Egypt Fashion Week’s Inaugural Edition Wraps Up with Resounding Success
The first-ever Egypt Fashion Week held under the auspices of the Ministry of Planning & Economic Development, The Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities and the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, that took place from May 12th to 15th set a new standard for fashion in Egypt aiming to cement its place within the regional and international fashion week calendar.
The four-day extravaganza organized by the non-profit Egyptian Fashion & Design Council and speared by EFDC council members Susan Sabet and Paul Antaki, and co-produced by Creative Headz Austria that brought 15 years of fashion week organization to the table, was a veritable feast for fashion enthusiasts, featuring a range of captivating fashion shows, exhibitions and industry talks that brought together the best and brightest talents from Egypt and gave local fashion enthusiasts the opportunity to rub shoulders with international industry giants from the field of design, craftsmanship, education, sustainability, media, production and finance.
At the VIP opening night guests were treated to the first ever fashion show within the halls of the Egyptian Museum downtown, featuring established and emerging Egyptian designers curated by American stylist Julie Matos followed by a gala dinner created by Egypt’s star chef Karim AbdelRahman of Avec Karim. No effort was spared to introduce the international guests to a true Egyptian luxury experience including the magical table decorations created by Egypt Fashion Week creative director Alia El Tanani of Don Tanani and Lamia Hassanein of Tanis. Solo acts by renowned artists Bash and Harfoush set the mood for a contemporary oriental night. A special collaboration by famous Egyptian designer Hany El Behairy and artist Hossam Dirar resulted in a couture gown that graced the entrance.
On May 13th and 14th the Agriculture Museum of Egypt, opened its doors for Egypt Fashion Week after five years of extensive renovations. After the Museum of Agriculture of Budapest, the second most important museum of its kind in the world showcased runway shows and exhibitions of over 70 Egyptian fashion, accessory and jewelry designers and Egyptian and international fashion councils, schools and organizations.
Among the special installations, Filmar Group, the market leader in yarn production showcased a collection of clothes and yarns tracing the official Egypt Fashion Week title “The Past, Present, and Future”.
What truly positioned the event as an international fashion week format was the talks of industry leaders that kicked off with the opening speech of Imran Amed, Founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion. In his conversation with moderator Malak Fouad from What I did Next podcast, the “most influential man in the fashion industry” as he is referred to, talked about his career, pioneering spirit and emerging markets.
Highlighting the vital role of councils and support systems, Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Saudi
Fashion Commission, Susan Sabet, EFDC Founding members, Shirene Rifai , Jordan Fashion Week, Sarah Hermez, Creative Space Beirut and Omoyemi Akerele of Lagos Fashion Week, guided the audience through the different models and support structure of each organization.
The panel on the importance of formal education brought together Azza Fahmy, founder of The Design Studio by AF and Aida Zayed of the Fashion Design Center along with Adrien Roberts, Accademia Costume e Moda, Shivang Dhruva, FAD Dubai and Celine Bailley, Mod’Art Paris.
Khaled Schumann of the Cotton Egypt Association and EFDC President Paul Antaki shared valuable information on the history and present and future plans of the Egyptian cotton industry, while Piera Solinas of the Filmar Group, Marie Bishara, AECE and and Delphine Clement of the International Trade Center Geneva shared their thoughts on fabric innovation and sustainability.
Max Abuleish, Sekem, Manal Olama, Egyptian Clothing Bank, Yara Yassin, Upfuse and Mai Kassem, Sustainable Fashion Alliance MENA spoke about the challenges and current status and plans of sustainable practices in the Egyptian fashion and textile industry.
Insights on the mission of The Unlock Her Future Prize in Support of Women Social
Entrepreneurs of the MENA Region was shared by Chantal Khoueiry, Chief Culture Officer, The Bicester Collection, Dr.Iman Bibars, Founder Ashoka Arab World and Prof. Jemima Frimpong , NYU Abu Dhabi and one of the prizewinners Nuhayr Zein of Leukeather.
Start-ups looking for investment were given pointers by Nevine El Tahri, Chairperson Delta Shield of Investment, Ola Dajani, Tiye Angels, and Hanaa El Hilaly, Alkheir Microfinance.
Desiree Bollier, CEO Value Retail, Paul Antaki CEO Consolidated Retail and Mohamed Talaat, VP and CEO Concrete Egypt shared their strategies on positioning and the customer experience within the broad sector from high street to luxury brands and local to international.
On a mission to keep craftsmanship alive Alia El Tanani, Don Tanani , Margarita Andrade, Threads of Hope, Daki Marouf, Sabry Marouf and Lamia Hassanein, Tanis shared their respective journeys and activities in the field.
