Harper's Bazaar (USA)
ELISA SEDNAOUI’S SCENT MEMORIES
The model—a former Karl Lagerfeld muse— and philanthropist spent her early childhood in Cairo accompanying her father, the renowned architect Olivier Sednaoui, to his building sites. “There is something that happens when I land in Egypt,” she says. “The moment the airplane door opens and I smell the spices and the dust and the desert, something starts to move inside me and I immediately think I am home.” In 2016, she opened a cultural center called Funtasia in Luxor, where trained facilitators lead creative learning and arts workshops for children. This month, she is launching a progressive nursery school and kindergarten, also in Luxor. Her favorite spaces in the country are designed by her father, specifically Ardi Holistic Center, which overlooks the Dahshur pyramid complex outside Cairo. It is owned and run by her stylish godmother, Shereen Malak, who curates wellness retreats with renowned healers and yoga practitioners. Later this year, Ardi will offer three-day detox and yoga retreats with nutritionist Anni Harala and yoga teacher Suzy Kussner.