After finishing her bachelors degree in Arts, Egyptian born, Reham Essam has flourished in the fashion industry in a plethora of platforms. Working as a fashion and beauty editor in a number of leading lifestyle magazines and producing fashion and lifestyle segments on Egyptian TV have paved the way to what she calls her ‘ultimate fulfillment’ – designing clothes. The ‘Boho Sharky’ collection, which translates as Bohemian/Oriental, is a marriage between boho chic and Oriental design. Essams designs emerge from a new realm where east meets west and the ancient merges with the cutting egde and forward thinking. Steering away from the recycled frameworks of high street clothing ‘Boho Sharky’ produces timeless pieces to stand the test of time. Using Satins, ornate embroideries, hand woven beads and flowing silhouettes, that can be dressed up or worn casual, an air of intricacy is added which elevates her collection above the passing trends of the high street. ‘Boho Sharky’ injects a subtle glamour to the most recent excursion of Boho chic of Sienna Miller and Nicole Ritchie, in the years of early 2000, ending up with a highly evolved collection where ancient oriental aesthetics are cut, sewn and sent flowing with more sophistication, creativity and progression than ever.
What were your ideas behind merging Boho chic with the Oriental?
Bohemian fashion style is one of the most interesting styles of today & everyday… It’s a trend that won’t go away.. the relaxed trend has that hippie style touch which gives a certain allure to any design, which inspired me to create fashion that reflects a mélange of that style and the Eastern style that reflect our own culture & Identity, Consequently, I combined the use of hippie inspired flowing fabrics, relaxed silhouettes to the original detailing of oriental motifs & embroidery.
Can you explain the inspiration of Turkish textiles, architecture and the Ottoman Empire within the collection?
This season Boho Sharky has been inspired by the Ottoman Empire, inspiration was drawn from the Turkish art, culture, architecture & textiles… Some motifs were drawn from the famous Turkish tiles, others were taken from their traditional kaftans… collection had many Turkish artistic details, with oriental motifs, hand stitching and embroidery, Each season we will be having a different oriental source of inspiration.
Is it important for you to explore a modern pathway for more ancient designs?
It’s always important to revive ancient cultures & have them back in our modern lives.. Luckily enough our culture have always been a rich source of inspiration for both the national & international fashion industry.
Do the embroidered emblems on your pieces represent anything significant?
The brand is inspired by the oriental style & Boho Sharky’s aim is to promote this notion in fashion trends so that more people can identify it, enjoy it & appreciate it. So the embroidery is an artistic expression that embodies our culture and history.
What drove you to set up your own design label?
I’ve always wanted to be part of the fashion industry, I studied fashion when I was 17 and after finishing my Bachelor degree in Arts I worked as a Fashion & Beauty Editor in several leading lifestyle magazines in Egypt then I worked on producing fashion & lifestyle segments at popular live TV Shows, when I decided that producing my own designs is my ultimate fulfillment and my true passion.
What do you see for the future of Boho Sharky?
I believe I can always expand the brand; would love to develop Boho Sharky internationally; I must say I have lots of work ahead and lots of goals to accomplish!
WORDS: RACHEL RIDGE
ILLUSTRATION: ASHWATHY SHYAMKUMAR