Congratulations on your new collection, what can you tell us about it?
This collection is about the mix of integrating the Arab world with the Western world. Inspired by the movie 'Lawrence of Arabia', it was designed to capture the rich simplicity shown in the movie, allowing women to feel elegant and comfortable at the same time. I enjoyed integrating the two themes by combing the subtle military features to the details of the comfortable Arab Bedouin looks.
When did you start preparing for this collection and how long did it take?
The whole process usually takes from 5 to 6 months. We usually start by brainstorming the theme and coming up with an inspirational mood for the collection, which for this collection started last May. We then move to research designs, fabrics, trimmings, etc. Once we're done with the research, we jump into the sample phase where I prefer to directly work on the pieces and play with the fabrics. When the samples are ready and approved, we move to the production phase.
Why Lawrence of Arabia?
'Lawrence of Arabia' reflects how Amina K. relates to the Arab and Western Worlds. I was captivated by the elegance and refined taste shown in the movie, where both English and Arab men wore their clothes with confidence and a strong sense of identity. Inspired by the loose costumes worn by the Bedouins and the stiff attires worn by the military men, I was able to create a collection that perfectly represents what Amina K. stands for.
Your collection was different in everything, from style, color choices to the fabrics. Werent you afraid of taking this risk?
I have to take risks in order to create something new and original. My clients expect to wear something different each season, and as a designer I must stay creative and innovative. That is the whole purpose behind what I do.
You are one of the inspirational fashion designers in the field, how can you rate yourself?
I'm still in the beginning of my career and still have a lot of work to do. I am very proud of my journey and growth of the brands but I have a very long way to go. It is this ambition that drives me, and my team. We are always looking ahead and motivated to do better.
How do you see the fashion industry in Egypt today?
The industry in Egypt is definitely growing. There are more talented designers, new local & international brands, fashion magazines and bloggers in Egypt now. With the growth in social media, people are becoming fashion aware and are more interested in following new trends. There's still a long way to go, but the industry is definitely moving forward.
Who do you dream to see wearing Amina K.?
Fashion forward women that understand the brand and are able to style it so that it suits them. I want people to wear Amina K. and give it their personal touch, to express how they feel through what they wear, and most importantly feel comfortable.
Whats your greatest strength?
I think my judgment of character & following my gut. It helps me build a strong team which is the key to any success I have had. Amina K. is not a one man show and without my team I wouldnt be able to move forward. Whenever I have to make a decision it must feel right to me.
What inspires you as a designer?
Anything can inspire me. You just need to get in the habit of keeping your eyes open and see something that others might not see. You have to take things in and keep an eye out for details. It helps, whenever I have some time off, to travel and get away from my day to day routine and stress that comes along with it. It is when I get out of my comfort zone only then can I experience something new that might inspire me.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
It always changes, but at the moment Olivier Rousteing for Balmain, he is doing an unbelievable job. Azzedein Alaia will always be the master of technique and Karl Lagerfield is a fashion machine.
What is your next step?
My main goal, ever since the day Amina K. was founded, is to go internationally. I work hard and try to take small steps into that direction. I believe on working on the core of the company and structure so we are ready and strong to face the fierce international competition. So any steps I will be taking will hopefully lead me into that direction.
Whats your point of weakness?
Sometimes I find it hard to juggle and multitask as much as I wish I could. I am always trying to manage my time better in order to manage my team better. As the company grows, this will remain my biggest challenge.