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What to know about Egypt’s first fashion week

By Rachel Douglass


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Cairo, Egypt. Image: Unsplash

Egypt will soon be joining the growing roster of international fashion weeks, as it prepares to host its first edition from May 12 to 15, 2023.

The official Egypt Fashion Week is being organised by the Ministry of Trade, Economic Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, which unveiled the plans for the event during a press conference in the country’s capital, Cairo.

The fashion week will follow the theme ‘The past, present and future’, which will see the celebration of the country’s historic culture, its current industry and its vision for the future.

While much will be centred around its own past built up by Ancient Egyptians, the event ultimately wants to showcase Egypt's domestic design industry to a global audience, while also highlighting its cotton and textile sector and promoting its resources.

Speaking during the press conference, Susan Sabet, co-founder of the organisation, said on the theme: "The past because, of course, our designers should be inspired by our culture, by our heritage. Use all the materials we have that have been used for thousands of years.

“The present, because we do live in the present and we are very much aware of what is going on in the world. And the future because we know where everything is going, where we should be in a few years."

The opening night of the fashion week will be held in the Cairo Egyptian museum and will feature the work of prominent Egyptian designers.

Egypt looks to support its local industry

This emphasis on localisation is something that has been evident in all corners of the world, with the global economic landscape forcing the fashion industry to look inwards to support local efforts.

This was an element highlighted by another founder Paul Antaki, who said: "We think that it is the right time to tell people that here in Egypt without importing, you can dress from Egyptian products, fabrics, styles, and designers.

“Everything is there around you. Why do you have to go and look for imported products?"

Applications to take part in the event are now open, with Egypt-based applicants required to outline the type of collection or event they wish to host.

Options include a solo runway show for established or emerging designers offering a maximum of 30 pieces, a collective runway show with four to six pieces or an exhibition for ready-to-wear, accessories or jewellery, among others.