A good sense of style doesn’t require buying designer brands, copying Instagram fashion icons, or upgrading your wardrobe every month, all you really need is good taste and a handful of basic options.
“I personally prefer comfortable, basic wear, and it’s not easy to find what I need at most stores, and when I do they’re usually very limited,” said Nada Mansour, 23 and Founder of BAZIC, an online store providing affordable, sustainable fashion.
Mansour’s first experience with fashion design was with Bel Balady, a sportswear brand with a touch of local flavor that she launched last year. However, she had very different motives when working on BAZIC; her main focus was to produce a wide range of good-quality, comfortable and budget-friendly pieces.
We delved into more details about her newest line, and how challenging it can be to establish a brand using only Egyptian materials.
Tell me more about the concept of BAZIC and why you thought of it…
Recent rise of the USD value isn’t helping anyone, so people need more local products. The whole point is to make everything using Egyptian materials. I thought that building an Egyptian brand would help everyone find what they’re looking for with affordable prices; the most expensive item we have is 560 EGP.
Clothes and accessories are getting more expensive by the day, even the simplest and least sophisticated of items. So I made something that would fit into my style and still serve different purposes.
“The tracksuit will look appropriate pretty much everywhere, the flare pants work more for fancier outings, and the long dress for running daily errands”
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas, since you don’t tend to add much details to your designs?
I don’t think so because fashion is an ever-changing industry, new trends appear every month. Now, I’m mainly targeting Egyptians and their seasonal habits. Like April, for instance, a lot of people head to Gouna and dress very differently from how they do in Cairo. I’m making sure that I cater for the needs of everyone during different times throughout the year.
Adding small details, like rips and zippers, then pairing them with different accessories will bring out a completely new outfit. There’s always room to make the designs look fresh.
Did you have a certain body type in mind when you designed the first collection?
Other than the flare pants, most of my items pretty much work with everyone, because they don’t define the body shape. You can’t go wrong with the long dress, for example; it’s one size, easy to style, and it won’t matter how tall or short, slim or curvy you are, it will always look right.
What are the biggest challenges you face while working with Egyptian materials only?
I buy fabrics from El Wekala, Downtown, and Al Azhar, the main challenge is that the options there are very limited. Most of the time you can’t find what you’re looking for, I was forced to change the fabric I used for the long dress because the one I previously bought was out of stock. Also, vendors are using the current economic situation as a reason to change the prices everyday.
Another problem I have to deal with is that most factories don’t agree to produce less than 500 items, which makes it harder for me if I’m experimenting with a new idea and not sure I’ll be able to sell all 500 pieces.
What reactions have you been getting since the launch?
“The concept I’m trying to bring to the market here is comfortable basic wear, easy to style and recycle”
I’m glad to have garnered 2500 followers twenty days after launching the brand, people are receiving it really well and it’s worked out far better than I expected. Jamila Awad made an order the other day and told me that she feels proud to have found an Egyptian brand that makes good basic wear.
The brand doesn’t serve a specific age group, I want to experiment with different items and ideas, to fill all sectors in the market, and make something for everyone; my grandmother wears my designs so does my mom, as well as my sisters and friends.