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Social Media Reacts to First Edition of Egypt Fashion Week

May 23, 2023
(Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The first edition of Egypt Fashion Week – a series of fashion shows and events showcasing the work of local designers and craftspeople to a global audience of industry professionals – held its opening event on 12 May at Downtown Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.

Organized by the Egyptian Fashion and Design Council under the auspices of the Ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, Planning and Economic Development, and Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the event aimed to showcase the country’s growing fashion industry and world-renowned textiles in a colorful celebration of Egyptian history and heritage.

Ahead of its launch, the first edition of Egypt Fashion Week, held under the theme of ‘The Past, Present, and Future’ generated excitement among fashion professionals and enthusiasts. Over the course of its four days, however, the fashion shows held at various locations in Cairo quickly became the object of mixed reviews on social media, for several reasons.

A primary point of contention were the looks on display, with responses ranging from awe and praise for the designers and models, to disappointment in the products, or outright derision.

Translation: Can you believe all the beautiful looks at Egypt Fashion Week?



Translation: I have a lot of comments about fashion week. For now, I’ll just say that the designs were amazing but the execution wasn’t great. How come we don’t have a single factory capable of executing these designs properly? This is despite the fact that the fabrics are of great quality.



Another target for criticism was the choice of locations, with several observers like the below arguing that Cairo’s public gardens and museums were not fit to host fashion shows, or that the setting took away from audience members’ appreciation of the pieces on display.


Translation: I don’t understand the point of hosting Egypt Fashion Week at the Agricultural Museum. This is a place where I used to go on school trips, and in my mind it’s associated with the smell of cheese sandwiches.

Translation: Egypt Fashion Week was really nice and the collections were great but I feel like the venue was too small for people to see them properly. Besides, the first day was amazing but the next day, the designs were a little messy and I felt like different elements didn’t fit well together.

A third point of debate was the event’s audience and guestlist. It was not unsurprising to find TikTok content creators lining the rows of various shows, seeing as the social media platform was Egypt Fashion Week’s official Entertainment Partner.

Several users nonetheless deemed that inviting outsiders to the industry was a misguided choice, or lamented the absence of notable designers and practitioners who they felt would have meaningfully contributed to the event.


Translation: Who are these people and why are they going to Egypt Fashion Week? What exactly have they contributed to the fashion industry?


Translation: How come Okhtein [an Egyptian brand of designer bags with global success] is not featured in Egypt Fashion Week????

The overall verdict was equally divisive, with some describing the first edition of Egypt Fashion Week as a success and others as a source of disappointment or even embarrassment.




Translation: Was there an objective to Egypt Fashion Week other than embarrassing us or was that the only objective?

A few users, like the ones featured below, offered nuanced takes, positing that Egyptians should be proud of this achievement and asking critics to bear in mind that this is only the event’s first edition – an accomplishment in and of itself, but with much room for improvement at the organizational level.



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