Egyptian label Toroz incorporates native embroidery strategies into its up to date clothes

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CAIRO: “Your heritage speaks volumes about who you are. Wear it with pride.”

That’s the tagline for up-and-coming Egyptian vogue label Toroz, which goals to revive native embroidery traditions and revamp them for contemporary, up to date put on.

Founded in 2019 by Egyptian designer Lobna Zogheib, Toroz works with feminine artisans in Sohag within the Upper Egypt space and within the Siwa oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert to create high-quality regionally embroidered clothes, turning into, in response to its Instagram web page “a gateway between cultural iconic craftsmanship and modern-day fashion style.”

“I’ve always had a passion for handcrafted work, especially traditional Egyptian embroidery,” Zogheib tells Arab News. “Our embroidery techniques are incredible, but I always felt that the designs were a bit outdated and in need of a revamp. This is how the idea of setting up Toroz came about.”

Zogheib works with two types of embroidery. The first is Tally, an Upper-Egypt embroidery custom relationship again to the 19th century, during which metallic threads — both silver or gold — are sewn into tulle or different materials.

She additionally works with Siwan embroiderers, creating designs impressed by Siwa’s conventional wedding ceremony clothes.

Zogheib got here up with the idea for Toroz throughout her senior yr as a graphic design pupil. For her commencement undertaking, she traced the historical past of various conventional costumes of Egypt. As a part of her analysis, Zogheib spoke to native artisans and was stunned to seek out that they weren’t promoting many of those costumes.

“I also found out that Siwan women were no longer wearing their own traditional dresses due to their high prices. Unless they inherit these costumes from their own mothers or grandmothers, none of these women buy them anymore,” she says.

Zogheib additionally seemed into the a number of meanings of the motifs and symbols typical of Tally clothes and Siwan embroidery sample designs, which embrace plant motifs, notably palm groves.

“Siwan women typically incorporate the colors of dates in their different stages of ripening into their designs — ranging from the green and yellow to the red, dark red, and, finally, black,” she explains.

As a part of her undertaking, Zogheib designed items impressed by the normal clothes of each Sohag and Siwa. One of her earliest designs was of a fundamental black jacket with outsized sleeves, the latter being typical of a standard Siwan bridal gown, which is comprised of rectangular items of material sewn collectively.

After graduating, Zogheib determined to take her curiosity in reviving these native traditions a step additional by establishing Toroz.

“We may have many local Egyptian brands, but not so many Egyptian-inspired local brands, so I wanted to start a brand that belonged to the latter group,” Zogheib says. “I started going to more local exhibitions where I met many of these local artisans and commissioned some of them to create high-quality embroidered pieces.”

Zogheib sends her designs to artisans in Siwa and Sohag who embroider them on material. She then integrates these embellished items into her clothes.

To date, Zogheib has launched a wide range of informal and formal clothes starting from skirts and blazer clothes to trousers, jackets and cardigans. Most of the objects are in both black or white, though she says she could be open to “experimenting with more colors later on.”

The ensuing designs are timeless, elegant and minimal. “I guess what makes Toroz stand out is how the motifs are implemented in design — and how the patterns come together — in minimal, clean finishing,” Zogheib says.

Each piece is made by order, and normally takes round three weeks to complete. The intricate embroidery can imply that they are usually on the costly aspect.

“I don’t expect everyone to appreciate the designs or understand their value. Some believe that our work is overpriced and do not realize its handmade quality,” Zogheib says. “But those who are familiar with our traditional embroidery and the effort that goes into it certainly understand the high price tag.”

The design high quality isn’t the one motive for the price, she factors out. Higher costs additionally guarantee sustainable livelihoods for the native feminine artisans working with Toroz, one thing that’s central to the model’s enterprise mannequin.

“I want our female artisans to generate their own income. It’s hard for these women to join me as full timers, as they have families to look after. So, they’re usually commissioned by piece,” Zogheib says.

Right now, Zogheib is busy getting ready for a brand new winter assortment. The younger designer is as decided as ever to proceed celebrating Egypt’s cultural heritage, and empowering feminine artisans within the course of.



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