2017-12-16 07:29:13date was

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  • Temraza: How One Egyptian Girl Came to Dress Hollywood Stars

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    High-end fashion designer Farida Temraz, of Temraza, has been making headlines since day one. After launching her brand in 2012, Temraz has been featured at a number of international fashion weeks and this year her dresses even made an appearance at the Oscars; no doubt, Farida Temraz is a force to be reckoned with.

    We sat down with the Egyptian fashion mogul to hear how it all began and what she sees for the future of Temraza.

     Tell us how it all started. Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer?

    Since I was seven years old I always liked to draw illustrations and make designs for dresses, but I never thought of creating a career out of it. I was so academic. I went to AUC and majored in Integrated Marketing Communications with a minor in Psychology, and was on the honour roll. Then I went on to work for a multinational company in a managerial position. But suddenly I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this—I want to follow my passion, do something that I love’. So, in 2012, I started my brand Temraza. I knew I didn’t want to be an atelier—I wanted to be a brand; the first high-end international brand based in Egypt. I started with my first fashion show in Cairo Fashion Festival, and the feedback was great. After that, I submitted my portfolio to London Fashion Week. I never thought that I would get accepted because the criterion was huge, but six months later I got accepted! It was an amazing experience. I showcased my collection The Modernized Vintage. After that, I got invited to Paris Fashion Week, and there was a competition and Temraza won first place among the international designers. After that I showcased my collection The Concert at LA Fashion Week, and it was an attraction for a lot of Hollywood stars and we started having them pulling our dresses! Then I participated in New York Fashion Week, and it was my first visit ever to New York. It’s where all the successful people meet and so full of passion.

    Anything notable coming up soon?

    I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker in Copenhagen with one of the biggest PR companies in Europe—Convert. I’m going to talk about how to penetrate the international market.  They feel Temraza is a success story, given my age and nationality and how I got into the minds of markets in other countries. It’s crazy, because the speaker after me is from Pepsi!

    When you first started out, did you have help? How did you know how to submit to Fashion Week?

    It was purely research. I have no one from my family in the creative industry, so I had to learn all by myself.

    What challenges did you face?

    Penetrating the international market. It took a while to be accepted—to be trusted; as the first Egyptian brand, that was a challenge.  It was hard to provide them with something they haven’t seen before and have them trust it. I had to work really, really hard. I even got blackmailed by agencies in Europe and deceived; once I was in Los Angeles doing a shoot and the photographer didn’t come, so I had to rent a camera and do it myself. I also have problems with customs at the airport, coming back to Egypt, even though my collections are produced in Egypt. So I’m proud to have Temraza as an ambassador bringing countries together in the fashion sector.

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    Which designers do you aspire to be like?

    I love Karl Lagerfeld – he’s amazing. Also, Olivier, Balmain and Versace. Oh, and Chanel, of course!

    What is your favourite thing you’ve ever designed?

    I don’t have a favourite thing because every time I design something, I think it’s my favourite until the next one comes along.

    What type of woman do you see wearing Temraza?

    Independent, powerful, fierce, confident. Our job is to make them feel confident. Women who are fashion conscious and want to feel unique and make a statement.

    Is there a celebrity you would like to dress?

    Beyonce, J-Lo, Carrie Underwood, Angelina Jolie – anyone creative, anyone good in their industry.

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    What do you feel is the general state of the fashion industry in Egypt?

    It’s booming. We have a lot of entrepreneurs and people who have an awareness of fashion.

    Tell us about your Masters’ thesis in Fashion Communication.

    I’m writing a book [my thesis] on the utilisation of social media in strengthening brand equity for luxury brands. I believe Snapchat is going to be the new ‘it’; it’s very dynamic.

     The new Middle Eastern version of Project Runway has been causing quite a stir; do you feel that shows like this are good or bad for Egypt and designers in general?

    It depends who’s representing Egypt. The producer sat with me and wanted me to be on the show as a mentor, but at the time they were working on the project I was opening my store in Hacienda in Sahel, so I couldn’t make it. But it’s a good idea for developing designers.

    What is a common fashion faux pas that you see here a lot?

    Girls that have a ‘kersh’ wearing crop tops; that’s something I hate. No one is perfect – everyone has a flaw – but you have to learn how to hide it and highlight what works for you.

    What do you see for the future of Temraza?

    The first high-end international brand based in Egypt.  Also, I will be giving a fashion studio course this November exclusively at AUC. The [not for credit] course will be on Wednesdays during Assembly Hour, and it will be very practical - teaching students designing and pattern making.

    You can follow Temraza’s journey on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

    More: These Are a Few of Farida Temraz’s Favourite Things

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    By Salma Thanatos Rizk
    Photos by Fatheya El-Sisi

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