Meet the Egyptian Designer Waging War on Fashion Monotony
Having collaborated with several big names, Canvas founder, Dania Ghoneim, is becoming the change she wants to see in local fashion.
In the English-speaking, pseudo-western, culture-recycling bubble we live in, it’s still rather absurd how much we still bump into the same faces, interact with the same people and end up having the same conversations and, subsequently, the same tastes in clothes and music. Founder of Canvas, Dania Ghoneim - growing bored and frustrated with a life on constant repeat - decided to do something about it. Since starting her brand two months ago, Ghoneim has collaborated with Egypt’s creatives to birth unique custom-made denim jackets. And she only makes one piece of each design. So if you’re sporting one of her denim pieces, you will literally be the only one out of seven billion in the world wearing that jacket.
Condemning the redundant nature of Egyptian social life, Ghoneim decided to break the mold and give herself what she’d been missing most. You know how they say, if there’s a book you’d like to read but it hasn’t been written yet then write it yourself? Well, Dania is currently writing the book she wants to read. Referring to Canvas as an Art movement, she aspires to bring more exposure to Egyptian artists and with their help, challenge the notion of mass production with a more personalized product.
For her first line, which she named Drama Volume I, Ghoneim wanted the most over the top design the artist could think of.
“I wanted something obnoxious, something completely out there. And that’s what I asked of the artist. For me it’s very important to retain the concept of artists putting their art on the jackets and for the piece to stand out. And for each jacket, I pick an artist”
The idea behind her designs is to revive the lost art of the unique. Ghoneim likens the brands’ denim jackets to a canvas for artists to express themselves.
Teaming up with artists like Diala Naguib, Shanwar Illustration, Rama Disuky, Salma Zackaria and UNTY, the young fashion designer aims to incorporate creativity in all its forms into her pieces. She not only wants to collaborate with painters but intends to work with musicians and DJs to see what the two can bring to life, together. Apart from UNTY, Canvas is not fashion designer centric but rather welcomes any Egyptian with a creative skill or talent.
I want to support the ART scene. I’m not just designing and selling. This is an art movement.
Each one of the jackets is created by a different artist and so tells a different story. With the release of each item on Canvas' Instagram page, the artist in question models his/her artwork and gives a brief statement on the art.
Ghoneim offers a platform for self-expression and puts a spotlight on the art scene in Egypt, simultaneously promoting individuality. When asked why she chose to start her line with denim jackets, Dania tells us that jackets are a statement piece and they can bring a whole outfit together and make it pop.
The next jacket coming out, will have “The Repetition Kills You” emblazoned on its design.
“This jacket has the project’s core mission because this is a statement on our lives in Egypt. The repeated cycle of the same parties, same people, same outings and the same tastes” says Ghoneim of her upcoming piece.
While the jackets were initially intended to be sold on a first come first serve basis, the first jacket was such a success and the second jacket got a significant number of potential buyers that Ghoneim decided to turn its selling policy into a raffle.
Check Canvas out here.
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