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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Beyoncé helps to lift up small, ethical Egyptian fashion label

Bow down: Queen Bey carried an embroidered bag by Okhtein, which collaborates with Egyptian NGOs, during a visit to see the bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin

Beyonce & Jay Z in their latest music video, which was filmed iat Louvre Paris. Beyonce and her stylist go to pains to ensure they rise beyond the obvious names, and fold not-so-famous brands into Queen Bey's wardrobe mix. Courtsey YouTube 
Beyonce & Jay Z in their latest music video, which was filmed iat Louvre Paris. Beyonce and her stylist go to pains to ensure they rise beyond the obvious names, and fold not-so-famous brands into Queen Bey's wardrobe mix. Courtsey YouTube 

Beyoncé now seems to be an unstoppable force of nature, and has far eclipsed the mere moniker of singer.

As a public figure with global appeal, it is heartening to see that she is taking this responsibility to heart, and making sure she lends her considerable support to help lift up smaller, emerging fashion labels.

A post shared by OKHTEIN (@okhtein) on

Being world-famous (and richer than King Tut) Mrs Carter enjoys the freedom of being able to wear whatever item suits her fancy. While regularly seen in the likes of Valentino, Versace, Cavalli and Gucci (oh, how she loves Gucci), Beyoncé – and her stylist - do not just stop there, but go to pains to ensure they rise beyond the obvious names, and fold not-so-famous brands into Queen Bey's wardrobe mix.

With an Instagram following of 116 million (plus 10.7 million on Twitter) Beyoncé carries truly global influence. A single mention on her feed is enough to launch a label to a worldwide audience, meaning that whom or what she decides to wear has an impact.

One label that has borne witness to the Beyoncé effect is Okhtein, an accessories brand from Cairo.

The brainchild of two sisters, Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf, Okhtein (the Arabic word for sisters) creates hard-edged leather and woven bags, with just enough studding to convey attitude (rather than inflict injury), and that Beyoncé has opted to carry not once, but twice.

Last October, she posted an image of herself wearing the Dome Belt Bag, meanwhile in July she wore the Rodhawk embroidered bag for a visit - somewhat fittingly - to see the iconic bust of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in the Neues Museum in Berlin.

What makes Okhtein stand out is not only its gorgeous bags, but also that it too is aware that it is in a position to do good. To create its products, the company has linked up with Egyptian NGOs to promote local skills and provide support to women facing financial hardships. Using embroidery and weaving as a way to support local crafts, Okhtein is helping bring these skills to a wider audience. How fitting then that Queen Bey is doing the same.

A post shared by OKHTEIN (@okhtein) on

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Read more:

Bonfire of the vanities: Why Burberry's admission it burns unsold stock might just help the fashion industry

Deconstructing the meaning (and brands) in Beyonce and Jay-Z's music video

Amir Meghani: the man who makes his own diamond watches

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