Egyptian luxury handbag label, Okhtein has made its Paris Fashion Week debut in partnership with French luxury fashion house Balmain. The brands have showcased their collaborative pieces at the Balmain Spring/Summer 23 runway on the 28th September.
Okhtein, meaning ‘sisters’ in Arabic, encapsulates the spirit of two Egyptian sisters Mounaz and Aya. The sisters wanted to highlight their heritage, crafting their bags meticulously embedding their love for art, jewellery and story-telling. They learnt all the necessary skills from local craftsmen and workshops, to introduce their unique aesthetic into the fashion world in order to redefine the modern Arab women and all the stereotypes that accompany. Aya’s digital arts and design degree combined with Mounaz’s marketing and art background, allowed the sisters to flourish in the industry. The brand is about connections, family, duality and an ode to what unity allows us to achieve.
The talented duo has skillfully curated a bustier utilising worn-out resin, to embody the Egyptian alabaster stone and Olivier Rousteing’s collection. The collection is “inspired by the rebirth and rediscovery of the beauty of the Renaissance, highlighting how ancient masterpieces can be adapted to modern times.” It also alludes to the metamorphosis of the Renaissance, which is highlighted through silhouettes and details that capture the essence of art and sculpture of the greatest thinkers of the time. Following a similar route, the sisters incorporated a snake brass bangle, a distinct signature element from their ‘bangle bag’ onto the bustier, keeping the natural colour of the resin, and cuts placed to show a worn-out look replicating the texture of an alabaster. This further clarifies Rousteing’s contrasting vision of the antiquity and modern combined, signifying the revival of the Renaissance. The sisters stated “this piece was the most challenging project for both of us, however we found it as an opportunity to push ourselves as designers and product developers.” Keep scrolling for a sneak peek into how the product was made and more details regarding the piece..