Egyptian siblings Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf launched their brand Okhtein – meaning sisters in Arabic – because they wanted to bring true luxury back to their home country. They also sought to draw international attention to the inherent refinement of Egyptian artisanship, while sensing a gap in the market for luxury accessories produced in Egypt. Launched in 2013, Okhtein seeks to set new trends, promoting Egyptian artistry as well as presenting new designs to the world.
Born and raised in Cairo, Aya and Mounaz had an early fascination with fashion, with Aya studying communication and media arts along with digital arts and design at the American University of Cairo. Mounaz studied marketing and art at the same institution. Mounaz is also a highly skilled painter and has exhibited her work in galleries in Egypt and Paris.
As a brand, Okhtein is remarkable due to its local manufacturing process. Each Okhtein product has deep cultural associations. To manufacture their products, Aya and Mounaz felt compelled to take a philanthropic approach to their work, while also seeking to incorporate more handmade embroidery and straw into their leatherwork. This led to a mutually rewarding collaboration with several local NGOs that work to provide assistance to skilled female workers who have faced considerable financial hardship.
Okhtein stands apart as a luxury brand that is truly committed to supporting the cultural value of Egyptian craftsmanship and to giving back to those in need while promoting innovative, cutting-edge design on an international scale.