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Amr Fahmy: Egypt's Top Self-Taught Fashion Illustrator

Captured by Mariam Nowar and held hostage, viral Instagram fashion illustrator Amr Fahmy transformed us, and favourite CairoZoomer, into long-legged magnificent models - not like we weren't already. He was then forced to divulge all of his secrets before being released back into the fashion jungle.

Upon my scouting for fresh young talent on the Internet, I found myself on Instagram obsessively liking every single picture that this guy posted. At first I was skeptical about just how legit this guy is, so I dove deep to find out more - and, what do you know! Apparently, this guy went to Cairo University with me! Immediately I reached out for his contact number and had him in our office the next day. Held under gunpoint, the fashion illustrator - commonly known as Amr 'Mahmoud' Fahmy - never faltered, and he transformed our team - as well as throwing in our favourite friend from CairoZoom - into the perfect models... that we already were. Afterwards, I kept him as a hostage for the next couple of weeks and, after a lot of begging, I decided to let him go under one condition: that he'd tell me all his fashion secrets and let me share them with the world.Prior to his fashion shenanigans, Fahmy had always been the number one go-to guy for styling advice. But if you're good at something, you shouldn't be doing it for free - except if you're a captured hostage. So, he invested in a 5 LE children's sketchbook, some pencils, water colours, and let his talent lead the way - and, boy, did his talent take him places. Currently followed on Instagram by big-shot British model Jourdan Dunn, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez, and constantly liked by Kim Kardashian, 22-year-old Fahmy's page went flaming viral. Fahmy didn't just stop at posting scans of his cool illustrations, he started running his own client-based low-key business, and some of his customers are not entirely subtle. Hollywood celebrity stylist Tabasum - whom he's sent sketches for photo shoots - has been a regular to Fahmy's unique illustrations. "When I checked Tabasum's Instagram and found that Kim Kardashian's online game illustrator did some sketches for her, yet she turned to me for work, I felt quite flattered! I'm always too picky when it comes to clients," Fahmy says. Author of So You Want to Be the Boss, C.C. North, also reached out to have him sketch out businesswomen holding her book. Now, I've had him illustrate US holding CairoScene books instead!

Left to right: CairoScene's Managing Editor Farah Hosny, random girl (for diversity purposes), CairoZoom's Managing Editor Munky, and Staff Writer Mariam Nowar.

Some of his earliest sketches fell under the likes of none other than fashionista queen Hadia Ghaleb. Right when Ghaleb launched her own GPH, she commented on/liked one of his illustrations, and went as far as offering him a job opportunity. Fahmy explains that he "turned it down because I wanted to keep my brand and taste a bit solo until I got things together." After he found his talent soaring, that's when he made another investment in a scanner, and started his illustrating business. We didn't really get the difference between 'designing' and 'illustrating' until Fahmy set us straight: "Illustrating is all about sketching, while designing is about all of your own ideas. In other words, designers who are lacking sketching skills come up with their own ideas, and then I finish it up for them." He went on to explain how difficult it was to make it as an illustrator in Egypt - or following a fashion career in the first place - but it tides him over imagining how the collection would look on the runway, the models, all the way down to the soundtrack used in the background.  We know you're wondering, which fashion fountain has this guy been drinking from, and how can you get some? "I initially started looking for fashion illustrating tips on YouTube. But for the first time, YouTube failed me. So I started teaching myself how to outline my pieces by posing in front of the mirror." Narcissism aside, Fahmy happens to have a slender skinny female-ish figure. He often used to draw his silhouette onto his reflection on the mirror, and then copy it into his sketchbook as an outline. Goddammit, Fahmy! Start a fashion YouTube channel already.It's hard to deny my stalking of the young illustrator, but we've all seen him around town mingling with fashion designer Kojak, so what's the deal? "Kojak's a good friend of mine, and he's getting more and more exposure every day. I feel quite happy for the progress he's made in the fashion business in Egypt," Fahmy says; he hints at a possible collaboration, no? "The times we talked about fashion, I felt like our stances were quite different on where we wanted to go with our style," he says. While Kojak is an effortless expert when it comes to picking the right fabric, Fahmy found himself more into layering, for he thinks it could either "make or break an entire outfit," but we're still totally rooting for a collab. Please.

To be expected: Fahmy is currently putting together a brand new collection! ...about which deets are totally undercover. We lied; we just can't tell you yet. But you can always just stay tuned, and if you haven't already, follow him on his Instagram here, and Facebook here.