchases and more forgotten clutter in what could already be defined as jammed wardrobes, everyone still has a limited number of pieces that are more special than any other. As some pieces are only bought to be worn once, others are allocated to special shelves, where they are kept with care and worn regularly.

Irreversible damage is a possible danger that might turn few proud owners crazy with excessive percussion. Nonetheless, stubborn stains, tears and accidental damage does not have to be the eminent end of a beloved piece of garment. Instead, it could be a reason for an art-fueled revamp. Far from trendy unified attire, personalization as a growing phenomenon is only further supported with painted art.

Aya Hallawany is a firm believer in turning misfortune into a chance to stand out amid the boring regular. The founder of Instagram account Dusty Modern, is a fashion doctor, who salvages spoiled garments through recreating famous international paintings. Through a meeting with the client, the artist manages to define a suitable artwork and technique to cover any given defect.

Her currently-booming project started when Hallawany worked on her own pair of jeans. After accidentally dropping ink on her trousers, the artist decided to remain loyal to her favorite pair and turn the stain into a painting. The excessively positive reviews, encouraged her to work on other personal items as well as clothes of friends and family members. It was not long before she decided to take regular requests a step further by establishing a service.

According to the artist, her first big collaboration happened upon a request from VECCHIO, who wanted to personalize one of their jackets. The Starry Night revamp received positive feedback from the brand and online. The artist currently exerts her effort to collaborate with her clients to reach a true personal piece of wearable art; Hallawany offers them a wide range of options, whether pop-art symbols or classic paintings.

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Rania Taymour’s new handbag collection merges beauty of past with future Sun, 14 Oct 2018 14:00:54 +0000 Most clutches tell stories through via hidden components, RT’s designs are de facto storytellers

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Made to carry daily objects, handbags are by definition an intimate accessory that can tell a lot about their owners. While most clutches tell stories via their hidden components, Rania Taymour’s designs are different, as they are the de facto storytellers. Without the need for any other elements, her designs capture the country’s most prominent cultural glimpses, through elaborate embroidery and a vast colour pallet.

RT by Rania Taymour is a true ambassador which travels with elaborate symbols of local civilisation. A designer often mixes different materials in creative methods; hence each creations has an independent personality.

Designed to suit both day and night events, RT’s clutches come in a variety of materials and colours. That said, the RT brand can best be described as a colourful merge of heritage and modernity. Along with tokens of the past, all designs embrace modern elements to balance the final result.

Made to be carried around, not stored in closets, the clutches are quite practical and worthy of memorable street style. Taymour said she often finds her inspiration in museums and exhibitions held at the countries she visits. She always designs for the contemporary woman.

Taymour is currently occupied with her upcoming FW19 collection, which is set to see light next month. Since she has not yet embraced mass production, the new collection is expected to be limited in numbers, as with her previous work.

Due to the fact that she is currently absorbed in the production of her collection, Taymour finds it a perfect timing to advocate craftsmanship, and the precision of handmade leather goods. Proud of local talents, she aims to shed more light on craftsmanship, and even attract a younger generation to support this forgotten craft.

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Balmain creates fashion-forward mummies for SS19 Sun, 14 Oct 2018 13:30:51 +0000 Olivier Rousteing inspired by most famous pharaonic monuments in Pari

The post Balmain creates fashion-forward mummies for SS19 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

At a time when humans were merely attempting to survive each day at a time, they were building a civilisation for their descendants, thousands of years in the future. Ancient Egyptians have mesmerised humans for centuries after their time, and their heritage has been celebrated through various forms of expression.

With that said, the fashion world has always been the biggest fan, and most accurate narrator. Many of the world’s most celebrated designers have competed to reinterpret this vast theme, adding their own vision to an enchanting era.

While the world’s most renowned designers have been running towards the future with minimalistic and progressive collections during Paris Fashion Week, Balmain chose to combine the past with the present. The French luxury fashion house looked to the 7000-year civilisation to visualise the summer-spring 2019 collection.

