March ‘17
Reigning Supreme in the Fashion Industry

March ‘17
Yosra El-Barkouky
Yosra El-Barkouky


    


We always bring you the best of Egyptian fashion icons, and there’s no better example for rising designers than Yosra El-Barkouky’s eponymous brand, which offers modern fashion lovers a taste of modern elegance and idiosyncrasy. Yosra has spoken to us about her line that specializes in evening wear and couture and how she manages to add an avant-garde touch to her collections.

What materials are most challenging to work with?

There is no specific material, but the challenge usually comes from working with different types and colours of fabrics to create the unique designs we have in mind.  


Tell us about yourself and what sparked your interest in fashion.

I began my relationship with fashion at the tender age of five. I used to make dresses with my mum for my Barbie dolls and always had an eye for colour coordination and design as art was my favourite subject at school. When the time came for me to enroll in a university, I chose a major in Business Administration from Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport. I eventually went to achieve a masters in Human Resources at the American university in Cairo (AUC), but after graduating, I realized that I really wanted to pursue my dream of working in fashion.


You graduated from Italian Fashion Academy. How did that add to your experience?

When I thought about furthering my education, I debated going to fashion powerhouse locations like Paris and Italy, but after much thought I decided to stay in Egypt. Eventually, I discovered that the Italian Fashion Academy was the most established fashion school in Egypt, founded and headed by Dr. Stefania Gulina. I was able to accomplish both goals there! I very much appreciate all what they have done to help me achieve my goals. If it hadn't been for the support and guidance of Dr. Stefania and her staff of phenomenal instructors, I may not have been able to realize my dream of following my passion for fashion.


What made you specialize in evening wear in particular?

I'm obsessed with Evening/couture lines because I love high-end fashion, which is intricately handmade from start to finish. It’s always made of high quality materials, expensive and often employs unusual fabric as well.  It caters to clients who seek specifically tailored attire, made especially for the wearer's measurements and body stance. Overall, they’re very unique pieces.


What were your biggest obstacles in reaching where you are now?

The biggest obstacle was how hard it was to find a qualified tailor as well as other workers. They should cater to specific criteria and have certain qualifications in order to do such detailed work.


Do you have a favourite collection so far?

I don't have a specific collection. So far, I'm in love with every single dress I have ever made.


Would you consider yourself inspired by any celebrity fashion designers?

Of course! I'm obsessed with Dolce & Gabbana.


How do you balance between commerce and creativity in your designs?

It's important to balance your creativity with the commercial appeal to drive sales, but as a designer, you should acknowledge that high quality fabrics or hand embroidered details require high prices. However, if your customer cannot afford it not matter how spectacular the design is, your products will not be sold. The challenge remains in how to create a very unique high-end piece with an affordable price for your target clients.


Tell us about your SS17' Capsule Collection.

My SS17' capsule collection is under the name of Back to the Future. It is inspired by the 80's and David Bowie, with a Modern Twist. This collection is different from my first because it's all about corsets that you can wear in many ways: from matching it with denim and flare pants to pulling it off on pencil skirts. They’re also hand-embroidered with flowers, stars, butterflies, angel wings, hearts and even spiders.


By Mayar El-Shamy