Because you will never have enough outfits in your closet for the thousand and eight 3ozoomas and sohours you have to attend this month...
By your twelfth iftar/sohour in Ramadan, not only have you run out money because you've bought more konafa-marshmallow-gummy-bear-avocado monstrosities than your salary or your pants can handle, you've also officially run out of outfits to wear to all these aforementioned gatherings. The struggle is real. Ramadan is the time to embrace Oriental patterns, bright colours, and just an all-around traditional aesthetic - we're about one step away from wearing a full-on galabeya. So in the spirit of channeling that vibe, and also in the spirit of channeling the fact that you probably need new clothes because that konafa has found a new home in your thighs, here are 32 local brands who've got the whole Ramadan style thing down pat.
Arguably one of the pioneering brands in propelling the concept of 'balady chic' in Egyptian fashion, since Amina K's launch in 2009, the brand has consistently delivered dreamy Oriental-inspired designs, and this year's SS16 collection Prints of the Orient is no exception. "People want something Egyptian from Amina K, which they expect all the time but with a twist. Luckily, you can never run out of ideas here because we have such a great diversity in history,” the designer told CairoScene in March.
Amina K. Store
11A Hassan Sabry St., Degla Center, Zamalek
Amina K. Showroom
24 El Thawra St., 7th Floor, Mohandessin
Tel: (+202) 33360969
Local brand Allaga was founded three years ago to support and sustain Egyptian talent and has been doing just that ever since. The brand, whose aesthetic has a distinctly ethnic feel, is comprised of a group of young designers who envision the pieces and then take them to be physically created by local craftsmen and women, with the central aim of representing and reviving Egyptian heritage. “We depend on everything Egyptian,” co-founder Injy Elkembeshawy tells us. The fabrics are all 100% Egyptian and the intricate work on the pieces, whether it’s embroidery or tassels, is all forged by local hands.
Contact or shop Allaga on Facebook.
The brand, backed by a mother-daughter design duo, blends Egyptian authenticity with current trends; creating bags, wallets, and pouches, that have inserts of handmade traditional embroidery. The sections of colourful fabric have all been embroidered by local women from areas like Siwa and Sinai, where there’s a rich history of handicrafts.
3 Hassan Aassem Street, 11211 Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20 121 119 7337
28 Road 233, 11431 Maadi, Cairo
Tel: +20 127 599 4566
A quick skim through their Instagram account will reveal that this is easily your go-to spot for all things ethnic, from vests adorned with a flurry of oriental patterns, to chunky statement necklaces featuring Arabic calligraphy.
Contact or shop The Gallery on their Instagram.
Looking for bags that are colourful enough to put Crayola to shame? Designer Maha Al Sagheer's brand is overflowing with them.
Contact or shop Ain Maha on Facebook.
If there was ever a time to wear a abaya, it would be Ramadan. The rest of the time you'll look like you're going to an Arabian Nights themed costume party, but during this month, it's all just part of the festive spirit. Anyway, if you're in a particularly abaya-wearing mood, Emirati designer Donia El Gindy's brand has an endless array of them, featuring both traditional embroidery and modern printed designs.
9 Mohey El Din Abu El Ezz strreet, Masr El Gedida, Cairo.
Contact them on Facebook.
Established in the 50s, Gouzlan's gold pieces range from the ultra-bold to the super delicate. From a little shop in Khan El Khalili, the team of artists still strives to preserve the idea of art in the form of jewellery using classic Egyptian techniques.
Tel: 02 25886041
Shop or contact Gouzlan on Facebook.
Teela Designs features some of the most style savvy citizens in the city as its designers, including one Noha El Sherbiny, so you know all their pieces are on point, sartorially speaking.
Contact or shop Teela Designs on Facebook.
Mema El Shafey has been banging out gorgeous, detailed, statement-making jewellery for almost four years now. Every collection is imbued with colour and character, and this season's Paradise is no exception. Deriving all her inspiration from nature, the collection features mainly earrings and rings that are heavy on meticulous patterns drawn from flowers, trees, and Nilotic settings, fitting into the depiction of 'paradise' her collection looks to embody. "What I want is for any woman who wears these necklaces in the summer is to actually get to feel the joy of summer. The shapes are very unique and the colours are vibrant, so it’s very fitting for summer,’’ she told CairoScene in an interview earlier this June.
