Anne Marie Kirollos’s inspirations lie behind her Egyptian heritage and has a simple design ethic: “I really just design things I would wear,” she says, while empowering women is at the heart of her label. “Tiyi was the first ever queen that stood at the same height as her husband in all museums. She is who all women should aspire to be.” Inspired by Egyptian Queen and grandmother of Tutankhamun, Tiyi, the emerging designer told Vogue Arabia about the conception of her five month old fashion line, “I was planning on moving to New York to work for a few years before returning to Cairo. However, once I came back, I began working in the family business, which gave me a very detailed view of the market in Egypt where I realized that there is a huge gap in the market,” she said.
Fashion is rooted in Anne Marie Kirollos’s heritage as her family is heavily involved in the fashion and textiles industry in Egypt and spoke about her family’s ties to it, “My grandfather is a chemist who founded a business that does everything from weaving to dying fabric and producing garments. My mom also founded her own brands. She and my family manufacture and export garments for international high-end brands in addition to producing uniforms for luxury hotels and airlines.”
Following in her family’s footsteps, what also makes the emerging designer so unique is that she is the first Egyptian fashion designer to have graduated from Central Saint Martins in London – the infamous design school attended by the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Anne Marie has collaborated with the Baraka Group to make her aspirations for her brand, Tiyi, a possibility, “Fashion to me is more than just cool or unique designs. I was born into it, I learned it, and I can’t image doing anything else but fashion,” she said.
Looking closely at Kirollos’s creations, her styles ooze a sense of power dressing whilst maintaining complete femininity. The contemporary cuts include boxy power suits in striking royal blues and red, a new take on an LBD and an unusual, game-changing accessory – boot covers. “Instead of buying five different pairs of heels, you can purchase that one cozy shoe with a series of boot covers that you can slip on to instantly change your look,” says Anne Marie.
Tiyi has a high-end, luxury appeal, and is described as such by the designer herself. Sticking to her roots, Anne Marie Kirollos uses “Tulle Bel Telli” which is a traditional embroidery method used by women in a Shandaweel in Egypt. The designer’s motivation to use this technique to adorn her designs is her objective to encourage the welfare of Egyptian women by collaborating with as many local craftswomen as she can, and explains, “I also work on getting all my beading done by women on the highways of Egypt, where they embroider at their homes. This is in order to encompass their needs of having to be housewives, but still providing their families with incomes. Creating a brand that impacts the image of Egypt as well as the economic growth is something I enjoy and I aspire to be a part of.
Tiyi as a brand that aims to take a sustainable stand when it comes to the creation of their designs. Only using ethically sourced, ecofriendly fabrics, the brand doesn’t compromise on style and is aimed at women of all ages and sizes. The line will launch in the Mall of Arabia in early November.