While most of the Arab world have already begun adjusting to life post-lockdown, Egyptian label Mamzi is on a mission to remind us about the invaluable role healthcare professionals were and still are playing in this ongoing battle against Covid-19. Releasing a new capsule in collaboration with Egyptian medical non-profit Ahl Masr Foundation, Mamzi is dedicating her latest collection to the doctors and nurses bravely fighting on the pandemic frontlines. All profits from the sales of these designs will be donated to the foundation’s Cairo-based hospitals, which are still working tirelessly to treat incoming coronavirus patients.
In an innovative dual push to raise awareness about the campaign as well as shine a spotlight on successful women from the region, Mamzi has enlisted the help of acclaimed Egyptian TV presenters to model the pieces in a cozy at-home shoot with Egyptian photographer Ämr Ezzeldinn. Featuring Nardine Farag, Mona Abdelghani, and Heba Alabassiry donning a series of contemporary ready-to-wear ensembles in hues of all-white, the campaign focuses on the subtle beauty that lies in simplicity. Touting the prowess of the growing pool of regional talent, Mamzi’s visionary designs are wholly produced in Egypt itself, uplifiting the local creative community and already capturing the attention of leading Arab actors Dorra Zarrouk, Salma Abu Deif, and Jamila Awad.
We sat down with campaign star Farag who opened up about why this collection that not only gives back to the “soldiers” of this “brutal” battle against Covid-19 but also champions powerful, career-driven Arab women personally spoke to her as well as the important role she believes TV presenters like herself play during global crises such as the ongoing pandemic.
Why did you personally decide to join this campaign? What makes it special to you?
I found the campaign not only very interesting but also important during these hard times that the world is unitedly facing. Since the beginning of 2020, we are in a brutal war with an invisible enemy and the soldiers that are defending us are in white coats. The great effort the doctors and nurses are putting in this pandemic should be respected and have light shed upon. And with this campaign not only this is being achieved but also helping an NGO like Ahl Masr Foundation with the profit is the cherry on top.
What role do you think TV presenters play during global crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic?
I believe that presenters play an important role during this pandemic because they are the voice of the truth as well as the people. People by nature panic and rumors start spreading around. Therefore presenters that people trust and relate to have a major responsibility in highlighting the truth and in informing them with the important and worthy facts, and information that they should be aware of. Presenters are also the voice of the people, forwarding their concerns and fears to the key people that could help them in society.
How do you feel when wearing the designs from the Frontliners Campaign minicollection? Which is your favorite piece?
When I saw the pieces of the collection I loved it because it is very simple yet cool. My favorite piece is the white oversized shirt.
As someone who is a strong advocate for women empowerment, how do you think this campaign “embraces the power of women”?
This campaign is featuring powerful women and key presenters. What else does anyone need to embrace the power of women? We play a big role in our society and present women through our voice, our personality, our features as well as our styles. We all are so different but yet have one important fact in common: we are all successful powerful women that reached this point in our careers by our effort and strength—and this fact says it all.
If you could share a message with all the doctors and nurses on the frontlines right now, what would it be?
Simply: Thank you for all the effort. Thank you for giving up everything, your families, your health and safety, for us. Thank you.
Speaking to Mamzi owner and designer Mariam Abdelghani further about the new collection, we delved into the various inspirations behind this charitable campaign, the symbolism behind its pure white color palette, and her hopes for empowering women in the region to embrace their unique, natural beauty.
What inspired you to create the Frontliners Campaign and why did you decide to partner with the Ahl Masr foundation?
Honestly, throughout this pandemic, I know that every single person was affected in different ways. I myself was really overwhelmed at the beginning of all this to the extent that I wasn’t able to sketch and even the Spring/Summer collection that I was working on was put on hold. But after a while and after watching all the news, I saw how the “Frontliners”—from my point of view—are the most affected physically and mentally as well. I was really touched by what they are doing and I felt that I had to actually do something for them. For me, fashion is my kind of art and it’s how I express myself so I got back to sketching for this cause and created this tribute collection. Although AhlMasr foundation is very well known for their free treatment for trauma and burn victims—and they are actually the first foundation to do so in the Middle East—throughout the pandemic, the foundation decided to contribute with the Egyptian government and offer three of their buildings to treat Covid-19 patients.
Where did the idea of enlisting Egyptian TV presenters to be the stars of the campaign come from?
I wanted people to feel connected with this campaign and that’s where the idea came to me and my time. TV presenters are considered familiar faces and they have true and genuine connections with people in whom they can relate to.
What is the symbolism behind the all-white color palette for this mini collection?
White represents all the messages that I wanted to send through this collection: Light, purity, goodness, and peace, so I kind of had no choice but to make this my main palette.
How do you hope these designs will empower women in the region and beyond to embrace their natural “strength and beauty”?
I always hope for every single woman to feel comfortable in her own skin because that is true empowerment. I created pieces that align with that and that give the women wearing it an edge and uniqueness that highlight her own and natural beauty.
If you could share a message with all the doctors and nurses on the frontlines right now, what would it be? What about to the Egyptian people and people in the region overall?
To every doctor and nurse who has decided to give their time and energy to the people, and help in saving a lot of people as well, I would just say “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart for your tremendous effort. And I would like to tell everyone that I am sure these hard days are going to pass, but what’s going to help make it easier is by giving and by being kind to one another. A lot of people have lost a lot and even if we can’t do something, we can at least have empathy.