CAIRO: Egyptian handbag brand Okhtein recently launched its debut eyewear collection, a stunning assortment of sunglasses expected to be available for purchase as early as this month.
Exhibiting brass and enamel motifs and enthused by the brand’s hot seller Brass Minaudiere, Okhtein’s shades were spotted on Columbian popstar Maluma in a recent campaign for French fashion label Balmain.
“Our eyewear collection draws heavily from our culture and ancient cultures that we’ve greatly appreciated. These cultures are what have shaped our future and the way we create and live today,” Okhtein’s founders, sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf, told Arab News.
The collection was produced in Italy and comprises four designs and 11 colors. The Palmette Heat and Palmette Minaudiere shades are a fresh reinterpretation of the brand’s signature Palmette leaf print, combining “embossed enamel / brass as well as digital laser etching,” the sisters said.
“This reflects back upon our classic brass handbags, and we make sure all our pieces are 18-karat gold and palladium plated for the best quality and luxury feel.”
Next there are the Oukra shades, “offering a vintage vibe with the smaller drawn lenses. This pair is for the daring and edgy.”
The fourth design, Into the Rod, exhibits a plexi frame along with Okhtein’s signature rod. Into the Rod waltzes across ancient Egypt, Rome and 1980s disco America, all of which “come together to show a story of evolution and style whilst remaining current and fresh.”
It has been an eventful summer for the sisters, who just launched a summer collection of clutches and totes, in keeping with their yearly custom of releasing capsule collections that “fit within our brand identity but capture the essence of the summer.”
The collection is an original take on artsy summer-themed bags, and incorporates four designs: The Palmette Leaf Bucket, Palmette Stitch Tote, Palmette Flower Tote and OkhtiBow Tote.
“This year’s collection was inspired by the classic Garden of Eden, but we’ve modernized it and made it for today’s woman,” the sisters said.
“We wanted to keep this collection bright and light to cater to beachgoers, travelers, and those who want something extra for their summer night outings.”
Bag colors range from lilac and lime green to orange and metallic blue, among other shades. But according to the designers, Garden of Eden is “more than just beautiful products. We’ve also made sure to give back to our local community and to those in need by utilizing local artisans and featuring the meticulous handwork of refugees in Egypt.”
They added: “Our story doesn’t end with our designs. We make sure every aspect of our brand has a purpose and is positive each step of the way.”
Okhtein was founded in 2013 as an attempted “revival of the world’s rich history, vast cultures and art to the betterment of today’s creativity,” as explained on its website.
“As sisters we’ve always appreciated art and fashion as more than just products, but a story and a lifestyle,” the sisters said.
“When we design, we make sure our pieces always pull from an artistic standpoint first and have a story, in which they then become wearable art,” they added.
“Each piece is created from scratch as though it’s a sculpture or painting and has its own mood, which we tie back together with up-to-date fashion trends and materials.”
Their overarching goal remains to “offer unique styles that are easy to fit into your everyday life. Okhtein isn’t just about a bag. It’s a lifestyle that you can pull from, whether you’re running errands or going to a red-carpet event.”
This year, Okhtein’s handbags have been worn by Demi Moore, Joey King, Olivia Palermo and Lena Perminova, among others.