Off Cairo: A Fashion Project About Our City
Off Cairo an amalgamation of talent for the ages shot in the heart of the city.
If you pay close enough attention to the fashion industry in Egypt as of late you'll notice that a lot is going on, and yet simultaneously nothing is really happening at all. We're in the midst of an era of change, which means that there are moments of vast break through and moments of stagnancy and frustration. Fashion is an industry that like art and music, is a reflection of the times. Clothing, color, cut, texture and bold editorials can capture an instance in history; the essence and vibe of a city and its people as they stand in the midst of a revolutionary age.
Cairo is as old as it is new, and Downtown Cairo centuries ago was considered a global hub for all that was glamorous, fashionable, theatrical, and royal in every artistic sense. Today, this part of town is only just being rediscovered and reincarnated by a generation of privileged youth, who have the means to shed light on an area of town considered by many to have become a forgotten treasure. Photographer and Art Director Ämr Ezzeldinn collaborated on a this project entitled Off Cairo, with a plethora of Egyptian talents in the fashion industry to showcase a moment in time where we are thriving, rebuilding and allowing for our heritage in arts and culture to once again shine through.
A statement by Ämr Ezzeldinn - Project director and photographer:
"[Off Cairo was] shot in forgotten Downtown Cairo, where the aristocrats lived during 'The Kingdom Era,' 70 years ago. At the time, Egypt was considered the fashion capital of the middle east, or the 'Paris of the middle east.' Now with all the political and social changes, the Downtown area has become a 'lost-town' revealing what used to be iconic and monumental, as injured architecture. The story is inspired by Egypt’s fashion culture today."
"Ezzeldinn collaborated with Egypt’s prominent designer Mohanad Kojak and Stylist Ahmed Sorour to create custom made pieces that conceptually interpret Egyptian street fashion. Featuring bags from local brand Okhtein. The shoes and boots have been fully handcrafted in Egypt by local brand Cult, as well as sunglasses by Amr Saad and jewelry by Jude Benhalim." - Off Cairo as featured on Nicotine Magazine
A statement by Ahmed Sorour - Project Stylist:
"Regarding styling, my main approach was to use iconic cultural key styling elements people wear in cairo’s “daily outfits”, however with a more conceptual and contemporary twist. The idea was to touch on our own sense of style as millennials, and how westernized we have become as a culture. We utilized the juxtaposition of elements in Cairo's style, for example the use of local brand Carina's elastic leggings and tops, which were always one of the key elements in egypt’s street style for veiled and unveiled women, colors and pattern clashes, underground cool kids all over zamalek, maadi and downtown, posh vs. Nouveau Riche, tagamo3 and 6th of October kids. We created this explosive combo of the artsy contemporary millennial, which might not be true as a whole but if you subdivide it into elements that relate to your everyday life you'll find something in it for every persona in Cairo."
Photographed and directed by: Ämr Ezzeldinn at ANIMALWALL
Styled by: Ahmed Sorour
Performed by: Rachel Simpson, Nada al Sheikh, Sarah Bombosh, Youssef Kandiland and Bahaa Elhemaly
Post-production (photo) by: Bruno George
Assistant: Ahmed Ezz
Makeup: Sharif Tanyous
Location: Downtown Cairo @ Dakhly
Cinematography by: Adham Yassin / Amina El-Banna
Editing and Coloring by: Sergi Planas at ANIMALWALL
Sound Design by: Emre Baloglu at ANIMALWALL
Production: Clannish Eg
Dresses: Kojak Studio
Jewelry: Jude Benhalim
Eyewear: Amr Saad