Creative Divas

Each successful in her own field, Rania El Battal, Malak El Ezzawy, Alia Abaza, Maida El Komy, and Soraya Shawky have one thing in common: they are determined to succeed. eniGma’s Salma Hussein got an inside look at their passions, the reasons behind their success, and their dreams. Read on about their lives, careers, and aspirations.

Rania El Battal
The Bag Renovator

Top by Yohanix available at Villa Baboushka

Edgy, unique, and stylish, Rania El Battal is the face behind the iconic line Rons Bags. Always thinking out of the box, her designs are quite eccentric. Known for her pet icons collection, we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Tell us about how you started.
When I was abroad I started by doing hand painted t-shirts. When I came back to live in Egypt in December 2010 just before the revolution, I found that only brand bags were available in Egypt and hundreds of women are wearing the same bags but changing them every season!  I’ve always had a fascination with leather so I decided to make my own bags by tailoring bags for myself, then people loved them and started asking me about them. That’s how I started.

What did you study?
I studied public relations and advertising at AUC and took a lot of courses in fashion and all sorts of things when I was living abroad.

What inspired you to become a designer?
What inspired me to do bags is that I wanted unique bags of excellent quality that were not being worn by everyone. I love to be unique and don’t like holding a bag that 10 other women are carrying; especially the brand names. I love creating and seeing what I create. As I said, I designed t-shirts as well, and still do, but then bags became my passion.
What’s your signature piece?
My signature piece would be the pet icons collection.

Define the woman who wears Rons bags.
Women who wear my bags are cool, unique and don’t care about holding a brand bag just for the sake of the brand name. So I would say it’s women with an edge.

What’s your favourite trend of all time?
I don’t have a favourite trend. Fashion is a fast moving thing and especially now with social media it is  even faster. There are classics but there is not one trend. I would say each time has its own unique trend.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to establish myself more and to show Egyptians that Egyptian fashion can be of excellent quality. Whether it’s funky designs or brand names, don’t imitate, just be yourself.

My dream future plan is to have my own shop and to display all the different things I do side by side with Rons Bags. I do all sorts of pieces with leather including halters, wallets and necklaces. I have my Rons Bags world of leather.

Rons Bags
Tel: +201009475222


Malak El Ezzawy
The Couture Queen

Dress by Malak El Ezzawy: Necklace by Fausto Puglisi available at Hip

Inspired by fashion and dresses at a young age, Malak El Ezzawy’s designs are the combination of elegance and style. Her collections embrace femininity. She is amongst the most talented Egyptian designers.

Tell us about how you started.
It all started seven years ago. I came back from Istituto Marangoni in Paris and decided to start on my line right away. I started hiring my team, buying fabrics, and working on the first collection. Then it happened: I launched my line and it has been seven exciting years of hard work, ups and downs, determination, persistence but all in all it’s been great!

What did you study?
I graduated from AUC with a business marketing degree and then went to Paris to get a fashion design diploma from Istituto Marangoni. Since I wanted to launch my own fashion line and not just work in fashion, business marketing was just as essential as fashion design.

What inspired you to become a couture designer?
My grandmother is my inspiration.  Ever since I was a little girl playing around with the dresses backstage in her fashion shows, watching her run the show with love, passion and elegance, I knew that one day I wanted to be just like her. She still inspires me every day.

What’s your signature piece?
I have a lot of favourite pieces. Most of them are custom made dresses because they combine my ideas with the client’s personality. In general, I think there’s a signature feel to my dresses that now a lot of people can recognize.

Define the woman who wears Malak El Ezzawy.
She’s a woman who’s comfortable with herself, elegant, and sophisticated, sometimes with an edge.

Who are your inspirations and favourite designers?
I get my inspiration from, well, everywhere and anywhere and everything! Anything can inspire me to design even the smallest details of my collections. As for the designers who inspire me th e most, they are J’aton, Zac Posen, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad.

What are your future plans?
That’s the hardest question to ask a dreamer. I have so many plans and ideas, but I take it all one step at time and see where things take me.

Malak El Ezzawy
24 Thawra Street, Mohandiseen
Tel: +20233371102


Alia Abaza
The Trend Setter

Vest & belt by Me by Alia

Alia Abaza finds a way to add her own touch to her pieces. Abaza’s designs are unique, of nature motifs and embellishments. Her line Me by Alia is what the young fresh woman needs.

Tell us about how you started.
In 2010 I launched my first collection of handpainted scarves, which was a great success. This made me very motivated to launch a clothing line. In the next season I launched a collection of handmade t-shirts, shorts, jackets, etc. Then finally beach bags, which are always a best seller. Two years later Me By Alia was available in Sauce Dubai and this is how things started growing each season.

