CAIRO - 15 July 2017: With bold patterns, eclectic fabrics and comfortable cuts, Fufa offers the ultimate wanderlust, boho-chic styles for a day on the beach, a safari trip or even a romantic night in the city.
Flowing summer dresses in floral patterns, geometric patterns on loose-fitting, comfortable overalls, and tribal pants that carry you perfectly from a day on the beach to an evening out in the city; Fufa is all about the bohemian, free-spirited woman that reflects the personality of its designer Farah El Ashiry. With a bold collection of tribal and ethnic patterns, El Ashiry combines eclectic fabrics with crochet and ventures into patchwork bags for a day on the beach or a weekend away.
El Ashiry explains that her grandmother used to collect patterned and colorful fabrics whenever she traveled to exotic destinations around the world. This eclectic collection has inspired El Ashiry to develop her very own bohemian line with a signature pattern of vibrant and eccentric prints. What gives FUFA an edge in the Egyptian fashion industry is combining uniqueness with simplicity, designing comfortable, playful, flattering and bold pieces that would appeal to her target audience.
El Ashiry, 25, launched Fufa in August 2014, introducing her first collection “A Summer to Remember” paying homage to the laidback woman inspired by art, fashion, travel and music. Her collection instantly sold out and she decided to develop her entrepreneurial and design skills.
Having studied integrated marketing communications at the American University in Cairo (AUC), minoring in arts, entrepreneurship and graphic design, El Ashiry pursued a degree in fashion from the Italian Fashion Academy in Cairo where she “acquired knowledge in the fields of fashion designing, pattern making, hand and machine sewing, cutting and collection building,” says El Ashiry.
She then traveled to London to study fashion further at the Central Saint Martins (CSM) art school at the University of the Arts London (UAL). She also took a fashion business course at the British Council in Egypt, held by London College of Fashion, also part of UAL, to help her understand the fundamentals of business and kickstart her own brand.
“Traveling to CSM helped me learn how to turn inspiration into effective and commercial collections,” says El Ashiry. “Since my first launch in August 2014, I taught myself some foundations such as pattern making, hiring and managing, marketing and distributing, handling all sorts of financials and even photo shooting and fabric sourcing. It was a tough journey, but I have released 10 more fashionable collections to date, which are showcased at my mini boutique and online e-commerce store.”
At what age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion?
I honestly don’t know how my fascination with design and making clothes started. I started painting at a very young age. My grandpa was an amazing artist. He taught me how to mix colors and got me my first coloring box. We would sit for hours painting flowerpots and all kinds of landscapes. Around the age of 10, my paintings drifted more toward doodles of dresses and clothing garments. The dream job I used to always write in friendship books switched from art teacher to fashion designer. My interest took a new turn, and I started experimenting with fabric pieces and old unused articles of clothing.
What is the new trend for this summer’s collections?
This summer we are focusing on a mixture of plains with prints. We have a range of different styles, all funky, comfy and striking at the same time. We want each customer to feel like every piece is a favorite and one she’d want to wear every day.
How can people learn about the latest fashion trends?
I don’t believe in trends or influencers of trends. I believe every girl has a style of her own that reflects her personality and character. She should decide what to wear based on her preference and her comfort. When I design, I base my research on my customers and what their needs consist of, and begin my brainstorming from there.
What are the summer 2017 runway trends?
I wouldn’t know. FUFA is not about fashion trends or fashion shows. It reflects the lifestyle of a bohemian girl who’s driven by music, art and traveling. She doesn’t follow the latest trends; she has a comfort style of her own and our pieces are designed to fit that lifestyle. We focus on customer demands and needs, and design according to what they want to see in the market. Sometimes there is a huge trend everyone goes for, like prints and ruffles, and when the demand is high, we incorporate that into our designs.
What colors would you advise people to go for this summer?
Never black! Summer is all about joy, freedom and activities. I think bright colors and prints are what people should be wearing.
What are the summer 2017 essential pieces, for beach and generally a day out?
We’re focusing on pieces that are easy and flattering to wear on the beach and for lunch after. We’ve got a selection of exotic prints and in cuts that are comfortable and adorable. We’re making dresses, tops, rompers and a lot more to satisfy every girl’s needs.
What is the ultimate entrepreneurial tip you would give people?
My main advice is to put all your fears aside and just go for it! It’s so, so scary starting something completely new on your own and waiting for people’s judgment to decide whether or not your dream has a future, whether it’ll succeed or fail. But in the end, at least you tried and you know you had a hell of a time doing it. It feels so good making your own clothes or, better yet, seeing a person on the street wearing something you made with your label on it. It is always good to reach out to others. There’s no competition, just different ideas and with different styles; everyone has an idea and a style of their own.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game,” I really believe in this saying and it should be a guide for all young talents wanting to pursue their dreams.