FUTURE TALENTS: Interview with Nourhan Sawa

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Originally  from Egypt, Nourhan Sawa had a dream to create fashion for the kind of women she was inspired by from the Ancient Egyptian culture. These were strong powerful women who were in fact, very ahead of their time.

Her high luxury label, NOURHAN SAWA, follows an artistically driven design aesthetic where the creations are rich in a fusion of luxe, flowy, delicate fabrics made by the hands of Italian artisans and Egyptian craftsmen who are highly skilled artists of great knowledge of genuine Egyptian hand work and ancient embroidery techniques mixed with Sawa’s own vision of abstract art. Here we discover more about the brand and Sawa’s big plans for the future:

When did you first realize you wanted to launch a your own label?

I knew it’s been my calling all along. At different phases of my life, I came across different experiences that clicked that purpose, but there are two major moments that made me realize I should start this right away. The first reason is my admiration for artistry and the jeopardized Egyptian crafts such as talli, kilim, khayamiya, copper patchwork and others, I wanted to come up with an approach that introduces these precious crafts to the world, I studied, researched, experimented, and came up with an approach where I can modernize these crafts and reintroduce it through fashion like it was never done before. our new collection for instance features a set made of a constructed sustainable leather and an  asymmetrical skirt made of the same material, mixed with Kilim which is originally an Egyptian craft used for making carpets, that I reconstructed into a fashion forward skirt. with each new collection, I’m introducing a new Egyptian craft through a totally different approach that serves my purpose of reinvention and sustaining these precious crafts. 

The second major moment was during one of the very enjoyable talks I have with my grandma when she used to tell me stories about her life in Alexandria, the diverse culture she came from, and the good times, the memories and the adventures she had with her two Italian and greek best friends who lived in Alexandria back then, and how their cultures somehow merged together, sharing beautiful common stories, traditions and beliefs, looking at their pictures, I saw three ladies who are epitomes of style and glamour, and their strong, sophisticated personas simply spoke through the pictures, and that’s when I decided that’s the culture of the brand I’m starting- a unique Greco-Roman Egyptian culture of strong and sophisticated women.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? 

I would tell her despite the uncertainty, doubts and setbacks, never stop and always push harder, expand your horizons, maintain a positive mindset, and think of innovative approaches, because you have genuinely got something you truly believe in, and when you have that, you have no other option but to reach your goals, serve your purposes and simply make your dreams come true. 

How do you want your clients to feel when wearing a your brand pieces and in what occasions can be worn?

Our brand offers a lifestyle with a wide product range of Demi couture and ready to wear garments. We have occasion wear, business attire and casual chic, that are all designed to make our clients feel comfortable yet glamorous, feminine and edgy showstoppers. 

Can you tell us how your collections makes a difference to help more the environment?

We ethically source our materials while securing a safe environment for our artisans, we’re constantly working on R&D, inventing innovative substitutes of new sustainable materials that we’ll be sharing very soon through our new collections. We also work extremely hard on educating our labor on the importance of designing sustainably and we make sure all our fabric waste is recycled. 

There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?

I have four, my family all the way. I’m lucky I have a dad who taught me persistence, perseverance and that giving up is never an option, a mom who constantly supports by offering her time and compassion whenever I need it, a sister and a brother who strongly believe in me and always support me, no matter what.

Describe us you as a creative in your personal life and how your feelings influence the creativity process? 

I’m simply a creative who’s driven by my heart and imagination, one of my favorite quotes by Pablo Picasso says “Everything you can imagine is real” 

For me, creativity is a very deep and personal process, it is something that just lies within you and expands with imagination, intellect, and reflection, to feed this, I make sure I include daily activities that help with my creativity and soul expansion, I love starting off my morning with some jazz music and reading a book, it’s an instant mood booster and I think the peace and calmness it brings, awakens the creative in me. As someone who’s driven by my heart, my feelings allow me to offer creative outcomes that are real and authentic as it always carries a part of me and my feelings within it.

Would you like to involve other creatives in your future projects and what do you think is the main mission of the CO-BRANDING concept? 

I would absolutely love to! I just love it when I meet other creatives, exchange ideas, and experience their different outlooks, I think it’s something that expands your horizons and helps you build stronger communities with people who resonate with your vision and purpose. The co-branding concept offers a chance of growth, communication, and expansion through a fun and interesting approach that allows people to discover something new in partnered brands that they couldn’t see before.

What is the slogan of your brand? 

‘Like flowers, we bloom’ it’s addressed to the women of the brand and it’s inspired from the lotus flower that comes in an abstract shape in our logo. The lotus flower in Greek and Egyptian mythology is a symbol of creation, rebirth, and beauty, and it’s known to bloom into a beautiful flower in dark and tough conditions, it’s a symbol of our brand’s unique, Greco-Roman Egyptian culture and it’s a representation of the brand’s woman strong persona.

What are the next steps for your label, in order to grow up more?

We’re currently working on a strategy that will help us grow and build a stronger community through tailored collaborations with other creatives in the region, that involves new product launches, partnerships, workshops and talks. We’re also working on e-commerce placements while building a website that comes with innovative AI features, that will help us connect with audiences from all over the globe while offering our clients a unique shopping experience. 

PHOTO CREDITS: Sarah El Sehrawy