Fashion After Fourty: How Nehad El Swefy Makes Clothes

When she used to go shop­ping for clothes, she would find all the nice designs catering to the young­sters, leaving the older ages with very limited choices. Refusing to settle and let go of her fashion obsession, the then forty-nine­-year-old Nehad El Sewefy decided to launch her own local brand, selling creative designs online and through marketplaces, fash­ ion avenues, and boutiques. “I wanted to wear things that are very elegant, fashionable, chic, and yet suit my own age. I wanted people of my age to get creative with their clothes, and still look their own age,” Nehad says.

Nehad is originally an engineer­ing graduate, from the depart­ment of electricity and power. When she became a mother she left her engineering career to raise her daughter and son, yet not forgetting about her interest in fashion. “I always design my own clothes, and I have always known how to sew. Whenever

I wanted to make a  new outfit, I used to design it from start to finish,” she adds.

With her friends’ positive feed­ back and encouragement, she decided to launch a brand for home accessories, Duvattique, when she was forty -seven, but later wanted to pursue her dream with fashion at the age of forty­ nine. Yes, career launch and then a shift by the late forties. “It started by coincidence when a cli­ent liked a design of my own I was wearing and asked me to design one for her as well. When she re­ceived admiration as well, I start­ed to make more and so on until I felt it was a good idea to get into the industry,” Nehad adds.

Penetrating the challenging in­dustry, Nehad struggles to find employees who understand her vision. Being primarily an online store, her main concern is to earn her clients’ trust with good-quality fabrics. She also in­ stalled a policy for both refund and exchange to make people more comfortable and guarantees not losing their money.

Since Nehad has always focused on creating unique designs, peo­ple at first didn’t really understand them because they were different. “People would tell me: you’re not famous yet to use these types of designs; you don’t make enough profit, be on the safe side and sell commercially. They made me stop many times to re-evaluate things, but I was stubborn and I loved my designs. I love being different, and I was sure there were people out there like me,” Nehad explains.

As passionate as she is about de­ signing, opening her own bou­tique isn’t really one of Nehad’s ambitions because she doesn’t want to waste any time on any­ thing other than design. “I don’t want to take the project as pure business. I want to fo­ cus on the designing to be really made with love because it shows. I don’t want to cram things. If I don’t feel passionate about it, I’d rather not do it because people won’t like it,” she explains.

When asked about the notion of #مش_عيب_على_سنك,  Nehad  has her own insight. “There is no such thing, as long as you are do­ing something you love and it is good and useful. Do whatever you want and wear whatever you want, as long as you are not hurt­ing anyone.”

 

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