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This Fashion Designer is Keeping Egypt's Handicraft Heritage Alive with Unique Clutches

RT by Rania Teymour worries about the future of Egypt's handicrafts, and so took it to herself to hire local artisans to produce these culturally unique clutches.

RT by Rania Teymour egyptian designer clutch

It's not every day that we come across local designs that create a lasting and almost nostalgic impression for the days we never lived. Egypt has a lot of culture to give, and many more stories to offer, and RT by Rania Teymour delivers all of that through that simple little thing called a clutch.

The clutches, which are designed to endure an all-day and everyday use, come in different material and textures and bold colours, and no two of them look the same. "I use a mixture of textures like fabric and leather, as well as metal," Teymour told us. As a result, each clutch ends up becoming something of a statement piece.

Despite the cultural influences embedded in the handbags, Teymour manages to retain plenty of modern appeal to contemporary fashion tastes. Teymour told us that if she could describe her merchandise in three words, they would be "street meets culture."

"I usually find inspiration in culture, an exhibition at a museum, or a country I've visited," Teymour explained. When taking a look and a feel at the bags, you can definitely see the influence behind each clutch.

We just need to give people the means to produce things that are different.

"This leather bag," Teymour said, referring to a clutch which renders desert vibes, "was actually inspired by a trip to Luxor. I visited Nefertari's Tomb over there, and I tried to recreate the same colours I saw."

Teymour is currently working on her fourth collection for FW'19; the launch is set to be on November 2018 at Maison 69 Boutique Shop, where plenty of RT's items will be on display.

RT doesn't have its own store yet; instead, the products are displayed and sold at other boutiques, concept stores, and quirky shops. "I don't want to push for mass production quite yet," Teymour explained.

The designer enjoys the labour and efforts put into creating handicrafts – an art which she believes the youth in Egypt are starting to lose touch of. "Handicrafts are handed down from generation to generation," she said passionately. "If the younger generation doesn't want to learn how to practice these skills, the art of handicrafts will soon die out."

Every collection is different. I like to change things up.

Doing her part for keeping this paticular side of Egypt's heritage alive, Teymour is confident in the untapped potential of the workmanship and handicrafts that already exist in the country. "We have the potential," Teymour said. "We just need to give people the means to produce things that are different."

While this kind of one-of-a-kind piece approach certainly adds value to the brand, it can be a difficult one to maintain, especially for such a young operation. However, for Teymour, she finds joy in the little variations of her designs, but has to work twice as more to ensure consistency in quality of her produce. "Every collection is different. I like to change things up. It's about doing something that's coherent, nice and different, so that not everyone is carrying the same bag."

 Check out RT by Rania Teymour's Facebook page and Instagram page.