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MakladWali: For the Love of Leather

Jasmine Maklad and Wafaa Wali prove to us that two heads are better than one as they join forces and create breathtaking leather pieces right here in Egypt, without commercialising culture.

Passion is the key element in creating a successful venture and strong headed Designers Jasmine Maklad and Wafaa Wali have managed to use just that as a key ingredient to produce timeless leather pieces.

The 100% Egyptian brand does not fall into the mould of having to commercialise Egyptian culture and heritage as a selling point, so no, you won’t necessarily find a bulging eye of Horus peering up at you, nor ethnic beading and sequins. What you will find, however, are functional leather wallets, bags or accessories that carry meaning and are not restricted to a specific season or trend. “Each piece is inspired by story of mine or Jasmine’s, it's important for us that things aren’t just things... I myself only buy things that are unique to the person who made them. We make sure our pieces are ones you will continue to wear and represent the Egypt you want to see; a 100% local brand that is also worldly,” tells us a driven Wali.

The brand’s strongest edge is that the designers have a clear vision that stems from their academic background as well as their keenness to produce and finish items to the highest quality. With Wali having been brought up in Alexandria and Maklad in Australia and the Gulf the designers look to their childhood for inspiration as well. “I remember when my mother made me a beach bag...which I still have. These things really stick with you. The real trick is working with the materials. The leather gives the design a totally different feel and quality is essential to us,” continues Wali.

At times you will come across something that is both beautiful and meaningful but simply isn’t functional. The beauty of MakladWali is that they think of needs as well as aesthetics, as Wali goes on to describe that “a new collection we will be introducing is titled Saneur, which is a French word for aimless traveler. There is a whole philosophy behind the word... We're creating a cross-body bag which doubles up as a backpack, inspired by women who love life. Women who go dancing and wish their clutch had a strap and, while travelling through the city, need a backpack.”

Working piece by piece allows the designers to put devil in the detail and make sure each piece has gone through the whole process, from inspiration to implementation, with the same kind of attention. “We try on the pieces and check and re-check; our pieces are minimalist we are careful with colour and line, really focusing on producing immaculate pieces,” Wali continues about their sleek creations.