We speak to Wisam Nazmedin, founder of the eye-catching Wezza Accessories and the creator of some of the funkiest interpretations of straw bags we've seen.
This summer revolutionised our understanding of a beach bag. After spending many, many years using a regular old bag for our beach times, we realised that bags actually, specifically, made for the beach are SO MUCH BETTER. That thing takes everything; your sunscreen (optional – we Egyptians prefer to get burnt to a crisp), towel, sunglasses, cell phone, two bottles of Absolut, three palm trees, your neighbour's cat… And they look way better so you always look stylish as you're making that sun-stricken walk to the beach.
In this vein, when we came across Wezza Accessories, a local brand that boasts huge, gorgeously decorated straw beach bags, we were pretty impressed and plotted on how to get our hands on them while it was still summer-ish (it's Egypt – you can extend summer until November if you're really adamant). We've seen our fair share of Oriental-style stuff out there and we're not always huge fans, but somehow it works really well with Wezza's cool beach totes. It's those ubiquitous straw bags that have been around since the days of yore but totally pimped out, injected with different layers of tribal patterned, floral or beaded fabrics. Also, the brand name makes us chuckle every single time.
"The style is sort of mix and match," its founder, Wisam Nazmedin says of the brand's aesthetic, "I don’t like things to be too matchy-matchy." She started the brand just this summer, when after making her own bag, she found people inquiring about it. "I found random people asking me about it, not friends but strangers, and by the end of the summer I realised I wanted to start the brand with beach bags." These giant bags don't have to be limited to the beach though; if you're one of those people who likes to carry around their entire lives in a handbag, then these are made for you.
Nazmedin uses the oversized straw totes as a base, and then adds a variety of elements and embellishments to make each piece unique, sourcing her fabrics from a variety of different Arab countries. "I'll look for traditional materials from the country, old, very authentic fabrics; it's about getting things from different places and putting them together."
Each piece is entirely hand-decorated and completely unique. "No one will ever have the same bag," Nazmedin says. For now she's focusing on beach bags and plans on branching out to different pieces; "I have a lot of things in mind that I really want to explore but that won't be until next summer!" We'll be waiting!
You can follow them on Instagram @wezza_accessories.