Entrepreneurship & Startups 15 Egyptian fashion startups for your sartorial radar

15 Egyptian fashion startups for your sartorial radar
 
Egyptian fashion has recently been getting more involved in the ecommerce scene. (Image via Maison Saedi)

Ecommerce is a driving force for economic growth in the Middle East.

And with this growth of ecommerce has come a slew of fashion-related startups cashing in on a new found market, both in online payments and cash-on-delivery.

Whether it’s an independent fashion designer marketing themselves on social media or a fashion ecommerce platform, this list highlights some Egyptians to watch.

Coterique Founder: Dana Khater in 2013Accepts online payment only

Coterique is an ecommerce platform that has over 35 Arab and international designers featured, including several featured in this list such as Jude Benhalim, Okhtein and Azza Fahmy. They ship globally and provide online fashion advice for their users along with a bimonthly online magazine.

OkhteinFounder: Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf in 2013Accepts cash-on-delivery (COD) only

Okhtein - Arabic for sisters - is a startup that aims to promote Egyptian craftsmanship and local talent. They sell things like handmade, genuine leather bags, and jackets. They also have a partnership with Yasmine El Said, an Egyptian brand the manufactures leather jackets. They recently debuted their scarf collection titled ‘people you’d like to meet’ as part of a partnership with American nail care brand Essie.

RafeyaFounder: Noura Galaleddine in 2014Accepts payment through COD only

Rafeya designs abayas and other modest cultural apparel. She set up shop in the Zamalek area in Cairo in 2014 and, lacking the fund to develop a website, turned to Facebook to market her designs and answer clients’ questions. She now has 12,000 followers on Facebook and has a very active relationship with her followers.

Style TreasureFounder: Mona Afifi and Sherifa Mahmoud in 2009online payment and COD  

One of the earliest online boutiques on Egypt, Style Treasure supports Egyptian and Arab designers, selling their work through the platform. They have more than 170 Arab designers on their platform, and they make sure to include a brief biography of each designer.

Sabry MaroufFounder: Ahmed Sabry and Daki Marouf  in 2011Accepts COD only

This jewelry design startup draws inspiration from ancient Egyptian eras and dynasties. They sell their designs online as well as shipping globally. In a first, the founders, along with four other Egyptian designers, were featured at 2016’s London Fashion Week.

La RougeFounder: Mohamed Mamdouh and Rami Beshir in 2015Accepts online payment and COD

This platform is still getting its act together and is still uploading items. It will be functional in August 2016, where it will launch with three high-end brands (yet to be announced). They have already formed partnerships with several payment gateways (MasterCard, PayPal, Visa and several others) to encourage users to adopt online payment.

Mema JewelryFounder: Mema Al Shafey in 2012Accepts online payment and COD

Another jewelry brand, this startup includes silver tiaras and semi precious gems. They deliver online and take great pride in dressing Egyptian celebrities such as Hind Sabry. Users have to create an account to be able to buy her designs online.

Mona BizzariFounder: Mona Bizzari in 2012Accepts online payment and COD

Featuring cuffs, caricature-shaped pendants and bookmarks, this design’s collection started modestly back in 2011 by selling her homemade design to friends. Now she ships in Egypt as well as to the Gulf and other countries.

FustanyFounder: Amira Azzouzz in 2009An online fashion magazine

One of Egypt’s earliest fashion portals, Fustany is a bilingual ecommerce site that is complete with a fashion magazine and posted videos that highlight the work of budding Arab designers, including many on this list, as well as providing lifestyle and beauty advice. Their strongest asset is their proliferant Arabic content, suitable for their audience.

MalaabesFounder: Essam El Gohary in 2011Accepts online payment and COD

An elite platform for men’s designer outfits, Malaabes is one of the early arrivals on the ecommerce fashion scene in Egypt. The platform imports designer outfits from Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, Ferrari, as well as high street brands like Guess and Zara. While they currently just serve Egypt, they have plans to scale beyond in the future.

JusttrendygirlsFounder: Noha Darwish in 2014Fashion magazine

Justtrendygirls is an online magazine that provides commentary on the latest fashion trends and recommendations in the Arab world, including hijab fashion. The magazine, which has a newsletter subscription system, is available only in English, and has an ad-based revenue model.

VatrinazFounder: Limitless Internet company in 2012Accepts online payment and COD

Vatrinaz is an ecommerce platform that wants to give Egyptians a taste of American-imported fashion and beauty products. The startup imports all listed products from the US, including brands like Victoria’s Secret, Givenchy, Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana. It offers free delivery for products above 220 Egyptian pounds (US$25).

Up-FuseFounder: Rania Rafie and Yara Yassin in 2013Accepts online payment and COD

Up-Fuse is a social enterprise that designs bags and other accessories from upcycled plastic bags, in an effort to help reduce Egypt’s annual three-million tons of plastic waste. They use about 30 plastic bags for each handbag they produce, and deliver to Cairo, MENA and Europe.

Zaam DesignsFounder: Ahmed Azzam in 2012Accepts online payment and COD

Zaam make contemporary leather clutches and handbags for both men and women with a touch of vintage. While having an image-focused websites of its own, the brand has yet to introduce ecommerce features. The brand is currently available in Enigma Shopping and Bespoke, as well as on social media. Customers can also find the products in Boho gallery in Cairo.

Maison SaediFounder: Ahmed Saedi in 2011Accepts COD only

Formerly known as Plush Maison, it is a high-end fashion brand for evening gowns and accompanying accessories. Saedi was featured at Fashion Boulevard Cairo, Egypt’s first international fashion event.

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After writing for several magazines, Maysaa decided to focus all of her energy on researching and writing about entrepreneurship. She is a staff writer and translator at Wamda. You can reach her at maysaa[at]wamda[dot]com and on Twitter @MaysaaAjjan.