Pashion Magazine's Cairo's Fashion Night is back this weekend, putting a spotlight on local designers and the quickly-emerging style scene in our city. We talk to founder, Susan Sabet, as well as design houses Amina K and Sabry Marouf...
Following the hard times Egypt has been through of late, the finer side of life had been somewhat put aside because, you know, who needs a new Chanel when your country is a little at war with itself? Thankfully, things seem to be slowly stabilising and the country’s high-end fashion industry is closing in on the light at the end of a very outmoded tunnel.
Cairo’s Fashion Nights (CFN) hosted by Pashion magazine will be taking place on January 18th at the Intercontinental Semiramis’ state-of-the-art conference and meetings centre (probably the coolest conference and meetings centre we’ve ever seen in our lives), the Pavilion, and is a vital platform to put the spotlight on all the wonderful things happening in the world of Cairo fashion. “It’s the perfect showcase for designers, especially the young, upcoming ones, that do not have a boutique or sales points yet, to showcase their talent and work,” founder of Pashion magazine Susan Sabet told us. “Giving them this platform also serves as an incentive and encouragement to them. Participation of the more established designers, and the big names in the industry is an encouragement for the young and striving ones, and also, very importantly, sends a message out that our ready-to-wear industry is not only here, but strong and growing.”
“Fashion Nights Out” have been a staple of international fashion weeks in the world’s biggest cities, from London to NYC, with special events and celebrity appearances at retailers which are opened up to the public. This will be CFN’s third annual event with a hope to put Egypt on that map. Although it might not quite not compare to these other cities which are jam-packed with every luxury designer on the planet, there are unique qualities that sets us apart from more Western fashion, as Sabet explains: “Designers that work with local fabrics, such as cottons and linens and raw silks and source local hand embroidery and beading will always have an edge.”
This year’s event will be co-hosted by Elisa Sednaoui, “the perfect ‘face’ for CFN; inspiring and with local roots in the industry,” according to Sabet. The Egyptian/Italian model, actress and director has appeared in films such as Eastern Drift and Remember Now, as well as featuring in campaigns for Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli. What you might not know about her is she is a descendent of the illustrious Sednaoui family, who pioneered luxury retail, not only in pre-1952 revolution Egypt, but in the Arab world at large, and she’s also launching her charity, the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, aiming to launch creative learning projects in Egypt and help build life skills for the next generation of citizens and solution-makers who will enrich their own communities. 15% of all sales from retailers during the event will be going towards her charity.
Cairo’s Fashion Night take three is set to be bigger and better than ever with a line-up of local fashion exhibitors, designers, rising talents and retailers for a shopping marathon that’d have the Egyptian Goddess Isis rise from her tomb. Actually, that’s quite literally what’ll be happening as avant-garde jeweler Sabry Marouf will be calling upon the spirit of Isis to launch their new collection of the same name with a very special fashion installation accompanied by a soundscape, created by audio-visual artist and The Fashion Studio founder Bosaina. They’ll also be hosting a pop up shop at the event, showcasing their current collections.
Daki Marouf, managing partner of Sabry Marouf, is delighted that events like this exist, meaning there is ripe opportunity to present Egyptian fashion in new and original ways: “If we are to have a thriving and self-sustainable fashion industry in Egypt, there needs to exist an ecosystem to support everyone within it. And thanks to Pashion magazine's Susan Sabet, CFN provides a much-needed platform for local and regional designers to showcase their designs and raise awareness in a social and commercial context that steers clear of clichéd 'bazaars'.”
This CFN sees Azza Fahmy giving the public the chance to test out their skills at becoming the next Azza Fahmy with a hands-on jewellery making design centre. You can get styled by the brilliant Mohammed Al Sagheer team before experiencing some cover shoot fabulousness at Pashion’s photo-booth or discover the works of students from the Egyptian Fashion Design Centre. Expect to get a peak at new collections from some of Cairo’s most popular designers such as Malak El Ezzawy, Sahara, Yashmak, Lina Chakwy, Coterique, El Sastre, as well as Amina K’s Fall Winter 2013 collection. “I am very excited about this event,” Amina Khalil told us .“Susan Sabet always manages to put together the best fashion events in Cairo that are up to international standards. I am especially excited to meet our guest of honour Elisa Sednaoui. It is great for designers like myself to take part of such an event. It is great for promoting our latest collections, to meet our customers, and other important people in our industry. I will be displaying the best of my FW'13 collection and will have a great one day promotion.”
Pashion’s Cairo's Fashion Night takes place at the Pavilion in Intercontinental Semiramis and is open to the public between 3pm – 10pm on Saturday 18th January, while there be a private preview and silent auction in support of the Elisa Sednaoudi Foundation on Friday 17th. Stay tuned to our Twitter feed on both days to get live updates on everything fabulous going on.