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Paradise: A Peek At Mema El Shafey's Newest Collection

Have you ever thought about helping Egypt's tourism and promoting its hidden gems? Mema El Shafey takes on this fashion mission through her new collection.

Sure, jewellery makes people happy, but we not-so-secretly think it can't possibly make anyone happier than the designers themselves. Considering the amount of collaboration, planning, designing, and producing that goes into every single launch of all fashion endeavours, we can't help but get lost in all the intricacies of new collections.

One of Egypt’s most conceptual and unique jewellery brands, Mema El Shafey, is launching Paradise, a new summer collection from its popular Queen line that started in 2012. Pairing up with the perfectly enchanting Anakato Hotel in Nubia, Menna El Shafey – designer and owner behind Mema – has created a gorgeous video and photo footage for her beautiful new creations.

Deriving all her inspiration from nature, El Shafey went on to create mainly earrings and rings that are heavy on meticulous patterns drawn from flowers, trees, and Nilotic settings, fitting into the depiction of 'paradise' her collection looks to embody.

"What I want is for any woman who wears these necklaces in summer to actually get to feel the joy of summer. The shapes are very unique and the colours are vibrant, so it’s very fitting for summer,’’ she says before adding that her collection relied on bold orange, green, red, and off-white colours among others. She hopes her collection will first and foremost generate and spread positive energy. 

What sets El Shafey's new work apart from others' is the fact that she blends in materials like silver with pearls and coral stones in unique colours. Moreover, she tries hard at keeping her work her own and setting a difference from other designers by experimenting with new shapes. El Shafey, who is particularly apt at earrings, laughs as she explains that, surprisingly, the older the collections are, the higher sales seem to go as people seek out items that will set them apart.

Her most recent project took place in the very heart of Aswan, in Nubia, where local life is very much centred on designs and vivacity through colours. From the boats that flow in the Nile, to the locals’ clothes and even the walls of the houses, life in Nubia seems like an eclectic mosaic of colours, explains El Refaie."It’s not always about international brands and big names, you can fall back on localities and find that, in certain parts of Egypt, people are very chic,’’ says El Shafey before adding that "such local fashion can be translated through designers.’’

Recently, there have been two strong schools of fashion that either endorse extremely minimalist designs with basic neutral colours or bright, bold patterns designed to overwhelm the senses. What’s currently trendy, particularly in Egypt, are Bedouin, African, and Indian designs presenting a mesh of distinctive patterns and hues very apparent in Aswan.

‘'Aswan itself is a commercial hub, it’s very important because, historically, a lot of people go there every year to visit the temples and it’s important for the fashion industry as well. Instead of looking abroad, we need to look inwards and focus on the gem locations of the country,’’ enthuses the jewellery designer, who had previously studied history, focusing on the Roman civilisation and classic linguistics, and featured the symbols of the periods she studied in her Horus and Torath collections. 

El Shafey's project takes on an unexpected angle; while her video focuses on the environment of Nubia as well as the fashion it subsequently complements, its goal is to enforce the idea that there are many locations within the country that people don’t know about.

‘'We need to motivate tourism; I believe that everyone in each field should try to post or do something that will benefit the country, so that’s what I went for. There are loads of pretty places in Egypt and we can promote them through fashion, and we should do this as designers. I’m sure some people did it before me as well, but I would like to encourage others to go to remote places and promote them through fashion and art,’’ concludes the excited designer who hopes for wider recognition in the future.

For more, Mema El Shafey has its own website but you can also find the pieces on Facebook and Instagram

Art director & Stylist: Mema Elshafey
Photography: MP Studios
Hairstyle: Kriss Beauty Salon
Location: Anakato Nubian Hotel, Aswan.


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