The regional media was on top of their game, from an insight of the journey of Vogue Arabia and Editor in Chief Manuel Arnaut, to a conversation between Jamila Halfichi , Asharq Al Awsat, Zainab Alabdulrazzaq, 3Oud.com, Susan Sabet, Pashion and Bilal Al Arabi, Rotana, spanning from newspaper and magazine publishing to online to TV.
Khanyi Mashimbye of Afreximbank, Delphine Clement GTEX/ITC talked about their respective initiatives on a mission to connect the Continent through fashion.
Food in fashion, the conversation between Egyptian star chef Karim Abdel Rahman. of Avec Karim and Richard Pestour of Pestour Communication Paris, took the audience to a lighter side.
Tiktok content creator Yasmine Ebeid highlighted the profound impact the digital space has had on the fashion industry.
Special EFW treats included workshops by the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy, on the spot, complimentary hand crafted and initialized leather bracelets by Egypt’s legendary leather manufacturer Georges Sara,a shoe making workshop by Fardia Eid, and live trunk shows by Cairo Design District.
On May 15th , Egypt Fashion Week moved to Mall of Arabia for a unique pop-up to give everyone a chance to shop their favorite designers off the runway, and listen to stylists Julie Matos, Sahar & Maissa Azab, Mai Galal and Farah Baky giving tips and pointers. A live makeup tutorial by Lancome gave beauty enthusiasts the low-down on the latest beauty trends. Due to the tremendous turnout of guests, Mall of Arabia offered to extend the pop up for a further two days.
Overall, the success of the first edition of Egypt Fashion Week was truly extraordinary and bodes well for the future of the fashion industry in Egypt and beyond. With such an impressive start, it’s clear that Egypt Fashion Week is set to become one of the premier fashion events in the region, attracting the attention of fashionistas and designers alike.
The event was supported by
Logistics partner LaunchMetrics
Official entertainment partner TikTok
Official Communication partner Hype
Production partner Snap14 Production
Fashion show partner F2F Agency
Make-up partner Lancome Egypt
Hair partner Al Sagheer Salons
BMW, Mall of Arabia, Banque Misr, Afreximbank, Premium Card, US Embassy, Filmar Group, Concrete, ITC/GTEX , AECE
Lifestyle, Hospitality & F&B partners
Semiramis InterContinental, Chateau de Granville, Don Tanani, Avec Karim, Tanis, Daghash,
Kahhal Looms, Ariika, Leopelle, Shutter Studio, 3 Brothers, Lyfe, Max Burger, Lobster Kitchen, Sekem
“Filmar, which has always promoted sustainable fashion, has decided to participate at the first edition of Egypt Fashion Week, with a series of initiatives to celebrate Egyptian cotton and its importance to sustainable fashion.
Among the planned activities, the company has organized a small exhibition at the Cotton Museum of Cairo, with a collection of cloths and yarns tracing the theme “Past, Present, and Future of Egyptian Cotton in Fashion”.
Also new is the announced reprinting of the book “The Cotton Museum of Cairo,” which the company had sponsored and published ten years ago. The book, a tribute to the Cotton Museum in Cairo, offers a unique photographic report and compendium on cotton, recounting the white gold in all its dimensions: from botany to cultivation and processing techniques, from geographical maps of cotton routes to social history, with period photos, textile artifacts, documents, manuscripts, and detailed models. The reprint of the book will be free of charge and will be available to those who request it.
In addition, the contents of the book are available online at http://thecottonmuseum.com. Filmar’s participation in Egypt Fashion Week demonstrates the company’s continued focus on sustainable fashion and the importance of raw materials in creating high-quality and sustainable textile garments. All planned activities are an additional tribute to Egyptian cotton, its land and its people.”
Michelle Marzoli, Marketing Communication, Filmar
“We at Don Tanani have been working very seriously for the past 5 years on elevating hand craft and empowering crafts people in Egypt
We support major cultural events that impact the community of design and craft be it in fashion such as the Egypt Fashion week or Art such as Art D’Egypt
this gives us the opportunity to connect with like minded people from around the world and to work with local craft and the people behind them to better understand what are their constraints and discover how can we help elevate while making sure we are giving our international guests curated taste of Egyptian life style.
Don Tanani is a life style brand that Makes Design in Egypt seeking to elevate Egyptian product to great new heights and we truly believe that without elevating and nurturing hand craft our goals will never be achieved and our positive impact on this community will never be reached Women empowerment is a very important topic for us too but never the less without giving these amazing women in design and craft the tools and resources to work on elevating their product we will never reach the quality we strive
A manifestation like EFW helps connect and expose the local design and craft community with the international market and puts us all on the map” Alia El Tanani, Founder Don Tanani
“As the 4th generation at Georges Sara, we continue our tradition of the finest craftsmanship and design. Our maison’s history that dates back to 1905 is unmatched in the local market. Being part of Egypt Fashion Week is a must for us and we are proud to showcase the evolution of our brand throughout years and know-how and quality. “ Sara El Chayeb, Georges Sara