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Aya Afify: In Memoriam

Cairo's fashion scene was shocked to lose young avant garde designer Aya Afify this past weekend. Here some of her friends and colleagues pay tribute.

Yesterday Cairo was rocked by the sudden passing of one of the city’s most prominent local designers, Aya Afify. The designer, who stepped onto the sartorial scene in 2013, was always a trailblazer in the fashion field, consistently turning out beautiful new collections that captured the hearts of style setters. But it was not only her designs that left a mark on the city, but the woman herself, who left an indelible impact on those around her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends, and as the city mourns her, we spoke to some who knew the young creator to remember her time here. Some knew her well, some worked with her, some knew her only in passing; but everyone shared the sentiment that she was as talented as she was kind hearted and would be remembered through both her work and the positive energy she spread to those around her.

Kiki Ismail, Makeup artist

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with her, and she had great positive energy and was always smiling and that is how I will always remember her; smiling. She had a distinctive voice, just like her designs and her beautiful personality. May she rest in peace.

Salma Abu Deif, Model

We worked together once and honestly all I can say is she was an angel on earth, a beautiful heart who spread good vibes everywhere. Once I heard the news, I couldn’t comprehend it at the beginning. One moment she was living among us and then the next moment we lost her; I couldn’t hold back my tears. What a loss to the world, not only to the fashion world. May her soul rest in peace, she is in heaven Inshallah.

 

Malak El Husseiny, Musician

I met Aya twice when we had agreed to collaborate on her last Spring/Summer 15 collection entitled 'Enchanted'. We both had a vision of bringing fashion, music, and art together in a way that was creatively inspiring for the both of us. I guess I could say I saw my music in her fashion and she saw her fashion in my music, if that makes any sense. Before we got together on this project, I had always admired her work silently through social media, appreciating her distinct vision that manifested through her works in texture, colour, cuts, and overall artistic direction. And when she contacted me for that collaboration I was shocked...I thought maybe she was admiring my work from a distance too and that the universe wanted to bring both our worlds together...

It was amazing working with her, and although this little amount of time I spent knowing Aya wasn't enough for me to know her on a personal level, she was that type of person you'd feel like you've known forever. She had always made me feel comfortable in our work together, giving me space for my creative input and being understanding and open to anything even though it was clearly new to the both of us to be doing a project like that.

That day when I first met Aya, her voice was completely gone so I asked her if she was sick. She told me she'd been dealing with complications in her vocal chords and being a singer myself and dealing with stuff like that on a daily basis I think I was the only one who actually got what she was going through at the time. I related to her and she related to me... and although I've only met her twice I feel like we had a uniquely powerful connection as creative individuals.

I am honoured to have worked with her on her last collection, and I can genuinely say that knowing Aya and being a part of her vision and work really affected me in a positive way and on a personal level. Other than the beautiful soul she carried within her, Aya was changing the world with her understanding, compassion, and of course her creative work and following her dreams. I believe that she left something great for the world to appreciate and that she changed something in everyone that knew her...for me this is a life well lived.

Amina Khalil, Actress

It’s such a loss for us to lose a lovely spirit like Aya. Her beautiful work will always be amongst us to remind us of how lovely she was. May she rest in peace, light and love.

Radwa El Ziki, Fashion Blogger

Actually my first professional shoot was with her collection. She was an amazing designer with an edge and she wasn't trying to fit in; she was doing her own thing. We lost someone really special.

 

Tara Emad, Model

I remember the day we had our photo shoot for her collection…her positive energy was very refreshing and contagious on the whole crew. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.

Fayrouz Youssef, Nutritionist

I actually never had the chance to meet her, but we talked a couple of times. And every time we talked it was for a good cause; she one of those people who always leaves a mark in your life. Aya has touched my life and the life of so many other people. She was a kind hearted woman. God bless her and her loved ones, may she rest in peace.

Soraya Shawky, Makeup artist

I met Aya for the first time with my girls at Photoboutique. She was just launching her line and she needed to shoot her collection. At the beginning she was extremely shy therefore I was always teasing her and cracking jokes to break the ice, and funnily enough, she would always laugh no matter how silly my jokes were. Our relationship (between her, myself and Photoboutique) grew so strong and she became one of our loyal clients; she shot all her collections with us and she believed in us. As her brand grew stronger we did as well, because she was always supporting each one of us. I truly loved this girl! Working with her was such an experience because you rarely find a client that says: I trust you Soraya, work your magic. Therefore some of the best make up I ever did was with her. On a personal level we became close she regularly sent me presents and I’d send her make up tips, creams and beauty products. I don’t recall falling in love with a stranger so quick! I will always love you Ayooshy! You’re in a much better place now. I’ll see you soon. RIP Aya.

Susan Salah Idris, Model

It’s very sad that we lost such a sweet soul. Aya is one of the most creative designers that I ever got to work with, and even though I never got to know her on a close personal level, you can automatically tell her heart was poured in her work. But now she is in a better place. May God rest her beautiful soul.

Maria Sanchez, Founder of Slickr

‎Aya Afify was loved by many. Besides being one of the most talented people in Egypt's fashion industry, she was a committed, outspoken woman. A beautiful soul that worked really hard to make of this world a better place. She will be missed. 

Yasmine Medhat, Founder of Bazarna Events

Aya was a sister, a very close family friend, and a pure innocent soul on this earth.

I saw her after she died, spent the first hours next to her soul praying for her; her face was like an angel, and she was resting in peace ready to meet her god. I will never forget these moments and they will give me strength to maintain my prayers and for her forever.

She always wanted to leave the world and live a better life, I remember she once wrote on Facebook ‘I wish I had the option of choosing whether I want to come to this life or not’. Aya was so loved by everyone who met her. She was a great giver, an extremely helpful friend, loved helping those who needed her. She was extremely humble and she was kind to everyone.

She just visited holy Mecca last week and performed her 3omra. She came back excited to go to Sahel, ready to stay at her new house in Telal. The first day she arrived excited, and went out for a walk to have some fresh air - moments later she had problems with her breathing and she went into a coma and died hours later at the hospital where we were all next to her.

I'm sure she is in a better place now. Her good life and memories are flooding WhatsApp groups and Facebook. I have started an initiative to make sadaka garya for her, and the moment I made the announcement, mashAllah I found many, many people who don’t even know her wanted to participate

Regarding Aya the designer, the professional, the fashion field in Egypt lost a talented and devoted designer, who earned her name.

I will miss her and I still can’t believe I’m writing this about her. Pray for her family and close friends who are in shock and devastated about her loss. She was a major part of their lives, and she was always there for all of them