Norhan El Sakkout is an Entrepreneur In Residence at TA Telecom where she leads product innovation and development in the fintech space; she’s also the Founder & Creative Director of ethical women’s ready-to-wear brand Saqhoute.
Norhan has an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship in Fashion at Goldsmiths, the University of London as a Chevening Scholar, and her BA in Finance with a minor in Art from the American University in Cairo.
Despite her busy life due to being an investment professional and working with many prestigious funds such as LimeVest Partners, BPE Partners, and many more; Norhan successfully launched her brand with the aim of supporting the individuality and ambition of the modern-day Egyptian woman by offering her sustainably produced ready-to-wear garments that are transferable from one occasion to the next, enabling her to balance her family, career and social endeavors effortlessly.
What Is “Saqhoute” and What’s the Idea Behind It
Saqhoute is an apparel brand, aiming to represent culture, heritage, and roots; the name of the brand itself is pronounced “سكوت“, and it is Norhan’s family name, the name of a region in Nubia, and a type of date found in Upper Egypt.
Since the brand’s main value lies in the journey of identity and self-discovery, using this name was the only option that made sense.
The brand is a childhood dream that Norhan had since her early teens, where she had started sketching dresses and designed her own school dance dress.
In September of 2018, Saqhoute’s first collection was launched; while the whole idea and business plan were developed and prototyped during Norhan’s year in London, where she completed her MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship in sustainable fashion at Goldsmiths, University of London.
While creating her collections Norhan is inspired by two main aspects, the first one is all the ambitious Egyptian and Arab women who defy stereotypes and have mesmerizing careers while simultaneously building and maintaining loving warm homes for their families. Women who had no other choice, because they were told that personal or career success was impossible.
Norhan‘s second source of inspiration in the local and regional culture, heritage, and aesthetic seen in all aspects around us; be it architecture, handicrafts, art, etc.
While these are her main sources of inspiration, Norhan aims to create pieces that are universally wearable and versatile to be suitable anywhere and in any situation.
What Is Slow-Fashion and Why Norhan Chose to Take It as Her Approach
She has always been extremely drawn to and skeptical of the way the fashion industry runs in general. From there, together with her Egyptian roots background, the idea of Saqhoute as a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion brand sprouted.
Norhan expresses: “I believe in the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit—this is the main direction that we implement at the brand.” “We want to bring awareness to our consumers about reduced consumption and the importance of it, as well as show them that through their consumption habits, they have the power to call for change socially and environmentally,” she adds.
Slow Fashion is a concept that has been around for a while and has rapidly picked up over the past five years. Slow production and consumption are both concepts that cover not just fashion, but all industries.
When it comes to clothes, it is essential since it has been found that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world following oil and gas.
“Slow fashion is a mindful and conscious form of creating and consuming apparel.” Saqhoute.
The latest Saqhoute Collection “Capsule 0.4 SULTANA” is a direct reflection of how brave Norhan is to take the decision of launching a whole new collection during a global pandemic.
To know more about the latter, join us tonight on Quarantine Live Talks Session with Norhan as she shares more with us about her brave decision and future vision!