Known for magnificent tailoring and unorthodox materials, Balmain, under the creative directorship of Olivier Rousteing, turned mummies into a fashion uniform for the upcoming season. Bandages were used as an inspiration for several deconstructed dresses, certainly embracing the brand’s signature silhouettes. At the same time, the designer was also tempted by the visual identity of Heliographic patterns. Many of the collection’s show-stopping designs carried these symbols on their sleeves.

According to Rousteing, his true source of inspiration was, in fact, Paris: the “City of Lights” hosts impressive obelisks, pyramids, and columns that date back to Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt. The collection also embraces a white and black colour pallet that speaks of light and confidence.

Balmain was founded in 1945 by Pierre Balmain. After its founder, many designers have served as creative director of the Parisian luxury house, notably Oscar De La Renta. Rousteing arrived to the coveted position in 2011. His work has successfully managed to bring the brand closer to a younger audience, and revive its legacy.

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Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding redefines beauty, charms audience Sun, 14 Oct 2018 13:00:28 +0000 As the tradition goes, the designers' identity was not revealed until the princess stepped out from the chapel. Eugenie flaunted a few of dresses in previous occasions. In this special occasion, she relied on the duo to make her dream gown.

The post Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding redefines beauty, charms audience appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

For the second time this year, the world’s attention was directed towards the royal Windsor Castle in Berkshire, South East England. After a highly followed relationship, Eugenie, daughter of the queen’s third child, the Duchess of York, tied the knot with wine merchant Jack Brooksbank in a fairytale-like ceremony. The bride charmed the international audience with a classic ball gown, designed by British designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.

As the tradition goes, the designers’ identity was not revealed until the princess stepped out from the chapel. Eugenie flaunted a few of dresses in previous occasions. In this special occasion, she relied on the duo to make her dream gown.

According to both the palace and designers, the princess specifically asked for a low back dress. During an interview ahead of the wedding, Eugenie said that she wanted to reveal her scars from surgery she underwent to correct scoliosis when she was 12.

“I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it’s really special to stand up for that,” she told the Daily Mail. As for the rest of the fabric, the designers managed to weave expressive motifs that paid homage to the couple’s background.

“Thistle for Scotland acknowledging the couple’s fondness for Balmoral, a Shamrock for Ireland as a nod to the Bride’s Ferguson family, the York Rose and ivy representing the couple’s home,” the palace said in a press release.

“Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have reinterpreted these symbols in a garland of rope-like motifs, woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton, and viscose blend,” the palace added.

The true cherry on top was the 1919 Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which has been lent to Eugenie by the Queen. It is “made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side,” stated the royal family.

Eugenie also wore diamond and emerald drop earrings, which are a wedding gift from Brooksbank. As for her footwear, the princess chose peep-toe high heels by Charlotte Olympia.

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Kazoku, fresh take on Egypt’s fine dining scene Thu, 11 Oct 2018 20:00:49 +0000 Expertly developed menu, high-end ambience surprisingly relaxing, selection of hot and cold starters, prime cut steaks, signature dishes, sushi, drinks come in separate menu

The post Kazoku, fresh take on Egypt’s fine dining scene appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

They had me at “King Crab leg.”

That was just the first of the palate-tingling adventures at Kazoku, with a fresh take on contemporary Japanese dining, one can’t argue with the fact that Kazoku brought something new to Egypt’s fine dining scene.

Located in New Cairo, the first thing you notice about the place is it its sleek, modern, minimalist design. Once you pass through the inviting bar area — with its sleek counters lit from within, cosy seating areas — only to be brought down at the sight of a dark light, spacious dining salon, dominated by different shades of brown.

The menu is expertly developed, and the high-end ambience is surprisingly relaxing, with a selection of hot and cold starters, prime cut steaks, signature dishes, while the sushi and drinks both come in a separate menu.

Once seated, we found ourselves under the care of a server who did the place proud, blending finely tuned professionalism with a disarming warmth.

