As a young hijabi college student, Marwa Lotfy struggled to find fashionable clothes that represented her. Now, she and her siblings have their own design line “Meem Designs” and she runs ‘Marwa Lotfy Workshops’; a start-up dedicated to teaching youngsters all the basics of fashion designing. We sat down with her to know all about it.
Although Marwa graduated from the faculty of Mass Communication, she later discovered she had a passion for training and developing others. So, she went ahead and joined a training program and got certified as a professional trainer. Throughout her exploration, she carried another passion for fashion designing that was growing.
Her passion for fashion was a natural progression…
“Because I often struggled to find suitable and fashionable clothes, I used to buy fabrics and design my own. I loved wearing pieces that I created myself from scratch,” she said.
After graduating, Marwa took a fashion designing course and familiarized herself with the field. That’s when she and her siblings Mohamed and Mariam launched their modest fashion line “Meem Designs”.
“We designed modest wear for all occasions. I got a wonderful feeling seeing people wear our designs,” she said.
As an ambitious person though, Marwa didn’t stop there…
“I decided to merge both of my passions – training and fashion -together and started Marwa Lotfy Workshops,” she said.
So far, Marwa has given workshops to over 100 individuals, of which some were high-school students, to help them explore fashion designing as a possible career path.
“I’m really optimistic about the future of fashion. Children are naturally creative, it’s our job to give them the tools and space they need to explore their hidden talents.”
At ML Workshops, children get to experience the journey of a fashion designer by practically learning the basics of designing.
The workshops include learning about different types and styles of clothes, identifying body types, and creating mood boards. Moreover, they teach children how to find inspiration, how to design sketches with arts and crafts, how to draw mannequins and clothes, how to measure body scales with measurement tape, and how to dress the Mannequins with real fabrics.
Students of the workshops are between the ages of 8 and 16. They’re carried out in one day and are usually 4 hours long. There are two levels, level 2 is more advanced than 1.
“I believe this workshop not only exposes youth to new and different hobbies but also possible career paths,” said Marwa.
“Because they’re often pressured to pursue architecture, pharmacy, or medicine, these workshops are necessary to show kids there are options they may not be considering.”
“It’s always both fun and beneficial to try something new and to give our children the chance to learn a new skill, it expands their horizons,” she continued.
Marwa Lotfy’s ambition didn’t stop at the workshops either…
A year ago when Covid-19 first spread, she launched a fashion kit.
“Since people were quarantined at home, I thought of providing a fashion kit so anyone interested in fashion can pick up the skill at home!” She said.
The kit includes a booklet about different shapes and types of clothes, a mood board and instructions on how to create one, fashion templates ready to be designed on, examples of sources of inspiration, and fashion Colouring pages. It also includes a mannequin (48cmx44cm), and the main tools needed for you to design a sketch (like a box of pins), so people can visualize their designs and bring them to life multiple times without limit.
Currently, Marwa is working on designing the first fashion board game in Egypt!
“It will be an informative yet fun game for all ages. It’s all about the phases of fashion designing and will have questions the player has to answer so they can get to the next level and win the game at the end. It’s meant to wake up the designer inside the player!” she said.