May ‘16
A Voguish Glimpse of Nehal Khalifa’s Fashion Tactics

May ‘16
Nehal Khalifa
Nehal Khalifa


What are your plans for the future?

I would love to have more international clients and maybe even open a store in Paris! It sounds like a bit of a fantasy now, but you never know.

Do you find it difficult to sell your masterpieces?

While I don’t find it easy, I cannot say it’s difficult per se to find clients in Egypt that like your work no matter the style.

Do your creations reflect a part of your background and/or personality?

Definitely. You’ll find a touch of femininity, bold colours, and experimenting with various fabrics.

What and who inspires you?

I like to find inspiration everywhere I go. From nature and the wild, to other cultures and fine arts that inspire me when I travel.

Do you create in synchronization with world trends or do you create based on local requirements or based on your own taste?

You could say I am both aware with today’s trends and I put a touch of my own taste.

Do you stay up to date with international fashion trends? Who, how and where?

Staying up-to-date can seem like a job in itself. With new technologies and trends taking effect at an astonishing rate, there’s a huge amount of material to digest. Yes, you have to be aware of current industry trends but with your own style and point of view. I usually follow blogs, look through fashion magazines, and of course keep an eye on social media. Dolce and Gabbana is very inspirational to me. I find their collections commercial and creative at the same time. Their prints are jaw-dropping, and you can tell they like to experiment a lot with various materials. I also love Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad and I admire their feminine style.

Do you use a computer program when you design or are you old school? Which is better and why?

Definitely old school! I love to draw some rough sketches with my own hands and use my paint brushes and my favourite inspirational colours. I’m not very tech-savvy, so I try to make the best use of my pencils.

Are there some materials more difficult to work with than others?

Of course. Some need more patient and experience, but by time you will get used to dealing with every kind of fabric and material.

How do you select the materials you use? And do you easily find the materials you need?

I usually travel abroad for finding the perfect fabrics. It’s not easy to find the materials you want in Egypt. When I get my materials, I often drape on the mannequin first to see how the fabric reacts. It’s a very instinctive thing for me. It takes a few months to build a collection, but you have to know when to stop, otherwise it’s never over. The whole process is endless.

What skills do you think are essential for a successful career in fashion design?

If you are an artist at heart, you should be able to turn your fashion ideas into something really commercially feasible. I think one should never stop acquiring new marketing tricks, manage the work according to a schedule, self-educate as much as they can, and most importantly: Be patient.

What is your favourite part about your career?

I feel like I’m a dream maker who makes every bride`s dream come true. Like the fairy godmother in Cinderella! When you see the look of joy on their faces on their big day, it makes you want to work even harder so you can see more of it with more clients.

Did you study fashion designing? Where?

The world of fashion has always been in my blood since I was only ten. After studying fine arts, I enrolled in fashion designing with a well-known fashion designer from France, here in Cairo.