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Egyptian Fashion Designer Rescues Thrifted Items to Create Statement Pieces

September 19, 2021
Various items from The Washed Out Label.
Various items from The Washed Out Label.

A leather trench coat transformed into a trendy two-piece set, a once-boring blue turtleneck brought to life with strategically-placed embroidery – these are just some of the inspiring creations featured in The Washed Out Label, a new fashion brand launched by Egyptian fashion designer Bassant Maximus.

Starting off by practicing sewing on her mother’s sewing machine during her school years, 27-year-old Maximus decided to study fashion design in college and later launched her first brand specialized in designing wedding dresses and evening gowns.

Earlier this year, she expanded her offerings to include upcycled thrifted items transformed into trendy, one-of-a-kind statement pieces through what she refers to as “the slowest fashion possible.”

As part of Egyptian Streets’ Spotlight Sundays series, which features young and aspiring Egyptian artists, start-ups, filmmakers, and more, we spoke to Maximus about what inspired her to launch this brand and her goals moving forward.

What encouraged you to launch The Washed Out Label?

The Washed Out Label had been on my mind for almost four years before taking a first step. I have always liked recycling clothes and I started posting recycling videos online. People really liked them, so I thought it was time to take baby steps into creating the brand, especially since it’s not something very popular, even worldwide.


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A post shared by the washed out label (@thewashedoutlabel)

What is special about this label in particular, in your opinion?

The Washed Out Label is the slowest fashion possible. It is based on taking a piece that has a high value in terms of materials and literally rescuing and redesigning it by essentially putting in more time than the initial time taken to make it to create a new piece with an added value. Each piece is marketed and sold only once. Compared to fast fashion, this process is the slowest ever.

The story behind the original piece and the time and thought put into recreating it is what makes every piece a remarkable statement piece that adds value to any wardrobe.

Can you tell us more about the process you go through when creating a piece for The Washed Out Label?

It starts with handpicking the pieces and checking for any flaws. The piece needs to have high value in terms of fabric or design. I then brainstorm what techniques would be the best to use – am I redesigning it or adding an embellishment? What style do I want to transfer the piece into? It is a process full of experiments and sometimes I lose pieces to that process.


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A post shared by the washed out label (@thewashedoutlabel)

What are your main challenges?

My main challenge is primarily the time taken to produce and market just one piece. I am still the only hands behind the label, so it takes some time to produce a piece, which makes the project not yet profitable.

What’s your favorite item in The Washed Out Label?

Probably the red leather cropped jacket set. It is my favorite because I pushed myself in terms of design and style; working with little fabric and taking it to the max to create a rather hip set.


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A post shared by the washed out label (@thewashedoutlabel)

What are your goals for the label moving forward?

My goals is to go big, to be able to hire a team to continuously work creatively on new pieces every day, to be able to showcase the products in a store and have clients get involved in the process, and hopefully go global! I think this brand has a lot to offer and I am only scratching the surface.

To stay updated on The Washed Out Label’s latest releases, follow the brand on Instagram.

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