Meeting up with Karim Maher

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Karim Maher has got into business for the first time in London in February 2010, as the debut collection was  launched in  Margin London. Beik is a simple success story of a man,  Karim (the creative designer behind Karim Maher), who has followed his heart, quit his banking job in Egypt and moved to London to study Fashion. Karim’s pursuit to happiness has paid off obviously, as  his first collection was praised by the English press and a number of independent stores in London. Since 2011 and up till now, Karim is very keen on adding individual pieces to his basic collection, as he is striving as an independent designer in London.

Karim Maher

Karim Maher

We had this brief interview with Karim Maher;

How do you describe your designs and what type of men do you target?

The typical BEIK customer wants to be unique and different without being the odd one in the crowd, he has an eye for detail; he appreciates design and quality without being too fussy about his looks.

Many designers start by targeting women then they create later on lines for men, but you started with men right away. Why is that?

LESS COMPETITION! Just joking …. there is actually much more money in women’s wear. I just enjoy the challenge of exploring the creative boundaries within the more restricted borders of menswear. I also LOVE the history and rich tradition of men’s wear, such as: Savile Row, Jermyn Street in London as well as the great tailors and artisans we have in Cairo.

You made a bold move when you started to shift your career from the banking field and follow your heart to get into the fashion industry, was it pretty easy for you to do so? If not, what are the major challenges you have met on the way?

My stomach hurts already thinking of the answer to this question. Let’s put it this way; everyone I know on this planet thought/still thinks I am a weirdo. So the answer is “No”.  It was not an easy move. As for the challenges, we will need another interview!

Why did you settle on “Beik” as your brand name?

I wanted a name with an Egyptian flavour to it. In the times of royal Egypt the word BEIK was used formally in addressing a certain people of a certain background or class; nowadays, it is used when addressing anybody in Egypt. I like this confusing fact, which is part of my brand concept; as well as Egypt, which I Love.

As a designer based in London, how do you try to keep up with the fierce competition?

Well it is a double edged sword; the competition pushes me to my limits and forces me to be as good as everyone else, I also get exposed to so many different designers which in turn improves my work as I need to keep up all the time. London is a great place to be in as it is a melting pot for talented artists/people from all over the globe and you constantly get inspired. I guess if not for this competition I wouldn’t feel the pressure of constantly researching and producing different designs.

 

 

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Noha Rahhal

Noha is the Founder & Editor in Chief of Sans Retouches. Apart from her obsession with glossy stuff, Noha is a hardcore bookworm and a music addict. If you happen to spot her in any of Alexandria’s hot spots, you’d find her either pouring her thoughts on a chic notebook, picking a political argument with some fellas or even enjoying an exotic meal to keep her full for days.

2 Comments

  1. The enigmatic youngsters

    November 13, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Love this!

  2. Mohamed Hegazy

    November 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Very interesting article about a young talent

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