Cairo will get a taste of New York and Paris’ “Fashion Night Out” this week. On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, the central neighborhood of Zamalek will witness “Cairo’s Fashion Nights” (CFN), promising more than just fashion.
The event was first organized in New York two years ago by Anna Wintour, the fashion force and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue USA magazine, it was a night about simply more than fashion, but also economics and reviving the local fashion industry.
Initially organized by Wintour to promote and revive consumer spending and New York’s economy, the “Fashion Night Out” event was met with much success. Stores stayed open until later hours; celebrities and supermodels lent a hand to promoting the various store and fashion centric events organized in both luxury and high street stores, all in an effort to get people to start spending money again. The idea then spread to other cities including London, Paris, Milan, and cities in Australia since then.
CFN is organized by Susan Sabit, the editor-in-chief of Pashion, a Cairo-based, pan-Arab fashion magazine. Previously, she had organized the successful Luxury for a Cause event, during which she brought together some of Egypt’s designers and retailers and created a one-day shopping event at the Fairmont Nile Towers with part of the proceeds going to charity.
“I was in Paris during Vogue’s last Fashion Nights Out and people had so much fun, so I thought creating something similar based on the same concept for Cairo would be great,” Sabit told Daily News Egypt. “Organizing another edition of a shopping charity event such as ‘Luxury for a Cause’ is in the near plan. They are different concepts. One does not exclude the other.”
CFN aims to promote local talents and introduce consumers to designers not as widely known as some of the more established contemporary ones. The emphasis is on bringing buyers into stores and boutiques that have been hit by the drop in consumer spending since the revolution.
“After the drop in fashion and luxury retail since January, everyone is keen to [kick start] the industry and [local] sales, whether locally manufactured or imported. The aim is to encourage consumers to spend their money in Egypt and not when traveling abroad, so we help [out] our work force, industry and economy,” explained Sabit.
She also wants “to send a message to foreign members of the fashion and luxury industry that we are back on track.”
A small booklet has been designed to detail the participating stores and designers who will be taking part over the two-day event. Amuse concept store, Azza Fahmy, Dina Ayesh Night, Ghazl Banat boutique, Lalloushi, Mohamed Al Sagheer, and Villa Baboushka are but some of the names set to open up their doors for participants.
Each store will be responsible for presenting an event or form of attraction for visitors including mini trunk shows and opportunities to meet and speak with the designers. Make up artists in Mohamed Al Sagheer will create looks and dispense advice on fall and winter make up trends; designer Dina Said in Amuse will give fans an opportunity for one-on-one time to sketch personalized design which they can commission her for; and Azza Fahmy fans will get a chance to see, try and get photographed by a fashion photographer whilst wearing pieces from the new Pharaonic collection set to debut on Oct. 31.
Creativity is expected from participating stores with regards to their display windows, store interiors and the fashion-centric concepts they will be offering visitors.
A Designer’s Lounge will be set up to host the names not easily found in local outlets including Ain Maha, Air Marine and P.E.G. by O! brands. A corner of vintage brand items will be set up, and a booth to browse editions of Pashion will also be organized.
Food and beverage sponsors have also lent a hand to the cause, and all in all it’s expected to be a night of fun and fashion, but more importantly, a reminder to consumers and aspiring designers that there are opportunities for growth, development and exposure present in Egypt.
“I hope we have a great turnout as all participating stores, and designers have put up such great effort to really come up with special treats and surprises to give their clients a whole new shopping experience,” says Sabit.
You can pick up the booklet with the details and events listing from all participating stores and designers. For a complete listing, check Cairo’s Fashion Nights on Facebook or follow the hash tag #CFN on Twitter for updates and promotions.