Friday April 19th, 2024
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EACH is the Fashion Cluster Championing Egyptian Craftsmanship

Founded this January by French-Egyptian designer Angie Salah, EACH is spotlighting local designers, artists and handcrafters.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

EACH is the Fashion Cluster Championing Egyptian Craftsmanship

Any creative mind who has ever stepped foot into the industry in Egypt knows one unequivocal truth: it is hard. Penetrating markets as competitive, ever-changing, and volatile as those of fashion and art presents myriad challenges, and the questions circulating any nascent creative entrepreneur’s mind are aplenty; am I doing the right thing? Do I know the right people? Are my ideas understood?

But the old saying does ring true, it indeed takes a village, and nurturing art is perhaps not so different than nurturing a child - after all, art needs love, support, and care to flourish. It is this notion that guided French-Egyptian fashion designer and founder of Fatale by Angie, Angie Salah, to build a community of like-minded designers to join forces and navigate the industry as one collective unit.

With its grand opening having taken place this past January, the Egyptian Artists, Creatives, and Handcrafters cluster - EACH - has brought together multiple fashion designers and artists from different fields in one interdisciplinary space located in Heliopolis, Cairo.

“The whole idea behind EACH was having a space in which local creative talents could build off of each other, a hub where our distinct identities join forces to create a bigger collective identity,” Angie Salah, Founder of EACH, tells SceneStyled. The main goal, according to Salah, is collaboration over competition. By joining forces, pooling resources, and learning from each other, the creative talents under the EACH umbrella can accomplish more and help elevate the local fashion and art industries in Egypt.

Salah recognizes the challenges facing creatives in Egypt but believes a supportive community is key to overcoming obstacles. As she shares with SceneStyled, "To say that the industry has its challenges nowadays would be an understatement. We often tend to forget that putting our creative work with a meaning is the main objective, and EACH seeks to reignite that." By joining resources and know-how, EACH aims to strengthen the position of its members and help promote their work on larger platforms, like this year’s edition of Cairo Design Week.

With an incredible roster of talents under its helm, the EACH Cluster’s members include - but is not limited to - Salah herself, Mai Raggal of Egyptian luxury leather mens footwear label Youshi Designs, Egyptian streetwear label Neshow’s Ahmed Mohsen, mural artist Ashgan Makarem, Youssef Hazzi of leather label Joe’s Venture, jewellery designer Dina Soliman, luxury footwear designer Sarah Wagdy, and luxury footwear designer Hassan Aboelata, alongside Jordanian handbag designer Rania Manasra and Libyan couture designer Nesrien Jelani.

A hub of multidisciplinary creative talent, EACH provides retail space for all its member designers in addition to rotational workshops on industry practices open to all those seeking to get started in their crafts.

SceneStyled had the pleasure of being in attendance of EACH Cluster’s grand opening, in which - other than fangirling over Razan Maghrabi -  we took our sweet time navigating the displays. Inspired by the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi which embraces impermanence and imperfection, the space has a minimalist yet organic aesthetic.

Displays are arranged in a way that feels unforced and evolving rather than rigid. Creations are shown against neutral backdrops so as not to be overpowered but rather complement the artistic expression. The overall effect is one of peacefulness and harmony with the natural cycle of growth and change. “It truly reflects our spirit,” EACH Founder Angie Salah notes.

Beyond the physical displays, the creators at the heart of EACH are unified in their vision yet diverse in expression. Each EACH member brings a unique set of skills that contributes to the whole.

“Our dreams are what bring us all together,” Cairo-based Libyan couture designer and EACH Cluster member designer Nesrien Jelani shares with SceneStyled. “We’re all here to prove that Egyptian craftsmanship can in fact compete with international standards.”

Echoing the same sentiment, luxury footwear designer Sarah Wagdy says, “Anyone who is just starting finds it difficult to find their footing in the industry, and gathering so many people is an incredible opportunity not just for us, but for everyone who could use the guidance. I’m really excited for the cluster, not just for our collaborations, but to share our experience with everyone.”

With the fashion industry on the rise, the opportunities for Egyptian brands and designers to flourish both locally and internationally have never looked brighter. “Egypt has long been an incubator for the arts, and I am in awe of the creativity I am surrounded by,” Rania Manasra, Cairo-based Jordanian designer and member of the EACH cluster, shares.

As the member designers and artists continue amplifying each other and exposing their works to wider audiences, the future looks bright for elevating homegrown designs on both local and global stages. EACH may have only just opened its doors, but it’s clear this creative cluster aims to go beyond four walls.

Now displaying curated selections at Cairo Design Week, EACH is making sure each local creative is getting their spot in the limelight.

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