By: Aliaa Elsheribini
The trendiest and most unique addition to Diplo’s promenade this year is the Azza Fahmy X Kesmat concept store. This newest branch of the renowned jewelry brand is one like no other. It is a collaboration between two artistic entities and supported by a third. The partnership brings the theme of Ancient Egypt and calligraphy into an interactive shop with art on the walls from TAM Gallery, fine Azza Fahmy jewelry pieces, and delicious baked goods from Cake Café’s owner and cook Kesmat.
We sat down with the three main women behind it—Amina Ghali, head designer Azza Fahmy, Kesmat El Mehelmy, owner of Cake Café, and Lina Mowafy, co-founder and director of TAM Gallery—to better understand their vision. Amina explains the brand just launched ‘Egyptomania: the Revival’ collection just in time for the 100 year celebration of King Tut’s tomb’s discovery.
“Our hero piece is a scarab, a symbol of transformation, rebirth, and luck,” says Amina. The entire collaboration is based around revival and authenticity, all core values of the AF brand. “You see these little jars,” asked Kesmat, “We used them because AF likes to make areesh cheese in different ways and the olives that are sold here are especially for her and they are not sold anywhere else.”
The menu consists of various baked goods, all with a local twist using ingredients like tahini, local spices from Sinai, olive oil, dates, and rose water. The logo is also derived from the offerings that the Pharaohs used to make, and even the plates and décor are under the same theme, “We wanted to offer something different, for everything to be an experience for our customers,” adds Amina.
The store speaks for itself; it’s a modern take on our rich historical heritage. And that is also thanks to the art on the wall provided by various artists on the themes of calligraphy and ancient Egypt, creating pieces in the medium they chose, coming up with different backstories for each, as Lina explained. Fine painting, digital, and collage, the variety of mediums used all revolve around the same theme which brings the whole concept store together.
Both Kesmat and Amina see this collaboration expanding further than the North Coast as they see a real demand for such ideas and the revival of our local flavors and designs. For now, you can find the store at Diplo 3 open daily from 10 am to 10 pm.