We decided to start with the “Tataki Tenderloin”, and the Alaskan king crab leg, as an entree.

The tataki was seared, covered with soy almonds, along with a Kosho Goma dressing. The dressing is a mixture of the nutty flavour of roasted sesame seeds and the yuzu citrus, accompanied with the intense spiciness of green hot chilli peppers.

While the king crab legs were spectacular, having a sweet tender meat with a succulent flavour is sure to impress. The king crab leg meat is the whole point, as it is meant to be the sweetest and the best, the Bugatti of the shellfish world.

In theory, steak is one of those things that seems very hard to get wrong, however, that’s not the case in Cairo, as finding a place that cooks the perfect steak isn’t an easy task. But Kazoku managed to change that, and now I can confidently say that my search for a perfect restaurant to take people who think they can make a better steak at home, is complete.

The best thing about the place is the fact that they also cook the meat the way you actually order it, so if you order medium-well, that’s what you’re going to get, which is pretty rare around Cairo. Additionally, the large wine collection, including local, and imported red, white, and rose wines, to accompany your steak, was an extremely delightful experience.

We ordered one of Kazoku’s main dishes, seared beef tenderloin steak, and an amazingly cooked steak was placed in the centre of the table in their own serving plates. Our eyes locked in on the crispy brown flesh of the steak with fixed and purposeful stares that, if we had not been humans looking at food, could have been called lustful.

The steak was cooked with miso butter, which is a fermented seasoning paste of soybeans, often with rice or barley added, and was accompanied by wasabi hollandaise sauce.

Finally, dessert seemed a bit too far, we decided to order one photogenic Asian-inspired sweet, matcha lava cake, where Matcha green tea is mixed with white chocolate to create delicate cakes with a molten lava centre. It was served with a scoop of matcha ice cream, but the dessert is so rich, it’s enjoyable on its own.

All in all, it was a remarkable experience, its a new addition to Egypt’s gastronomy scene, the place is considered a fancy restaurant, and comes with a high price tag, a dinner for two including drinks, and dessert, would cost on average between EGP2000 to EGP 3000.

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Cairo Design Award to feature Egypt’s talented designers Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:30:32 +0000 Panel includes elite judges, Azza Fahmy, Amr Helmy, Tarek Naga, Onsi Abou Seif, Karim Mekhtigian

The post Cairo Design Award to feature Egypt’s talented designers appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

On Monday, a group consisting of Egypt’s most talented designers gathered as a judging panel, to decide the final line-up of awards, for the 2018 Cairo Design Award (CDA).

For its second edition, the CDA is looking to shed further light on Egypt’s most impressive designers, across six different categories including architecture, landscaping, interior design, set design, jewellery design, and product design.

The panel includes elite judges such as Azza Fahmy, Amr Helmy, Tarek Naga, Onsi Abou Seif, and Karim Mekhtigian, who sat to agree upon the final line-up of winners to be announced on 13 October.

The CDA’s first edition was inaugurated last year when the Mahdy Group established the concept, looking to fill a gap in the market, by creating a platform designed to highlight the achievements, and successes, of both established, and promising Egyptian designers.

For this year’s edition, the award ceremony will be complemented with a 3-day exhibition, which will be hosted from the 11 to the 13 of October, at the Nile Ritz Carlton.

“We are very excited about the potential awards line-up, we have such great design talent in Egypt, and we are so proud to be able to highlight the unique talent we have here. We are keen to shed light both locally and internationally, on the exceptional work and products that these designers have to offer, and a big part of what we are looking to do is support them in developing the international recognition and awareness they deserve. Egypt has an immense pool of design talent, and with the right exposure we have a real opportunity to lead the international community in this field.” Hisham Mahdy, founder of CDA, and CEO of Mahdy Group, said.

