The King’s Mother conjures images of nobility and royalty that exude tradition. Well, if that’s what came to your mind, you are half right and all at once, entirely wrong! Co-founders, Farida Naguib and Nadine Sabry, have managed to deliver the exact dose of classic and edgy through their FW16 collection. Nothing short of harmonious, the cacophony of tradition and modernity have resulted in a delightfully melodic debut collection entitled “Outlined”. Drawing inspiration from none other than nature itself, The King’s Mother explored animal anatomy to carefully combine lace, organza and neoprene into meticulously tailored blazers, equal parts statement and heritage.
Within minutes of sitting down with the founders, it becomes so obviously clear that their teaming up for The King’s Mother was inevitable. The women behind the brand are Farida, a fashion management graduate with stints in London and New York, who teamed up with Nadine, an ex-Banker and Egypt’s very own pioneering blogger who took the offbeat path to join the fashion industry. The pair are essentially two sides of the same coin, seamlessly juxtaposing styles. It is no surprise that understated silhouettes are transformed into bold statement pieces through their designs. I caught up with the duo one evening to talk about their brand, the blazer and everything in between.
Where did the name come from?
Farida (F): We wanted to link the brand to the history of the blazer, not our own names. Blazers originated as sportswear for the Cambridge and Oxford rowing teams, with the most victorious team at the time being Lady Margaret Beaufort’s team of Saint John’s. They were known for their blazing red jackets; that’s where the word “blazer” came from. When the blazer was worn outside of sports, it always had a prestigious feel to it, being handed down from generation to generation. Anyway, Lady Margaret, the founder of Saint John’s, was the mother of King Henry VIII. She was a noteworthy woman with many achievements and was referred to as The King’s Mother. So, when you think of the name it has a heritage and a dominant feel to it.
Why did the blazer specifically come up?
F: I took a sabbatical leave from work for a month and enrolled in a bunch of courses. I studied fashion business, so I wanted to start out with one product and then develop it, like DVF and the wrap dress. My husband is obsessed with suits so I got the idea when we were traveling and I thought “the blazer is perfect!” because you need to have something that is an investment piece. Men really take care of their suits and I feel like women should have the same thing.
Nadine (N): And a lot of women do! For a lot of women, bags and shoes are important. But if you think about it, clothing-wise for a working woman, you have to have a proper suit.
F: Then our blazers developed because we didn’t want to keep them classic. There is that whole art factor.
N: We wanted to be really creative to satisfy that craving.
F: We wanted to get excited by the details, not just have three silhouettes and change the fabric.
Referring to The King’s Mother, does your brand stand for the woman in power?
N: I don’t want to go that route. It is such a trend. Yeah, we want to give a woman power, but that’s not what the brand stands for.
F: Yeah, it’s not feminist.
N: We are not a feminist brand and we are not trying to be one. When you put the blazers on, you feel good about yourself- you feel strong, and at the same time, you feel artistic. It’s a mixture between feeling confident, cool, edgy and unique.
F: Yeah, it is not like the brand stands for “powerwoman”. At the end of the day, the blazer is inspired by men. It is a man’s attire. So, it is taking something that men wear, adapting it to the woman and elevating it.
Is there an essential blazer every woman should have in her wardrobe?
N (shocked): Is there one?! Personally, I would like all of the above!
F: I would say if I had to pick a blazer, it would be a statement blazer.
N: Farida loves embellishment!
F: Yeah…embellished, embroidered…something that says “Hello, Blazer!”
N: I’m probably different than Farida. When you first asked that question, I thought of the perfect black blazer- a perfect tailored black double-breasted blazer. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like statement blazers, but this is why we perfectly complement each other. That’s the perfect mix between the both of us.
What is your favorite from your current collection?
N: You have to love them all…but I would say the Pythonidae and the Hippocampus. But I love the Rossetus as well.
F: If I had to pick two- the Rossetusblazer- it’s amazing- and the Acinoyx.
Which celebrity would you dress?
N: With certain silhouettes we see certain people wearing them. I think the Rossetus would look so cool on Cate Blanchett. I think the Acinoyx would work really well with Kendall Jenner.
F: Kendall, because she is very edgy but has a classic face. The Barbus I think would work with Gigi Hadid.
N: We say Kendall and Gigi because those are the people in our face now, the ones that have the most reach. Gwen Stefani would totally go with our brand too. Farida always wanted Sia to wear one of our blazers…
F: I love her! I would see her in a Rossetusor, the Hippocampus Kuda.
N: I just think a lot of them would work with different people. It’s the thing about our blazers; they each have a certain style that would work for a lot of people. They’re so different. Definitely not bohemian though! Otherwise, our collection has reach.
What’s your biggest fashion mishap?
N: I wouldn’t call it a mishap as much as “what was I thinking in high school?!” For instance, my graduation picture: I was wearing these sunglasses that were clear, orangey and tinted…with curly, curly hair that was supermoussed! I like the dress, but otherwise the rest of the look was horrendous.
F: I remember my prom dress- what was that?! I looked like Barbie. It was pink and it was a shiny silk organza that says “I don’t know if I’m pink or purple.” It was long and had a train. I thought I was a princess, even though I was going through a punk rock phase my entire four years in high school. In university, ii turned to an eighties style. I used to wear leggings with a tutu!
What can we expect next from The King’s Mother?
N: Experimentation. We have our brand identity, but not every collection will be the same. We are experimenting with embroidery. The following season we are experimenting with fabrics and silhouettes, taking things up a notch.
F: Think 3D structures.
N: And hopefully international reach, to put the brand on the map. Everything is on our international website.
F: And you can look out for our moving trunk show this winter.