15 Ahmed Ismail street, Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20109 553 4133
Nestled in a small street in Zamalek, WakiShop curates a collection of all things cute and kitsch; think sky blue blouses with giant ballooning sleeves and bubblegum pink off-the-shoulder tops with flowing trains. Their Ramadan collection goes all out in the colour department with painted shift dresses and kaleidoscopic jumpsuits.
Tel: +20100 000 3085
Mai T. Abbassi's passion for creative handmade designs emanate from this diverse collection featuring t-shirts, shoes, scarves, bags, and household items. We want to go try to ward off the evil eye with their adorable sandals.
Tel: +20100 077 7605
Contact or shop Misha on Facebook.
Because where the hell else will you find a Boogy weh TamTam vest? Traditional meets trendy when it comes to this local brand where Egyptian designer, Hadeer El Tanashy hand-makes everything herself; her aesthetic is in every stitch and brush stroke of her work. In addition to the ready-to-wear line, you can have your own custom piece or have her create art on an item you already own.
Contact or shop Hadeer El Tanashy Designs on Instagram.
Founded in 2009, the brand is a beautiful fusion of a sort of Khan El Khalili-style traditional silver work blended with a bohemian aesthetic, emphaising heavily on calligraphy. “I love the crafts-work of silver and I actually spent two years studying Arabic calligraphy for the designs," founder and designer Nouran Shaarawy told CairoScene last year. This Ramadan, they've released a gorgeous collection of luxury 99-bead rosaries, whose materials vary from glass to rosewood and who feature ornate lotus flowers and tannoura dancers as pendants.
Tel: +20100 161 2253
If Asian kimonos had a baby with North African patterns and prints, the result might be the kind of pieces you'll find at Nagada. The store is overflowing with handmade separates that are lightweight and richly-coloured, perfect for this Ramadan.
13 Refa'a Street, Dokki,Cairo.
Tel: +20120 081 9999
Designer Farah El-Ashiry has always had patterns and prints feature heavily in her bohemian collection and this season she brought back some serious 70s style with her SS16 collection, Wonderland Found Her. “What I was going for was mainly creating a line that is all about comfort in this hot weather, while looking incredibly summery and flattering,” she told us in an interview this March.
Contact or shop Fufa on Facebook.
Azza Fahmy defines the very epitome of luxury jewellery that captures Egypt's heritage within its design. Always infused with some essence of Oriental aesthetic, the design house's pieces meld perfectly with the month of Ramadan. “As Egyptians, we grow up around this culture and we are passionate about heritage; not only our own, but we are always seeking culture in different forms. In the end, I put everything in a melting pot and express it in each piece,” Fahmy said in a CairoScene interview last year. Plus this year, they're helping us with our zakat; they've created a special candle holder with proceeds going to Educate Me Community School. In addition, Azza Fahmy has a selection of gifts and jewellery specially curated for Ramadan; all the items are available at Al Ain boutique in Dokki.
73 El Hussein St., Dokki, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, 12611
Tel: +02 37493940
Beautifully crafting pieces which integrate Arabic calligraphy, geometric shapes, and pastel-hued stones, Jude Benhalim refers to her brand's aesthetic as "modern Oriental," she told CairoScene when she first launched the brand in 2014. Over the years, the young designer has established something of a signature aesthetic for her brand, consistently turning out eclectic, original pieces, which she believes reflect the kind of women to which they would appeal; someone who is “daring and confident,” Benhalim says.
Tel: +20101 454 9465
Contact or shop Jude Benhalim on Facebook.
Woodstock meets Upper Egypt with tiny mirrors, tassel fringes, and tribal patterns that adorn Nootka's massive array of bags. From detailed and patterned clutches to colourfully vibrant messenger bags, the brand is the ultimate destination for a cultural addition to your outfits.
Contact or shop Nootka on Facebook.
Tel: +20122 733 2982
Okhtein, founded by sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf, exploded onto the scene in 2013 with their gorgeous sartorial interpretation of Old Cairo and its architecture. Since then, they've been featured on CairoScene's 15 of 2015, have expanded to Spain, and have had their designs worn by the likes of Emma Watson. They consistently deliver deliciously creative pieces, from metallic purses to adorable leather backpacks to their latest SS16 collection, which features a series of vibrant tassel-adorned clutches, perfect for late-night sohours. Plus, the duo are a step ahead of you when it comes to the Ramadan spirit of giving back. “We make it a point to find good artisans and unemployed people who are super talented, to manage and give them work. It's in our philosophy,” they told CairoScene in an interview.