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Dawn: a triumph for hand-lasted footwear in digital age Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:00:18 +0000 "Our main mantra is ‘Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last,’ says designer

The post Dawn: a triumph for hand-lasted footwear in digital age appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

In a factory far east of the globe, sits an inhumane number of artisans— their eyes are focused on the work at hand, but their minds wander elsewhere. One after the other, copies of the same piece comes to life. None of them is authentic, nor will they last long given their quality.

Once they hit the shelves on the other side of the world, they will fly away due to their unbelievably affordable price tags. However, they will not be seen around the city for long, as their shine will soon wear off, and they will come undone in just a few months. Unaware of how their new purchases came to life, the lined shoppers remain faithful to the same short-term cycle of consumption.

Fast fashion is a threat, which looms over the head of artisanal crafts, leather goods, and high-end fashion. Meanwhile, it is also the second most dangerous polluter, after the oil industry. With many activists fighting against the vicious danger, and more literature unfolding this reality, a few ethical-fashion designers around the world are trying to stir millennials toward hand-made goods.

Hagar Fattah is a local advocate, who believes in the importance of supporting local craftsmanship, and creating pieces that can last a lifetime. Through turning her infatuation with footwear to a bespoke ethical brand, Fattah is offering the local industry an ethical alternative to poor-quality replicas.

Her brand, Dawn, specialises in bespoke pieces made from genuine leather, with the utmost attention to details. With each piece made for a specific client, comfort is not a question, rather a core brand value.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Fattah to discuss her lifelong dreams, her drive to revive the local footwear industry, and her formula to ensure quality and comfort. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity: 

What inspired you to start this brand?

I decided in 2015 that I want to pursue my passion and utilise my obsession with footwear in my everyday work. However, my plan did not aim to create any regular footwear; instead, I was looking for comfort, intricate execution, and high quality. Therefore, I was always determined to use natural materials, and depend on handmade techniques. Furthermore, natural beauty, and vintage simplicity have always been my main inspiration.

Why did you choose to specialise in footwear?

I have always been a fan of this type of footwear, and it has always been difficult to find in any local Egyptian brand. This often forced me to look elsewhere during any of my trips; accordingly, I used to get them from bespoke shoe-making brands in Italy and India, and they usually came with crazy price tags. 

After many of those quests, I decided to change my career from finance and banking to footwear, in order to do so, I began building on this passion by taking some specialised professional courses.

In 2015, fuelled by determination and passion, I decided that it was time to bring this dream to reality, by owning my own footwear brand. I was committed to establishing Egypt’s first bespoke footwear brand specialised in natural handmade products. Meanwhile, I also had the vision to take this industry in Egypt to the next level.

How did you turn your dream into one of the country’s most promising up and coming brand?

I started by devouring any information about the leather industry in Egypt, as well as the Egyptian handmade shoe-making industry. However, sadly, I found out that those two important industries do not get neither the needed support, nor the appreciation they deserve from the country.

Nonetheless, that did not stop me from achieving my aspiration. I kept looking for talented Egyptian shoe-making artisans, especially those who are evidently passionate about their craft. After a thorough search, I finally found some of them.

In the beginning, I found difficulty in convincing those artisans with what I wanted to achieve for my brand, as well as my dream to turn the local industry into a real contender on the global map. I have always believed that our local talented artisans deserve international recognition, however, they need the right support, and good leadership. 

How would you define your brand’s aesthetic?

All of Dawn’s pieces are inspired by nature, captured in our earthy colour pallets. Meanwhile, it also gives a nod to vintage simplicity. Finally, authenticity is also a big source of inspiration for me.

Where do you source your leather from?

We only use premium natural leather for our shoes— from the soles to the uppers—our suppliers are distributed between Italy and the rest of Europe. Recently we have started to use vegetable-tanned leather, which we are going to use widely in the upcoming collections.

Where do you manufacture your designs? How big is your workshop in terms of headcount?

