A white shirt is a wardrobe fixture that can withstand trends, seasons and fashion movements. Renowned designers such as Karen Millen skyrocketed their careers by mastering the art of crisp shirts, but all brands still strive to add their own twists to the classic garment piece.
Puffed sleeves, collar details, wrapped silhouettes and many other variations have come and go to decorate the timeless staple. Nonetheless, the secret to a perfect shirt is lays in quality and the fabric. These two specific attributes are the core of Camicie; a local fashion brand that has taken the concept of a shirt to a fashion-forward level. The brand’s name reflects their main specialty, the Arabic word for “my shirt.” The fresh concept was brought to life through the innovation of three sisters; Maha, Kinda, and Nada El-Azm.
The earthly color palette, light fabrics and figure-complementing cuts has made this particular brand the number one option for many more conservative Middle-Eastern women.
The Camicie brand also strives to offer ethical fashion; despite, the concept’s novelty in Egypt and the Middle East. Each piece is made of local fabrics, which the designers themselves source, then are tailored in a local workshop.
Daily News Egypt sat with designer Maha to discuss Camicie’s laid-back chic, ethical fashion, local materials and future plans.
What encouraged you to establish a fashion brand right after the revolution?
The Idea behind our brand had been brewing long before the revolution; however, it was further developed and encouraged by the general sense of patriotism as well as the desire to prove that the Egyptian fashion industry can be revived.
We always had a nostalgia for the era when Cairo was among the leading fashion and garment-manufacturing cities in the world.
Despite all production obstacles, we believe that with enough determination and perseverance we can manufacture high quality, simple and elegant pieces that are proudly made in Egypt.
Tell us more about your fabrics. Do you depend on local or imported materials?
Our fabrics are mainly soft, easy to wear and of high quality. For our SS 2017 we used cotton, poplin, linen, gabardine and viscose woven fabrics that are suitable for the summer heat. We strive to source only the highest quality of the local fabrics for the majority of our pieces. Meanwhile, we source from local fabric importers, when we do not find suitable local options.
How much has the local market developed since your inception in 2012?
We believe that the local market had significantly grown to accommodate an increasing number of local designers. Additionally, customers have developed a taste and preference to proudly wear local designer pieces. This has also been further promoted by the recent economic conditions, which affected imported RTW garments and accessories; resulting in a dramatic increase of prices. It is safe to say that the Egyptian fashion scene is currently very promising and rapidly growing.
How would you define your label?
Our label is defined by its minimalist classic vibe mixed with an evident feminine touch. We focus on designs and fabrics that are practical, easy to wear and can be equally dressed up or down for various occasions and according to every woman’s taste. Our garments are also convenient for a wide age range; all the way from early 20s until mid 50s.
Would you consider your label ethical?
Yes we do. The materials we use are environmentally friendly. We ensure that all personnel working on our garments are fairly treated and compensated.
We are very keen on maintaining the satisfaction of our customers and all the stakeholders associated with our company through listening to their needs and learning to accordingly improve our products and services.
What are the main factors that set your brand from any fast fashion brand?
We believe that the main factors that set Camicie apart from other brands are the following: first the style as we provide an elegant and simple; yet, a different style that is very trendy and practical at the same time. Secondly, the quality. We strive to provide the best possible quality in terms of finishing and materials. With that said, we remain committed to set our price range within a very reasonable and affordable bracket. Last but not least, we value the importance of impeccable customer service. We do our best to be very responsive to our customer queries and comments. Furthermore, we like to pamper them with fancy packaging and post-sale services whenever needed.
What is the main inspiration behind the new collection?
Our inspiration for this collection is every Middle-Eastern woman; who is strong, confident and who is not afraid to explore her girly romantic side. The collection demonstrates
diversity, versatility and practicality along with a touch of romantic femininity showcased through toned-down colors, ruffles and bows.
Which is your favorite piece out of this collection?
Our favorite piece would probably be one of our best sellers; which is the belted, crushed-sleeves linen jacket. The linen material is very fine and elegant; meanwhile, the fit seems to flatter almost every lady that has tried it.
What are your near-future plans?
We are in the process of developing our own website, which will include online shopping. We are also working on the fall/winter collection while exploring further brand-recognition options with the support of our PR agent: Flare PR.