Only through years of straying off the beaten path, and immersing themselves in millennia of culture could this artful duo carve a niche for themselves.
In the near-limitless world of fashion, there have been innumerable attempts on incorporating history with haute couture. Some work out pretty dandy, some don't, and some straight up border on the costume party aesthetic. Obviously, it depends on the design motifs and patterns of the culture at hand, and as it happens, Ancient Egyptian culture is brimming with excellent design choices and inspiration for Egypt's budding creatives to make muses of. Such a feat was (we can confidently say) realised by dazzling design duo Sabry Marouf; most elegantly demonstrating their heritage-fueled skill with their debut line of Ancient Egypt-inspired handbags, mini-bags and minaudières, Amarna.
Ahmed and Daki’s choice of straying into handbag territory had to be rooted in some hefty creative caution; unlike most items of clothing, accessories or even cosmetics, handbags don’t have the same versatility in design that other items have. So the duo had to fully employ their joint expertise from years of working with Old Egypt’s seasoned craftsmen, their endearing and deep knowledge of Egypt’s Pharaohnic heritage, as well as their tireless pursuit to merge both the ancient and the modern.
The Djed Minaudière
Their first foray into handheld haute couture was a top-handle handbag styled after the enigmatic mask of King Tutankhamun, drawing heavily from Dorothea Arnold’s “Royal Women of Amarna;” essentially a catalogue of a famed Metropolitan Museum exhibition chronicling the evolution of Ancient Egyptian art, literature and religion during the Amarna period (1353-1336 BC); a time when Egypt’s women were at the forefront of expression, namely Nefertiti and her six children, becoming iconic for their elegance, sensuousness and youthful eroticism.
The King Tut
The duo didn't just settle on good old King Tut, they've also adapted one of Ancient Egypt's most renown symbols of protection and regeneration, the scarab, into a one-of-a-kind mini-bag that shows off the brand of talent that both designers possess, their dedication to Egypt's rich culture, and the innovation inherent in such an endeavour.
Last, but by no means least, is the Djed minaudière; perhaps our favourite design thus far, the delightful little evening bag takes the symbolic backbone of Osiris, the Djed pillar, as its muse. Not only is it devilishly decadent and just plain sexy, it also perfectly represents the stability that the Djed pillar represents; it looks like it's sturdy enough to beat back any would-be transgressor, giving your self defense a considerable measure of elegance.
It took a considerable amount of time, as well as a sizable measure of blood, sweat and tears to fit their unique vision of an ancient aesthetic within the traditional confines of a bag, but one could comfortably say it paid off. Each bag boasts a handmade, unique resin frame to mimic exotically rare materials the likes of Malachite, Carnelian and even tortoiseshell, complete with hand-carved wooden aspects, and only the finest in premium Italian leather.
These aren’t just funky new additions to your fancy dress wardrobe; these are timeless, cherished fashion statements that both give you a sense of unrivalled elegance, all the while reminding you of the kind of aesthetic achievement that Egypt’s designers can dream up, and they sure are dream to behold.
The Scarab Mini-Bag
With a track record such as theirs, Sabry Marouf isn’t a brand you think twice about before taking a purchase plunge; these gentlemen have been endorsed by Vogue Talents in 2016, and have been featured in Milan’s, London’s and Paris’s Fashion Weeks. It takes a certain level of artful dedication to elegance to garner the attention of famed Egyptian-Italian model Elisa Sednaoui, the British Fashion Council’s Anna Orsini, and Italian Vogue’s Sara Maino.
The Djed Minaudière
Feeling like owning your own slice of ultra-fashionable handheld Egyptian innovation? Head over to Sabry Marouf’s website for the full deets, and keep an eye on their Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter for all their latest couture updated. Better keep your eyes and ears peeled though; they’re going to get back into the jewellery biz with a new line soon enough, as well as dabbling with some fine quality bespoke commissions.