Shop Okhtein on their website
Artistry and heritage collide in Noura Mossalem's pieces, as from pouches to totes to oversized handbags, the brand channels a distinctly ethnic vibe and sources all their material from the Bedouin souqs of Al Arish and the ancient textile villages of upper Egypt.
Al Dokki St. 12311, Cairo
This dynamic design duo changed the design industry in Egypt with their stunning collections in heavy metals that play on the idiosyncrasies of both Egypt's past and future. Though they soon became synonymous with unique Pharaonic-inspired jewellery, their most recent endeavour had been a range of luxury leather purses. The capsule collection, titled Amarna "pays homage to the revolutionary Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their royal sculptor Thutmose" with five compact but standout purses. A running theme in their artistic inspiration through their various collections is adressing "our ancient Egyptian heritage from innovative new angles," Sabry shared with CairoScene in a 2014 interview. Earlier this year, they were selected as one of five designers to represent Egypt at London Fashion Week.
Shop Sabry Marouf on their website
Sadu designs are all about handcrafted authentic bags in Egypt that are designed for casual wear. Featuring tribal prints and warm, earthy tones, the brand draws on the Al-Sadu weaving techniques of the Bedouin tribes hailing from Upper Egypt, that, through woven geometric patterns and symbols, conveys the Arabian nomadic people's rich cultural heritage.
Contact or shop Sadu on Instagram.
Ramadan style is all about comfort, more comfort, and lots loose fitting pieces that hide the sins of your daily konafa bingeing. DnD Designs has a slew of casual embroidered kimono-style cardigans perfect for throwing over a basic tee and jeans. "We wanted to provide the fashion world with simple items that appeal to everyone, and with very reasonable prices,” says its founder Rasha El Nadi.
Shop or contact DnD Designs on Whatsapp 01111552256 or via Facebook
Ed Dukkan features a myriad of modern and classic abayas and kaftans inspired by a legacy of traditional costumes from the Middle East and North Africa. Since 1986 they've been showing Egyptians how each dress reveals the region's heritage, with looks that have everything from Egyptian patterns on vests to a classic Moroccan cloak.
Shop Ed Dukkan on their website
Dido Embaby captures a certain creative niche of the silver accessories world, incorporating calligraphy in inventive ways and making a serious statement. “I think the identity of the brand is quite fresh and modern. The pieces are more geometric, they’re also kind of youthful,” Embaby explains.
Tel: 0100 1044 357
Brightly colored abayas are the highlight of this Ramadan collection, along with beautiful accessories inspired by Bedouin life and people in Upper Egypt. At Tafaneen they believe that each time you wear one of their pieces you're wearing a touch of the orient.
Based in New York, but created entirely in Egypt, Indira Jewelry, created by founder Marwa Saadawi, features a gorgeous array of sterling silver stunners, from chunky bangles to geometric earrings.
Shop Indira on their website
Reem Jano Jewelry
Bold, unusual, statement pieces define Reem Jano's design aesthetic, along with a healthy helping of Pharoanic inspiration. Jano, who was a student of Azza Fahmy Design School, now works closely with craftsmen in Khan el Khalili to bring her shimmering visions to life. In February, was one of five Egyptians selected to represent their home country at London Fashion Week's International Fashion Showcase, for which the designer created a choker necklace using symbolic feathers from Ancient Egyptian goddess Maat that were weighed against souls to determine if they would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.
Tel: +(2) 01009000498 or +(2)01010002700
We double dare you find pieces that embody the notion of statement jewellery more than Laila Wahba's chunky, creative, and often Popsicle-hued necklaces. “I mix and match material with no limits,” Wahba said to CairoScene in an interview last August. “And I use everything I like from semi-precious stones to copper, silver, and gold plated chains to buttons and fabric. Most of my materials are imported and with great quality but I really love to work the most with precious stones as they are locally handcrafted and picked by me.”
Dima Rashid was one of the very first Arab designers (she's based in Egypt but is originally Palestinian) to capture the world's attention with pieces that draw inspiration from our culture, using elements such as the evil eye and hands of Fatima before it became a trend. Her creations have graced the cover of Vogue and been worn by everyone from Naomi Campbell to Queen Rania to Oprah. A blend of bohemian and Arabesque, her designs are often imbued with pops of colour. “I love colour and I like layers and I like anything that shines,” she shared with CairoScene in a 2014 interview. “I’d love to say I’m inspired by gypsies…and by things from home, whether it’s colours of Mediterranean beaches, or the lotuses on the fences of Egyptians bridges.”
44-46 Giza Street, Giza Residence Building, Giza
Tel: (2012) 21709871