After having lunch in downtown yesterday I decided to take a walk and have a look at the bazaar taking place. What i found was that the bazaar had too many of the following cliché categories:
– Jewelery stands
– Cupcake/ Waffle stands
– ” Blank- Fashion designer”
Sure that would be fine if each stand was unique in a way or two but NO. With the exception of the “By Lisa” stand (the only one i found interesting) it’s as if Egyptian women all woke up one day and decided they were going to be jewelery/ fashion designers. The skull bracelets a la “for the love of”, the stands with fake Celine/ Hermes bags, the necklaces with the “Kaf” & calligraphy bracelets/rings/necklaces.
I don’t mean to rant, it just annoyed me. We have the potential to design and innovate, instead, everyone is producing the same products. If you took away the brand names from these stands i wouldn’t be able to name their designers, and I’m almost certain the “designers” themselves wouldn’t be able to either. Let me clarify, I have nothing against the peace & skull bracelets, heck I have a few Hebz bracelets myself and i love them, however Heba is already doing that!
Moral of the story: don’t copy, create.
As for the Cupcake/ waffle stands.. They’ve become extremely over-saturated. I started Iced & Sliced in 10th grade (4 years ago) before Cairo had any cupcake stores, before bazaars had 5 different cupcake booths lined up next to each other with absolutely no competitive advantage over their adjacent neighbors and so, it’s been a great experience but that door has closed, I’m just not challenged anymore. Don’t worry Melissa, I’ll still make you some red velvets with cream cheese icing.
Lastly, each booth selling clothes had a huge sign with the “designer’s” name and “Fashion Designer” next to it which I found absolutely ridiculous. These so-called “designers” don’t do shit. Their “collections” consist of t-shirts with skulls on them & pieces of the Ramadan table-cloth with no idea behind their cuts/ cuts copied from other brands.
Again, Amina Khalil managed to incorporate ethnic prints into her designs and perfect it but that’s HER thing! Egypt will never be taken seriously as a fashion capital if we continue this way. There are more ways to show your “Egyptian heritage” than simply using calligraphy and prints all over your items.
So please, designers, next time you’re working on your “collections” consider having a unique edge to set you apart from the herd. As for Iced & Sliced, I’ve decided to officially stop baking cupcakes. Lovely friends and family, thank you for your support over the past couple of years!