We now have our own studio in Maadi, and we are working on opening our store very soon. Our workshop consists of dozens of talented Egyptian shoemakers, who descend from a long line of artisans with generations of experience. We also have young co-workers. I always make sure that our head-office is run by creative minds, including a marketing team, finance department, and digital specialists.

Why are you keen on being a hand-lasted brand?

Our main mantra is ‘Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last’. Buying less, choosing high quality, and investing in possibly higher prices, is absolutely worthwhile, and wise, especially when you look at the long-term benefits.

Why have not you tackled high heels so far?

It is not our target right now, as we want those heels to be just as comfortable as our current mules and sliders, and this is not an easy mission because it requires specific know-how and special standards. Nonetheless, we are already working on this step currently, and we will release our high-heel designs within the next ‘FW 2019’ collection.

How does Dawn reflect your keenness for ethical fashion?

Our pieces are ethically made with our love of nature, as we use only natural materials. Furthermore, they are not mass produced. Dawn is a slow fashion brand that cares about quality, materials, and manufacturing method (hand-lasted method). These factors are more important for us than selling lots of pieces with low quality.

Every single piece at Dawn is created by creative Egyptian minds, and talented hands. We have also made sure that we provide our workers with fair wages, and to never take advantage of their talents, without fully appreciating them.

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Maison Pyramide and Coveteur celebrates promising talents at PFW Wed, 03 Oct 2018 12:30:30 +0000 First international engagement of Coveteur shed light on most anticipated up-and-coming contemporary, avant-garde, ready-to-wear, accessory brands

The post Maison Pyramide and Coveteur celebrates promising talents at PFW appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

September is known as the fashion month for many reasons, such as the back-to-back runway spectacles at the world’s top fashion capitals, as well as the shower of new collections, and glittering events. Just in time for the fiesta, Maison Pyramide, the Showroom and Coveteur, joined forces to celebrate new talents by hosting a cocktail reception. Peppered with celebrated fashion figures and connoisseurs, the first international engagement of Coveteur shed light on the most anticipated up-and-coming contemporary and avant-garde ready-to-wear and accessory brands.

“Coveteur has evolved and expanded with a new voice and a behind-the-scenes look at a new kind of luxury constantly profiling emerging designers and trends from around the world. Maison Pyramide was a natural fit for our first international event during the Paris Fashion Week (PFW) to showcase this rising talent,” said Founder and Creative Director of Coveteur, Jake Rosenberg.

Determined to position their seasonal Showroom as a launchpad to the region’s most prominent design talents, Maison Pyramide co-founders Giovanina Atieh and Nathalie Mroue believe that Coveteur is the perfect partner. “Coveteur is the go-to-source and advocate of fresh talent in all fields.” The co-founders added, “this is where our platforms meet and complement one another within this collaboration.”

The attendees—who flocked to The Showroom on Rue Royale—included Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia and Head of Vogue Talents, Sara Maino, Condé Nast General Director of Sales and Marketing Francesca Airoldi, Vogue Arabia Editor-in-Chief EIC Manuel Arnaut, Group Fashion Buying Director of Harvey Nichols Laura Larbalestier, American Model Larsen Thompson, Connoisseurs Caroline Daur, Xenia Adonts, Jessica Kahawaty, Gala Gonzalez, and Karen Wazen among many others. 

The setup featured a chimney top dripping with Lako Bukia, Liase, Ammanii and L’atelier Nawbar jewellery, tables and podiums set up for a feast of the croche bags and mules by Tara Zadeh, Yosuzi, Okhtein x and Zyne. The place was overflowing with mannequins showcasing the latest ready-to-wear collections by Azzi and Osta, Thym, Nafsika Skourti, and Silvia Astore.

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Azza Fahmy celebrates opening new store in Gouna Wed, 26 Sep 2018 12:00:22 +0000 The new store feature displays of the brand's most memorable cinematic placements

The post Azza Fahmy celebrates opening new store in Gouna appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The worlds of cinema and fashion have always shared strong connections. From movie stars, who continuously start global trends to fashion designers following the lead of movie makers. Jewellery pioneer, Azza Fahmy, has always occupied a centre position in both worlds.

