By Eman Hamed
MARAKEZ, one of the largest mixed-use developers in Egypt, will host the first-ever Egyptian Fashion Awards at Mall of Arabia on February 27 in cooperation with the Egyptian Fashion & Design Council and the British Council Egypt.
“Fashion is a pillar of the MARAKEZ business strategy and we proactively seek opportunities to support the next generation of local fashion designers to elevate young Egyptian talent and the fashion industry as a whole,” said Nadia Ezz, Director of Marketing, MARAKEZ. “As one of Egypt’s largest commercial mixed-use developers with five commercial malls, two of which are opening soon, we are taking the lead by providing industry support for the Egyptian fashion ecosystem and empowering creatives and designers as future leaders of the sector.”
Titled “The London Fashion Experience,” the gala event and awards ceremony will take place at West Cairo’s favorite shopping destination, Mall of Arabia, on February 27 in front of Gala Restaurant. More than 130 entries were received across four categories: Young Designers – 2019 or 2020 graduates in the fashion, accessory or jewelry design sector and up to two years in the business; Emerging Designers – produce commercially available apparel for a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years; Accessory Designers – produce commercially available accessories for a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years; and Jewelry Designers – produce commercially available jewelry for a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years.
“Speaking on behalf of the Egyptian Fashion & Design Council Board Members, we truly appreciate the vision of Marakez and the British Council Egypt, and all partners, that allows us to organize the first edition of the annual Egypt Fashion Awards, which is an important component in the EFDC’s aim to nurture, mentor and promote our young talents” said Susan Sabet, EFDC Board Member. “We also want to thank our international advisory board members, all highly respected in the international fashion industry, who gave their time to select the finalists. Our judges, who will be crowning the 4 winners, represent a mix of highly-respected, professional individuals who are freely giving their time and understand the importance of sharing their expertise in design, education, retail, marketing and business and of course a bit of glamour, all elements of a successful fashion designer’s business.”
The advisory board selected five finalists in each category:
- Young Designers: Bassant Maximus, Marina Azer, Nada Hosny, Alaa Abo El Goud, Asmaa El Degwy
- Emerging Designers: Rigash, Moaaz El Behairy, Maison Saedi, Double A, Alia Abaza
- Accessories: Aliel, The Bag, Jarii, Rasha Pasha, Jlood
- Jewelry: Menna Boudy, Reem Jano, Mimzo, Roknayah Design, Ammanii
“It is an honor to be part of Egypt Fashion Awards for emerging designers, I started young and I got the support I needed to reach where I am today, therefore I would love to do the same with the other designers, especially in our beloved region,” Rami Kadi, Creative director of Rami Kadi Maison de Couture
Through February 26, the public can vote for their preferred designer by viewing their collections and casting their vote at Gate 13 in front of dstore in Mall of Arabia.
“I am happy to be part of the judging panel for Egypt Fashion Awards this year, and excited to see what the young talents have to show us,” said Azza Fahmy, Chairwoman & Creative Director Azza Fahmy.
At the fashion show in front of Gala Restaurant on February 27, a high-profile jury of fashion industry members and celebrities will select and announce the winners. Mall of Arabia will display the finalists’ collections at a popup location in the mall, while the Egyptian Fashion & Design Council will offer mentorship and business guidance to the winners.
“I am honored to be selected as a juror for the first edition of Egypt Fashion Awards. Egypt has always been a center of creativity and style and initiatives like this help put us back on the global map. I believe in unleashing the potential of our young designers and I’m happy to support them in any way I can,” said Ola Dajani, Entrepreneur/Gender-Lens Investor.
With support from the British Council, the winner of each category will travel to London Fashion Week in September 2022 to enjoy the ultimate fashion experience, gain firsthand knowledge about a variety of facets of an international fashion week as they plan their own participation in the future.
“The British Council is proud to support work in the fashion and design field. Over the years we have offered a diverse range of international opportunities, including exhibitions, collaborative projects, educational activities, and specialist visits to the UK. We will continue this commitment to supporting opportunities for collaborations linking designers from Egypt and the UK. We are very excited that, through the Egyptian Fashion Awards, four designers will get a deeper look at the international fashion trade when it gathers at London Fashion Week in September,” said Cathy Costain, Head of Arts at The British Council.
MARAKEZ has been a long-time, proud supporter of the Egyptian fashion industry. In addition to hosting the Egypt Fashion Awards 2022, the company also supported Egypt’s first ever fashion industry delegation to MQ Vienna Fashion Week in 2021, and previously partnered with Alashanek ya Balady Association for Sustainable Development, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), to support their mission and provide them with a booth at Mall of Arabia to sell products handmade by women the organization has trained through their programs. MARAKEZ is also a strong supporter of athletes. MARAKEZ sponsors Hana Goda, Egypt’s youngest table tennis champion and number 1 worldwide under 15 and 17 and number 4 under 19 and has previously sponsored Olympic athletes at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.