The 2010 fashion year was busy for local designers. Through a number of events initiated by solo designers, including shows and exhibitions, a strong local fashion scene has emerged in Cairo. Local designers have stepped up locally and in some cases, internationally–from Yasmine Yeya dressing red carpet stars for the Cairo International Film Festival to Heba al-Awadi's bracelets being displayed in London. Al-Masry Al-Youm's selection of the top eight designers is based on the achievements of 2010 and designers who show great promise for 2011.
1. 2010 witnessed the emergence of Deena Shaaban, a creative designer with a new take on fashion. Her fall collection was a mix of funk and elegance. She brought back Victorian fashion grandeur with a touch of funky practicality; a very hard combo that only Shabaan can pull off.
2. Rime Magdel launched her second Fall collection, and this year's is more distinctive than before. Patch work is still her signature element. My absolute favorite item of this year is her après-midi short silk jacket with a wide collar. It is comfortable, flattering and elegant.
3. Zanzibag by Zeina Sallam launched this year, and these ethnic bags are becoming a fad. We especially like the pouches for their practicality and fabric imported from Zanzibar.
4. Vika bags also did well this year. Her collection of clutches was a real success and the prices are really affordable. Vika bags represent the Egyptian take on bags with a modern twist.
5. Heba al-Awadi launched her famous plastic "Love & Peace" bangles. The accessories are funky and colorful–but over-priced.
6. Sara’ Bags were also a must buy this year; their special Om Kolthoum phosphoric clutches were seen sported by many fashionistas. The Lebanese brand has definitely created a name and market loyalty in Egypt, especially since the launch of their evening clutches a few months ago.
7. Nana’s Closet by Dina Hassan Saeed is a brand that made its mark this year. Designs are creative and figure hugging but extremely pricey.
8. Malak al-Ezzawy made her come back this year with her "Femme Royal" collection. The collection has a vintage feel to it with a modern take; she used satin, jersey, and chiffon. It is chic and creative.
Keep a look out for:
As far as trends go, thigh high boots and animal prints are a hit this winter. The boots will stay but don’t let too many animal prints invade your wardrobe–it's a trend that tends to disappear quite fast. Designer denim was also huge this year. Big names like Stella McCartney and D&G presented their take on blue jeans; even acid wash made a comeback. Blue jeans are an everlasting item in your wardrobe…any buy is a good investment that can last for seasons to come. Military jackets made a comeback as well in the fall, and may endure for another season.