The notorious aficionado has recently celebrated the opening of yet another store. Just in time for the annual Gouna Film Festival, Egypt’s most recognised jewellery brand arrived at the resort town with a pop-up boutique. Designed by Meryem Ziget of MStudio, the interiors reflect a filmic approach and is inspired by the life of movie directors, who collect memories throughout the years. 

The new store feature displays of the brand’s most memorable cinematic placements.  During a walk through the boutique, visitors come face to face with imagery and memorabilia from iconic Egyptian movies. One of the most prominent tokens on display is the entire jewellery wardrobe created for the Egyptian star Soad Hosny in her movie Shafika w Metwally, as well as the ensembles created for Youssef Shahin’s El-Mohager starring Yousra and Mahmoud Hemeda. 

The store space is creatively engaging as visitors are invited to be interactive with experimentation stations. The store harbours a collaborative studio, where guests can utilise the present photo booth to add their Polaroid images to the display along with personal written notes. 

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Authentique empowers authentic fashion through technology Wed, 26 Sep 2018 11:30:24 +0000 ‘Authentique is the first e-commerce platform, which empowers local Canadian and Egyptian designers to showcase their products through a 3D virtual fitting room,’ says founder

The post Authentique empowers authentic fashion through technology appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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.

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Samrqan Noodles, Chinese food with Middle Eastern twist Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:00:03 +0000 The first thing that you notice about the place is the minimalist design, unlike most of the authentic Chinese, and Asian restaurant that you usually see in Cairo, but what really makes Samrqan Noodles standout is the fact that it offers something that most Cairo’s Chinese places lack; variety

The post Samrqan Noodles, Chinese food with Middle Eastern twist appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

There is a kind of doubt that keeps striking me when trying a new Chinese restaurant: a fear that hits, however carefully I read the menu, however much I plot and asses the various deliciously-looking dishes against each other, I’m still going to fail to get the best out of the place.

As it happens we ate brilliantly at Samrqan Noodles, which lurks in a literal offshoot of road 233’s famed Asian cuisine. Even so, the feeling that I didn’t do it justice didn’t go away. As we admitted defeat, setting with full stomachs after devouring all that we got our hands on, a dish passed by us full of beautifully arranged, bronzed crinkly things en route to another table occupied by a Chinese family.

Though I usually don’t agree with the notion that a good Chinese place is one full of Chinese people, in the back of my mind I couldn’t shake the sense that this lot knew things.

The first thing that you notice about the place is the minimalist design, unlike most of the authentic Chinese, and Asian restaurant that you usually see in Cairo, but what really makes Samrqan Noodles standout is the fact that it offers something that most Cairo’s Chinese places lack; variety. Most people—I myself did once—tend to think of Chinese food as one type of cuisine. But in reality, there are plenty of distinct regional cuisines of China.

The restaurant specialise in the food of the Uyghur ethnic minority from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in Northwest China.

Xinjiang, which is located in China’s northwest edge, borders Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Throughout history, it was the link on the Silk Road between the Middle East and Asia, as a result, much of the food of the region can be considered as a Chinese-Middle Eastern blend.

When it comes to noodles, in Samarqan, you can find not only standard Chinese noodles, but also thick, chewy Uyghur noodles too, as well as few things similar to ramen, which makes sense, as one of the region’s most famous dishes is its hand-pulled noodles, made through a laborious process of rolling then pulling wheat dough until it achieves the desired length, stretch, and texture.

When we received the menu, it was a picture album with about 80 different photos of salads, lamb, chicken, meat, fish, shrimp, noodles, and soup dishes offered.

We decided to try the “Fire Works” noodles, and the usual stir-fried Chinese beef noodles, however, we were puzzled over five more noodle dishes that combine lamb, hand-pulled noodles, and vegetables, but with subtle differences, different veggies, different sauces, different sizes, and shapes of the same noodle.

