Amany El-Cherif: 19 years of mix­ing colours, match­ing fab­rics

LO­CAL FASH­ION IN­DUS­TRY MAN­AGED TO BREAK GEO­GRAPH­I­CAL BOUND­ARIES, AD­DRESS IN­TER­NA­TIONAL MAR­KETS

The Daily News Egypt - - Life Style - By Nay­era Yasser

While other chil­dren were con­stantly oc­cu­pied with Mec­cano cubes, this girl’s puz­zle of choice was made of fab­rics. Her eye for de­tails and colours al­ways made her stand out from the crowd.Years be­fore she re­alised that fash­ion would be her call­ing, she used to pre­pare for each and ev­ery week­end with mul­ti­color en­sem­bles.

“I have al­ways had a thing for fash­ion de­sign, per­haps you could call it an ad­mi­ra­tion that was sup­ported by my mother since a very early age,” said Amany El-Cherif, now a sea­soned fash­ion de­signer. Back then, she never thought that be­ing able to cre­ate her own gar­ments could be trans­formed into a job. It was not un­til she lived in the US for a while, that she came to re­alise the wide spec­trum of pos­si­bil­i­ties which pre­sented them­selves to her.

“Start­ing from my mid­dle school, I used to cre­ate a new dress ev­ery week­end.Then when I got en­gaged, I started put­ting more ef­fort in each and ev­ery out­fit.” El-Cherif ex­plained “it used to take me two days ev­ery week in prepa­ra­tion for the week­end.”

With a de­gree in ac­count­ing and a true pas­sion for fash­ion, El-Cherif de­cided to fol­low her artis­tic im­pulses and pur­sue a ca­reer in the cre­ative sphere.Af­ter start­ing as a fash­ion consultant, El-Cherif was en­cour­aged by her move back to Egypt to fully delve into bridal and evening fash­ion.

As the de­signer often says, fash­ion de­sign is al­ways driven by pure ta­lent, whereas ed­u­ca­tion can only sup­port it. El-Cherif is a firm be­liever that ta­lent, as well as ac­quir­ing an eye for de­tails and colour, are the foun­da­tion of any suc­cess­ful ca­reer in fash­ion.“A lot of peo­ple are great dress­mak­ers; yet, not many can match the right com­bi­na­tion of fab­rics, cuts, and colours,” said the skilled de­signer.To­day she is closer than ever to her rapidly ap­proach­ing 19-year an­niver­sary.

Fol­low­ing years of ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent trends and de­vel­op­ing her per­sonal aes­thetic, the de­signer cur­rently de­fines her style as el­e­gant and rich.“I per­son­ally pre­fer to use rich and ar­tic­u­late ma­te­ri­als.” The de­signer de­clared, adding, “on the other hand, I am al­ways keen on ad­dress­ing curvy women. I like those who love their bod­ies as they are and aim to al­ways flaunt them.”

While de­sign­ing, El-Cherif is al­ways ar­dent on not leav­ing any

WE NEED TO GROW BE­YOND DAZ­ZLING RUN­WAY SHOWS TO BE­COME MAS­TERS OF HIGH QUAL­ITY AND AT­TEN­TION TO DE­TAIL

woman out of her reach. Ac­cord­ing to her, each woman should find at least one op­tion that was cre­ated to com­ple­ment her sil­hou­ette.“It is my job as a de­signer to bring out the best as­sets of each and ev­ery client,” elab­o­rated the de­signer.

While haute cou­ture was ElCherif’s early start and spe­cialty be­fore evolv­ing into ready-to-wear, to­day she has a big show­room,which har­bours ready-to-wear, bridal, evening wear, and ca­sual clothes.

“My show­room is an ex­pe­ri­ence on its own.The mo­ment you step in, you be­come the cen­tre of our at­ten­tion. It is more of a gallery, with high lev­els of pri­vacy and ac­com­mo­da­tion,” El-Cherif said, adding “part of our ex­pe­ri­ence is be­ing able to pick a cer­tain fab­ric be­fore meet­ing with me to find the right de­sign for her.”

The de­signer’s client is a sharp and el­e­gant woman, some­one who ap­pre­ci­ates trends while re­main­ing pre­cise and prac­ti­cal. On the other hand, El-Cherif’s ca­sual line cur­rently tar­gets a younger age, which is con­stantly look­ing for trendy pieces. Mean­while, she is also focused on mod­est fash­ion. Even be­fore mod­esty be­came a global trend, she has al­ways been quite aware of the size and im­por­tance of such marginalised mar­ket.

“My big­gest chal­lenge to­day is to bal­ance my flair for rich­ness with sim­plic­ity as well as light­ness.These three fac­tors can se­cure ob­vi­ous con­fi­dence and ease of move­ment,” El-Cherif de­clared,elab­o­rat­ing,“de­spite how com­pli­cated it might be at times, I am com­mit­ted to tar­get­ing all body types. It is a de­signer’s job to bring forth any woman in the best way pos­si­ble.”

As the de­signer chooses to de­scribe her work­ing process, she ap­proaches each dress as if it was a paint­ing. Her favourite fab­rics are those that are hand­made or em­broi­dered. In par­al­lel, she prefers light colours. Mean­while, she en­joys mix­ing and match­ing sur­pris­ing com­bi­na­tions of colours and fab­rics.

Af­ter al­most two decades in a rel­a­tively young in­dus­try, the de­signer has been at the core of the lo­cal fash­ion scene as it took sev­eral leaps. “When I first started, peo­ple had var­i­ous mis­taken ideas about the fash­ion in­dus­try, for ex­am­ple the ma­jor­ity used to mis­take de­sign­ers for tailors,” said the de­signer about her bat­tle to make peo­ple see what de­sign­ers are sup­posed to be do­ing.

“If you want to find the right dress, then you need to put your trust in a real pro­fes­sional. I got to my promi­nence af­ter a long howl, how­ever, to­day it is far bet­ter.We cur­rently have a strong and promis­ing gen­er­a­tion of young de­sign­ers,” said the de­signer proudly.

Based on her in­volve­ment and ob­ser­va­tions, she be­lieves that the lo­cal fash­ion in­dus­try has al­ready man­aged to break geo­graph­i­cal bound­aries and ad­dress in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.Three years ago, de­sign­ers only dreamt of reach­ing out to the world. None­the­less, to­day they need to leave a re­mark­able foot­print.

“We need to grow be­yond daz­zling run­way shows to be­come mas­ters of high qual­ity and at­ten­tion to de­tail. As the Ger­mans say, dresses should be sold for what is in­side be­fore what is out­side,” ex­plained the de­signer.

With a grand legacy be­hind her, El-Cherif plans to fur­ther de­velop her qual­ity as well as open up new in­ter­na­tional chan­nels and por­tals.

El- Cherif cur­rently of­fers bridal, cou­ture, ready to wear, and ca­sual fash­ion

The de­signer aimed to make her brides light and en­chant­ing through her lat­est col­lec­tion and shoot

Each woman should be of­fered the dress of her dreams

Egyp­tian shores were used in the shoot to flaunt the coun­try’s beauty

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