Umm Kalthoum’s iconic black Cat-Eye glasses are revived with a new eyewear collection

Umm Kalthoum’s iconic black Cat-Eye glasses are revived with a new eyewear collection

Standing in front of the Great Sphinx of Giza, Umm Kalthoum – wearing her signature diamond-studded black cat-eye glasses – looks like a monument herself; an otherworldly alien far above the mundaneness of everyday life. Her undisputed dominance and distinctive style exuded a sophistication that transcended all fashion looks and styles.

For years, the definition of “cool” was Kate Moss, Tupac, Victoria Beckham – socialized cool seen at high school parties and fashion shows.

Then there was the definition of Umm Kalthoum. She didn’t need a cigarette squeezed between her fingers or a puckered expression – her presence was powerful in itself. Her fashion did not define her, but was rather an extension of her powerful presence. She came first: there was Umm Kalthoum, and then there was Umm Kalthoum’s gaze.

Bringing back the iconic look of Umm Kalthoum, Dutch-Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam, one of fashion’s most popular models, pays homage to the iconic singer by launching her own eyewear capsule collection with the Moroccan label Port Tanger.

Basing its designs on “two of the strongest women she knows”, Umm Kalthoum and her own mother, the collection offers two silhouettes: “Umm”, a cat-eye frame, and “M’Barka”, a 70s style wide frame. .

In an Instagram PublishHammam noted that his life “has been a journey to find my roots as a Moroccan-Egyptian. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of talking and sharing where I come from and my people. I’m really proud of my heritage, so I try to put it into everything I do in my life and my career.

Courtesy of Port Tanger.

“For me to do this was also to celebrate the fact that the Arabs are doing so well right now, and I feel like there aren’t a lot of people coming together, uniting and support each other,” she added.

There are several reasons why this is important.

First, in the modern fashion world, trends have never been set by influential Egyptian personalities like Umm Kalthoum, but by global fashion companies, famous Western celebrities and popular publications such as Vogue. Although there was a some fashion looks and trends from countries of the South, these have often been appropriated and rarely credited.

The designer Daniel Mouktel, in a exhibition entitled ‘Manipulation’ in Jerusalem in 2013, previously blasted the fashion world using her work “Fashion Force,” which takes headlines from Vogue covers and replaces images of Western artists with artists like Umm Kalthoum. Her work aims to ask the question: why is it so difficult to see Umm Kalthoum, an extremely popular singer in the Middle East, in a magazine like Vogue?

Second, championing local brands from low- and lower-middle-income countries is essential to building a global industry built on diversity. Many smaller local brands struggle to brand and market their collections to a global audience due to a lack of exposure, access and connections.

Celebrating the vibrant culture and lifestyle of local people, these brands help create jobs and promote the values ​​of tradition and craftsmanship, which are often overlooked.

This is not the first time Hamaam has celebrated its legacy. This summer she visited Egypt will shoot its latest campaign for Romanian-Jordanian shoe designer Amina Muaddi. The photographs were taken in Cairo, where Hamaam was seen posing in a number of landscapes and everyday locations in Cairo, wearing Egyptian-inspired dresses.

Serving as a reminder to cherish and value culture, the new collection from Hamaam and Port Tanger introduces new possibilities for the future of fashion; one that celebrates all fashion trends and looks from all over the world.

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Sarah C. Figueiredo