MEF couldn’t help but notice the famous Sisi Store in Tunisia, situated in Carthage.
The MEF team was there for a very special interview with Sandra Fekhfekh the owner of the first Store in Tunisia where the Tunisian artists leave their prints and works of Art.
Amazing pictures were taken for you to witness with us this fashion conscious unorthodox project.
What can you tell MEF about Sisi store?
Sisi Store is one of the first boutiques that‘s ever had the store concept in Tunisia, it was launched back in November 2010 when I quit my job in the event planning industry as an event organizer and decided to pursue my passion for fashion and I opened Sisi Store in Carthage Dermesh.
What is the concept of Sisi Store about?
The concept of Sisi Store is to bring together many young Tunisian fashion designers and artists but always with THE touch of originality and authenticity. Sisi Store is the essence of creativity where you can sense the inventiveness and the ingenuity around not only the piece itself, but also around the furniture and accessories which are not just fashion creations but pieces of pure Art.
Can you tell us about the woman behind the Sisi Store?
It’s Me, Sandra Fekhfekh , half Tunisian half Belgian , living in Tunisia. I am not far from the fashion industry since I have attended the ESMOD Tunis school of design to be a fashion designer and then I studied Graphic Art at EAD (Ecole d’art de decoration) .
I have worked as a stylist, event planner and then I quit it all to be back on the fashion track again…my passion.
How did you get the idea to start the store concept in Tunisia instead of an ordinary boutique for clothes?
Well, being familiar with the store concept in Europe -and specifically in France for the well known Colette launched on 1997 that offers a selection of heterogeneous objects and clothes from all over the world-
I realized that it didn’t really exist in Tunisia back at the time, the concept of 'warehouse style store' is the new shopping trend for fashion lovers and especially for those interested in getting unique pieces. and then when I had the clear idea of what I wanted to do, I made few calls to two well known Tunisian designers: Salah Barka and Fares Chraiet(Berbers) who fell instantly in love with the concept and the idea and then after the Sisi Store good start, many other Tunisian designers joined us naming : Syrine Bounejma, Ibrahim, Atef, Hafedh Barchouchi (21 clothing) , Baligh Micky, Dorra Sassi , Afef Ben Ammar (By…Me!) and many other young inspired Tunisian designers.
Since you are a designer yourself, have you tried to work on a collection and display / sell it on Sisi Store?
I actually have recently! Whenever I have free time I try to bond with the designer in me, my collection was out during winter time, it was a mini collection that had pieces with the hand of Fatima print, fun punk colorful prints too (and other pieces) that were quickly sold out.
Has your Store been affected by the revolution commercially and artistically speaking?
All I can say is that it was better BEFORE the revolution (commercially speaking), but I think that what happened in/to Tunisia has boosted many designers who became more eager to design and create the art of fashion, it was an inspiration for them, and this is noticeable in the store as you can see, all thanks to the biggest inspiration Tunisia has ever lived. Things are going back on track now.
As a fashion designer and fashion business owner,how do you see the future of fashion in Tunisia and the Middle East?
I am optimistic as Fashion is evolving!! I have witnessed many young talents who have amazing collections and are looking for support to present to the world their work of art, the art of fashion. Things are going slowly but steadily. People are more and more aware of the fashion culture in the world through TV, media, fashion magazines and of course stores, Sisi Store is here to give the young talents a refuge for their unique fashionable original pieces, it could be clothes, drawings, furniture, accessories and the list goes on..
What advice can u give to fashion lovers and designers out there in Tunisia and the Middle East?
Dare to be different! Fashion is all about originality, diversity and creativity, and nothing of these can be achieved without first accepting one’s difference, and others’ differences. You don’t have to look outside to be inspired sometimes the inspiration comes from within, be true to yourself, to your art, and that is what fashion is about, and what Sisi Store is constantly looking for, unique pieces that carry within them a great value that it is often so hard to put a price on.
A last (but not least) word you would like to leave the MEF with?
Just Remember that Different is Beautiful and that is why Fashion is Fabulous. Dare!
Photography by Narjess Mizouni