When the dish came—in a very fair portion—the “Fire Works” was short and tensile noodles, tossed with smoky squiggles of beef and red and green pepper strips that have been stir-fried to the perfect tenderness.

While the stir-fried wasn’t as distinguished, long noodles—perhaps too long—mostly elastic, however it didn’t have a very strong flavour, but nevertheless benefit from the rest of the mix, including a sprinkle of sesame seeds, beef, and pepper.

You can’t really say that you tried a Chinese place, without ordering dumplings, the restaurant offer authentic ones, that are coaxed from the same dough. Dumplings come seven crimped buns to a plate. Inside the steamed purses of joy, there are ground beef, and a bit of onion.

From the seafood specials we chose shrimps with spicy sauce, which came in a plate full of golden shrimps, with dried hot chilli peppers, dazzled in a light spicy sauce, the shrimps were full of flavour, but if you aren’t a spicy food fan, you will have to miss this one out.

Saving the best for the last, XinJiang lamb chops called lamb chops kang way on the menu as dish descriptions go, braised lamb ribs with thick brown sauce is never going to win a literary prize. But this time, it was accurate: the dish arrived with a large lump of animal on the bone under a blanket of something brown and sticky. It was an umami bomb, a huge slap of something both intense, full of flavour, savoury and, to be more precise, extremely mouth-watering. With every bite a sharper hit of flavour came from the juicy barbecued jewels of lamb chops, showered with ground salt, chilli and cumin, to be eaten within seconds of arrival, as the fat was still running.

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Lou addresses a global audience at LFW Sun, 16 Sep 2018 14:00:49 +0000 Edgy silhouettes, prints, casual flair, fine lines, luxury, athletic wear, ‘Athluxury’ concept

The post Lou addresses a global audience at LFW appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Living in a cosmopolitan city often enforces a certain sense of time, modernity, and speed that might not be found anywhere else. Surrounded by skyscrapers and hundreds of unfamiliar dialects, her brand is a global message to young women around the globe.

With a rainbow of patterns, minimal fabrics, and contemporary cuts, her designs are a representation of today’s fast-paced world. Fashion designer Hebatullah Essawy has not only found her entryway towards reaching female global citizens through the unified power of design, but she has also embarked on her mission to truly invade the world.

Essawy took her ready-to-wear brand LOU on a trip to London, in order to meet the seasonal audience of London’s Fashion Week (LFW) from the 14 till the 18 of September. After winning over clients between her home town, Cairo, and her current city of residence, Dubai, the designer’s revamped brand identity and new collection is already making waves in the fashion capital.

Lou was launched in 2016, and during its early years, the brand was constricted to a much smaller scale. Nevertheless, she managed to expand her presence and gain the interest of several retailers between Cairo and Dubai. It was not before 2018 that LOU managed to unveil a new brand visual identity and start following an ambitious plan to open up markets.

Lou could be best defined as a young brand with a tendency for edgy silhouettes, show-stopping prints, and casual flair. Inspired by the fine lines between luxury, and athletic wear, the designer is based on the concept of “Athluxury”.

Essawy was born in Egypt before her family moved to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates during her teenage years in 2000. Today, the designer still resides in Dubai with her husband and two sons.

The designer acquired fashion design certifications from both the London College of Fashion and Esmod Dubai before launching LOU and celebrating three successful collections. Her designs are currently available at Hype Egypt, Zag Store, and Pop Up Shop in Egypt, as well as Urbanist Store in Dubai. Meanwhile, LOU is also available online through

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Les Miniatures joins Shanina Shaik for tour around New York City Sun, 16 Sep 2018 13:00:52 +0000 ‘We were absolutely thrilled, when we spotted Shanina looking stunning with her Curvella!’ says designing duo

The post Les Miniatures joins Shanina Shaik for tour around New York City appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Strutting through the streets of New York, she turns asphalt into red carpets and sidewalks into runways. Her figure might have already complemented the masterpieces of the world’s leading fashion tycoons; however, it is only during her morning trips around the city that she truly narrates her most intimate stories.

