Farida Temraz and the Egyptian Fashion Industry
In recent years, Middle Eastern designers have rose to prominence in the international world of fashion, with celebrities favouring designers like Elie Saab (Lebanese) and Yousef Al Jasmi (Kuwaiti) on the red carpet. However, like in many professions, male designers often receive more acclaim than their female counterparts, despite producing work of a similar standard. So, let’s take time to celebrate the ladies of the Middle Eastern fashion scene, starting with the work and impact of Egyptian designer, Farida Temraz.
Who is Farida Temraz?
Farida Temraz is an Egyptian designer, the founder and creative director of the Haute-Couture brand Temraza. Temraza was launched in December 2012 and debuted its first collection during Paris Fashion Week of 2014. Here, Farida Temraz was named Best Fashion Designer, making her the first Egyptian to win a first prize at this event, bringing global attention and success to the brand. In addition to Paris Fashion Week, the brand has also been a force to be reckoned with at London Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. In New York Fashion Week of 2017, Farida Temraz was named ‘Best Female Couture Designer’. She was also selected by the United States Department of State to represent Egypt in their International Visitor Leadership Programme in 2017.
Temraza has been on red carpet events, such as the Academy Awards, the Grammys, the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival. Celebrities Temraza has dressed include country singer Carrie Underwood, Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy and actress Gina Rodriguez.
‘The Xecutive’ collection was the 2017 Fall/Winter collection dedicated to female empowerment, conceptualized and created by an all-female team. The collection featured simple colours and embroidered suits, with blazers and tailored shorts, with the aim of honouring strong and elegant working women. Of the Xectutive collection, Temraz said: ‘I created something for women who are busy executives, independent, successful and powerful. This collection is designed to celebrate women as the main pillar in any society’.
Temraz paid homage to her homeland, with her Spring/Summer collection of 2017, ‘Rise of the Pharaohs’, inspired by Ancient Egypt. The collection is intended to reflect the authenticity of Egyptian culture while drawing elements of the modern fashion world: the colours are reminiscent of traditional and the ancient Pharaohs, but the cuts and the shapes look to the future. This collection also aims to empower women, by symbolizing their strength and femininity. In a statement on Facebook, Temraz wrote: ‘Yes, we will bring Egypt back on the Fashion Map! I will do whatever it takes.’
But what is the bigger picture of the fashion scene in Egypt?
Unfortunately, the achievements and industry recognition for Egyptian designers are primarily down to strategic social media marketing, social connections, and collaborations with renowned stylists, without the safety or planning of an official organisation. There is an official Egyptian Fashion and Design Council (EFDC), but it is still fairly new compared to other fashion institutes in the world, established in 2015, and is still struggling to find sufficient funding to put their plans into motion.
In an interview with Egypt Today, the Council stated that Egypt doesn’t have any official shows or showcases on the fashion calendar as attracting international buyers and press requires a large amount of funding. Due to this lack of funding, Egypt is not seen as a contender to host Arab Fashion Week, which was launched in 2015 and usually held in Dubai. The Council has aspirations to eventually establish a Cairo Fashion Week, to showcase Egyptian designers who could compete on an ‘international level of quality and creativity’. They also stressed the need to grow the Egyptian fashion industry through education, mentoring and forming a strong framework to establish an ecosystem that can support a whole new industry.
The finance issues of the Egyptian Fashion and Design Council means that the work of designers such as Farida Temraz is especially important, as it raises awareness to the talent of Egyptian designers and proves to sponsors that the country has enormous potential to be a contender in the global fashion game. Other Egyptian fashion designers at the forefront at the moment include Yasmine Yeya, the creative mind behind bridal company Maison Yeya, and Mohanad Kojak, the founder and creator of fashion brand Kojak.
Check out Temraza below: