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Salma Abu Deif on Forming a Sisterhood and Celebrating Natural Beauty with Her New Swimwear Brand

Photo: Shahira Zaki. Courtesy of Elma

There’s a new celebrity-founded inclusive swimwear brand to love and covet, and it was born right here in the Middle East. Egyptian actor and model Salma Abu Deif has channeled her passion for women’s empowerment and self-love into Elma, a brand described as a “safe space” by Abu Deif. “More than a brand, it aims to nourish, educate, and help women be more accepting and content in their own skin and bodies,” she shares with Vogue Arabia. “Elma speaks for every woman, and aims to better understand their needs and what women truly want.”


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Three years in the making, Elma was launched this summer by Abu Deif on Instagram with a locally shot series of photos that showcase the different pieces in the inaugural drop. “The swimsuit styles are based on what the market responds to, as well as my personal taste,” says Abu Deif. “Our first collection is us testing the waters in the Egyptian and MENA region markets, and we’re all ears to see how our consumers respond.” Seen in the launch campaign are bikinis, one-pieces, lounge sets, maxi dresses and more, ranging from monochrome numbers in bold hues to multicolor prints. “Our pattern is inspired by stretch marks, and the E in Elma’s logo is inspired by the curves of the body,” says the 29-year-old. “Each style has a different story in terms of design and experimentation, as well as color. The creative process was a conversation with our designer, who brought Elma’s vision to life. We talked about how stretch marks are a constant struggle for all women, including myself, to embrace. We also discuss the art of celebrating natural beauty and everything in between, which is what we’re all about.”

Photo: Shahira Zaki. Courtesy of Elma

Elma aims to do away with the notion of the ideal beach body by adopting the slogan, “Your second skin” and celebrating natural beauty. Driven by Abu Deif’s goal to form a sisterhood, Elma is on its way to being a community-oriented swimwear brand unlike any other. “Right now, everyone is still getting to know Elma,” she says. “In the next couple of weeks, it’ll become more clear what Elma is truly about.” Modest swimwear and a winter collection are on the horizon for the brand, and so are a “few cool projects”, according to Abu Deif. “Until then, we’re just excited to see how Elma will grow from here on out.”

Photo: Shahira Zaki. Courtesy of Elma

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