Known for owning the glamorous life of luxury and fashion; meanwhile, she is often greeted for her continuous contributions to support women and pay tribute to their inspiring strength. Shanina Shaik is a millennial poster star of many successful campaigns and fashion collections. With ancestors between Australia and Pakistan, the 27 year old beauty is a true global citizen.

The A list model is often trailed by paparazzi as well as a number of devoted fans, who keep up with her daily online interactions. Furthermore, she has been followed by the world’s leading publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and many more for her extraordinary beauty, as well as Islamic upbringing. With 1.3 million followers on Instagram, Shaik’s personal choices and career adventures are always regarded with importance and attention. Accordingly, it was not an ordinary day when she decided to go out to the big apple carrying a home-grown mini bag!

Farah Yasser and Hanna Hazem woke up to a path-changing surprise few weeks ago, when the super model took one of their mini creations for a tour around New York. From a casual morning walk to a night with her friends and even an event, Shaik made it clear that the girls’ small bran-child is her newest favourite companion.

Les Miniatures is Yasser and Hazem’s love letter to mini bags—something they have been passionate about since a very young age. The life-long best friends founded their brand in Egypt to pursue their passion and spread art through small bags. After a number of memorable designs and a growing base of clients, the duo managed to put their brand on the regional radar.

With that said, their early steps on the global scene are currently associated with none other than Shaik herself. The Curvella bag is currently their most popular design with an unstoppable stream of requests and inquiries pouring from all sides of the globe.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with the two best friends to know more about the ripple effects of this remarkable celebrity placement, how they found their way to one of the world’s most coveted models and how they plan to build on this opportunity. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How did her IG posts reflect on your brand? Sales, awareness, social media buzz, etc?

We have definitely seen a buzz after Shanina’s posts, the impact we have seen after her posts was astonishing. We have always been huge fans of Shanina; but, we have never contemplated the boost of followers and exposure, which we could get because of her—it is always a reassurance that social media is definitely a huge part to the brand’s success. We are definitely very lucky to stumble upon such a massive opportunity along the way.

How would you describe Shanina Shaik?

We feel that her style inspiration comes from Rihanna’s style; a person that goes beyond the trends and rather set her own the trends all by herself. We look up to her diversified attitude towards her personal choices—whether it is a cool laid-back morning outfit, or something that she puts together to attend a sophisticated and chic night out.

In addition, Shanina is a feminist herself; her idea of style revolves around indulging in the concept of women empowerment through wardrobe, as well as advocating the strength and beauty of women’s body, which is very appealing to us as well as our target audience.

What does your brand have in common with Shanina?

Both Shanina and Les Miniatures adopt an edgy style, we think this is one of the reasons Shanina liked our bags in the first place.

How did this opportunity come along your way? Did you reach out to her or was it organic?

Our PR agency Flare PR reached out to Chloe Bartoli (Shanina’s stylist), whom we always wished to work with. We were lucky enough that she was interested in our bags and highly welcomed utilising them in styling her high-profile clients on the long run.

With that said, we were not expecting to see such results this soon. Therefore, we were absolutely thrilled, when we spotted Shanina looking stunning with her Curvella! We certainly cannot wait to see how Chloe plans to use our bags more in the future.

How far has celebrity placement reflected on the success of your brand?

So far, we have been seeing a noticeable increase in the number of people interested in Shanina’s bag and inquiring about it. This also apply on evident international interest and inquiries not just local hype.

If you can choose any other celebrity, who would you love to see carrying your bags?

We would definitely love to see Blake Lively styling one of our bags one day!

Where is the brand currently available?

Our brand has always been based in Egypt since the very beginning; but, with some luck and a lot of hard work, we are focused on expanding globally sooner than you might think!

The post Les Miniatures joins Shanina Shaik for tour around New York City appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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