International fashion shows come to Egypt

CAIRO — From the dazzling royal palaces of Cairo to the iconic pharaonic temples of Luxor and the iconic pyramids of Giza, Egypt has begun to position itself in recent months as the go-to location for major international fashion brands to stage major fashion shows. fashion.

And meanwhile, Egyptian authorities are trying to seize the opportunity to grab the world’s attention, showcase the diversity the country has to offer as a tourist destination, and blaze a new trail in the process of road to promote a key economic sector.

“Egypt has what it takes to organize unforgettable events. Archaeological sites, temples, pyramids – beautiful places that can accommodate them,” Amr El-Kady, CEO of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, told Al-Monitor.

The last of these major events took place on the evening of October 9 on the West Bank of Luxor city, where more than 350 guests from around the world gathered to witness the luxury fashion house’s 50th anniversary celebration. Italian Stefano. Here.

The Temple of Hatshepsut, specially illuminated for the occasion, served as a setting for the catwalk of the models who paraded along its exterior staircase dressed in the couturier’s outfits. The event was attended by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who opened the ceremony with arias from Verdi’s opera Aidaset in ancient Egypt.

“I chose to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my brand in a magnificent city, full of charm, art and traditions,” said Ricci in the event announcement. “For the first time in history, the temple of Hatshepsut will be the exquisite stage on which my fashion show will be presented. Having received this privileged authorization from Egyptian institutions, [it] is a source of pride for me,” he added.

“The Stefano Ricci event was really very important because it helps to promote tourism in Egyptit shows that Egypt is safe and people should come, and it also shows our archaeological sites for the first time in [such] in a beautiful way,” former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass, who attended the event, told Al-Monitor.

Before Stefano Ricci, it was the prestigious Lebanese designer Elie Saab who held a fashion show at Abdeen Palace in downtown Cairo in late 2021 to unveil its iconic villas in a luxury resort developed by real estate company Emaar Misr. The event was attended by the then Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled El Enany.

Next in line will be famed English designer Kim Jones, who will present his upcoming Dior men’s pre-fall collection on December 3. in front of the pyramids of Giza. It will be the first time that the famous French luxury fashion house will host a fashion show in Egypt and the first time that a major global fashion show will be held in front of this emblematic place.

Dior last year resumed its tradition of presenting its men’s pre-fall collections in different parts of the world with an event in London, and the company has already held fashion shows in countries including Italy, Greece, South Korea, China and the United States. , but not in Egypt, the fashion news site WWD reported. Jones has also held presentations of her collections in cities like Miami and Tokyo in the past, but never in Cairo.

All these events are part of a new branding strategy designed by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to show the diversity of experiences that Egypt has to offer to potential visitors at any time of the year, Kady said.

The idea, he added, is to show the world the more artistic and creative side of the country through fashion shows, but also art exhibitions, film festivals, concerts and sport events.

Kady said that the starting point for this brand strategy dates back to the celebration of Cairo Golden Parade and Luxor Sphinx Avenue Parade last year, which became a great promotion both of Egypt and of its ability to organize major events.

“That’s when international brands started talking to us. Because they saw these mega-events and the perfection with which they were produced,” said Kady, who is one of the leaders of the new strategy.

“We have promoted tourism in Egypt but also our capacities and those of Egyptian private sector companies to organize such big events,” he added.

In addition to promoting general tourism to the country, Kady noted that the aim of this new branding is also to attract specific high-income visitors. He also said the ministry was in talks with other international fashion houses to hold more such events in the near future, although he did not give further details.

“The participants in Stefano Ricci’s show all came by private jet. [We want to attract] this kind of elite and high standing tourism. [It’s] very good for luxury tourism in Egypt, which is growing now,” Kady said.

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