After studying fashion in London for several years, Amina Khalil, 23, decided it was time to bring what she learned to Egypt’s fashion scene.
Many socialites have been spotted in Amina K, the name of her label, in Cairo and on the North Coast this summer.
“Egyptian influence with a western twist, Khalil told Daily News Egypt while describing her style.
“I don’t want it to be typical Egyptian as if you’re buying it from Khan El-Khalili…I want it to be that but combined with the trends and what is in . westernized a bit.
After graduating from American Continental University in London with a degree in fashion design and fashion marketing, Khalil wrote her thesis on commercializing Egyptian style and fabrics.
Khalil is all about mixing it up. She especially likes to mix stripes with flower patterns or Islamic prints. She also blends fabrics like moiré, alaga (shiny woven fabric) and jakar for extra detail.
Her clothes are mostly a loose-fit. “If you are skinny you can wear it with a belt and it will give you shape, if you are on the fuller side you will leave it loose and feel comfortable, she explained.
Her favorite hot pink and white pattern is visible in the lining of many of her creations.
For her graduation project last year she created a six-piece collection consisting of Egyptian cottons, Bedouin stitches and Islamic patterns. Khalil ended up wearing her designs and was constantly getting positive feedback.
She didn’t jump into her own business straight away, but instead spent the last year interning at different fashion houses in London like Diane von Furstenberg and Matthew Williamson.
Now Amina K has officially launched in Egypt, and caused quite a stir with her open day at Hacienda last month.
Shirts, shorts, Kaftans, tops and ponchos for women sold out quickly. The men’s shirts collection was also poplar, and Khalil plans to expand on the men’s wear as she sees a gap in the market. Prices range from LE 400-700.
She describes her style as individualistic – each piece is worn its own way.
“I am promoting individual style. You buy something and you wear it the way you feel comfortable wearing it, as oppose to the clothes wearing you, she said.
For now her label is small and she commissions people to sew things for her, but as her label grows, she plans to recruit in-house staff.
At the moment she is selling her brand in boutiques and is slowly expanding her market by displaying her work in international fashion fairs. Her long-term goal is to become part of the international fashion industry.
As for the local fashion scene, Khalil sees a huge improvement since she last lived in Cairo. “It is really picking up as an industry.people are finally seeing the importance of looking nice and dressing up and now they are starting to really have access, she said.
Look out for the Amina K Fall/Winter collection, which follows the Egyptian theme she plans to make her signature style.
For more information, visit www.aminak.net.