What did you study?
I studied mass communication and advertising.

What inspired you to become a designer?
I’ve had this passion of designing my own stuff since I was in school. Literally I liked to add my own design in most of the things I bought whether it was a top, bag or cushions for my house. This is one of the reasons that inspired me to create my own brand.

What’s your signature piece?
I would say rather than a piece, my signature is the motifs and embroidered embellishments making Me by Alia very distinctive. Luckily I was able to build a brand identity quickly. All my designs are hand made, each piece is unique and possesses its own charm.

What’s your favourite fall fashion trend?
I love all parkas, also the 70’s tailoring like falre pants, capes and shades of rust like olive green and mustard.

Define the woman who wears Me by Alia.
She’s confident, daring and fun.

Who are your inspirations and favourite designers?
Matthew Williamson, Olivier Rousteing and Valentino.

Give us one style tip.
Keep it simple. Go easy on the trends then you’ll know you’ve got it right.

What are your future plans?
Going global.

Me by Alia:
Tel: +201000435554


Maida El Komy
The Event Planner

Top & skirt by Bambah Boutique

Wedding and event planner and professional florist, Maida El Komy is inspired by different cultures. Her favourite saying is: “What better gift than couture florals.”

Tell us about how you started.
I was very passionate about flowers since I was young. They used to call me flower girl in school. I took a course in Cairo then went for a career flower arrangement course in London. I began by doing my close friends’ weddings and then I started my own company, Maida Weddings.

What did you study?
I studied business administration with a specialization in marketing, and I was certified from the Jane Packer School London for flowers.

What inspired you to become an event planner?
My passion for floral design along with my management background inspired me to create very well designed wedding arrangements to make every bride’s dream come true. The vision of flowers is as exciting as fashion and interior design, but is so much more accessible. My passion for flowers always comes from the heart.

What was your most successful event so far?
My most successful events were Mrs.Hanady’s wedding, the daughter of the famous Egyptian artist Fifi Abdu, Mr. Shadi Aziaza’s wedding, which was themed “Classical Romance”; and another Saudi royal Parisian wedding.  I also am proud of my work for the launch of the TEN TV channel.

What do you think about the event planning industry in Egypt?
The market is still in need of professional and unique themed weddings that give the right spirit of the bride and groom instead of repeating and duplicating the same ideas again and again. We have to feel a difference and there are a lot of ideas to be done.  But the good thing is that the people in Egypt are aware of the importance of planning and designing a wedding.

What inspires you?
With my frequent travel I’ve seen different cultures and different concepts around the world which inspire me and help me satisfy Egyptians’ taste. I am inspired to create inspirational weddings and to mix interior design with floral arrangements.

What are your future plans?
I want to introduce to the world an Egyptian branded flower shop with my own taste and to become an international wedding planner.

Maida El Komy
In‪‪stagram: maidaweddings‪
Tel: +201210558337‬‬‬‬


Soraya Shawky
The Make-Up Guru

Dress by Forever Unique available at Hip; Shoes by Fausto Puglisi available at Hip

Soraya Shawky currently works between Cairo and Geneva. A true artist at heart, she plans to one day open her own beauty academy in Egypt.

Tell us about how you started.
I started with Nazly Abouseif and Shahira Tarek Zaki when they opened a photography studio called Photoboutique. We are a team, each one of us completes the other.

What did you study?
I majored in finance in college and after I graduated I decided to pursue my dreams.

What inspired you to become a make-up artist?
Since I was a kid I was obsessed with colours and art. I used to paint a lot and sold paintings at various galleries in Cairo. Later I took fashion design courses at ESMOD fashion school in Berlin, but I soon realized I wasn’t as interested in the clothes as I was in hair and make-up. I started watching YouTube tutorials and began my make-up career as a self-taught make-up artist.  A few years later I moved to Barcelona and did my masters in cosmetology.

What is your favourite project so far?
All the projects I’ve done are special to me. I don’t have a favourite.

What are the beauty/skincare products that you can’t live without?
I can’t live without: Estelle & Thild Hydrating Serum, Chanel Le Lift Eye Serum, my very own home made face masks, my individual false lashes, Avene Thermal Water and DiorShow Mascara.

What is your favourite fall beauty trend?
Exaggerated lashes, a healthy dewy contoured face, and nude plump lips.

What are your future plans?
Hopefully starting my own beauty academy in Egypt.

Make-up by Soraya Shawky‪
Tel: +20127603535