Male fashion and lifestyle bloggers are not quite easy to come by – especially in Egypt. Prime, however, managed to snab an interview with one of Cairo’s rare few out there. Omar Tantawy’s Instagram page is a representation of a lifestyle that goes beyond a passion for fashion. With every post, he manages to take us along on every one of his fabulous journeys. Interested in the stories behind the posts, we sat down with Tantawy to pick his brain about fashion and lifestyle blogging in Egypt.
Prime Team: Hello Omar, it’s great to finally meet the man behind the posts. Can you just start by telling us a little bit more about yourself, and how you first got into fashion and lifestyle blogging?
Omar Tantawy: I’m a simple person who grew up with an appreciation for arts and culture. It naturally started influencing my everyday life – from the Disney shoes I wore in primary school to my prom suit in my senior year of high school.
The way I put myself together and step outside is a side of me that I truly want to show people. It’s not about the brands – it’s about how you can make every day feel like it’s a piece of art. I believe that when you start your day on a cheerful note, the first step you take in the busy streets of Cairo turns into something positive. This, as well as my love for meeting new people and fashion, is what first got me into ‘blogging’.
PT: Is blogging your profession or hobby?
OT: Blogging is a hobby – a full time hobby. My favorite movie is The Devil Wears Prada, and the scene when Miranda told Andy about how one tiny decision can influence the lives of so many people, I realized that fashion is more than supermodels and big-name magazines – It’s a force of nature that can boost your self-confidence and impact others. So, it became a hobby of mine to understand such power.
PT: What do you think about fashion blogging in Egypt?
OT: Fashion blogging in Egypt and the Middle East has been on the rise for the past two years. Egypt was once one of the best fashion destinations in the world during the 1930s and 40s – and it abruptly stopped.
After the excessive use of the internet following the revolution, the country got into a stable phase that attracted a multitude of world famous brands. Bloggers and fashion artisans started using the internet to put Egypt back on the fashion map. We now have bloggers and social influencers impacting generations to come with amazing styles. A simple hashtag like #ootd gives hope, even on what was once considered a taboo outfit such as females wearing dresses on Egyptian streets. We are now collaborating Egyptian art with social change.
PT: How does it feel to be one of the few male fashion bloggers in Egypt?
OT: It feels wonderful! I’m so proud to be contributing to the fashion revolution that is currently happening in Egypt. I mean any revolution starts with one man, or a few men. [Laughs]
PT: How would you describe your personal style?
OT: It’s a combination of trendy and classic. I love mixing different styles and giving all my outfits a personal touch, such as wearing my oversized scarf.
PT: What are your thoughts on Egyptian male style in general?
OT: I would describe it as… similar. Egyptian guys are stuck in a ‘style bubble’ and that’s what male fashion influencers try to change. I’m trying to show people that everyone can look good without having to look similar – that a simple scarf, for instance, may seem unorthodox but can transform an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary.
PT: Tell us about what a day in the life of Omar Tantawy is like?
OT: My day revolves around family, friends, and surviving college. I go about my day very simply, from hanging out with my friends to family gatherings. I look for inspiration in every tiny detail around me as well – that’s why I keep a travelling blog that I get back to every now and then. I need inspiration, whether it’s for style or emotional support.
PT: What is one item that you cannot live without?
OT: I’ve had a notebook with me for two years, and it’s my companion of choice for all the events I attend. The notes and scribbles in it help me understand the ever-changing nature of life and how things are always evolving.
PT: What would you say is your spirit animal, and why?
OT: The Panda. What strikes me most about Pandas is that they inspire strength and determination. They are calm and tranquil, which contrasts their ferocity when triggered. I think that’s why I gravitate towards them.
PT: Alright, well back to fashion talk… have you been to any interesting fashion events ever since gaining popularity in the fashion world?
OT: I attended the Cairo Fashion Festival, Baroque, and several fashion shows around the world.
PT: What do you feel is your greatest achievement so far?
OT: Cairo Fashion Weekend, it was my first project – I worked on the Public Relations (PR) team and acted as the project manager. I aimed to create a community that appreciates art and supports the six local artists that we featured that weekend. Thankfully, the outcome was a new mutual understanding filled with hope towards Egyptian fashion and artisans.
PT: Can you name some of your favorite local fashion influencers and designers?
OT: Ahmed Hamdy, Omar Rabie Yassine, Nour Ibrahim, Omar Madkour, Dolly Yanni, and Eva Cangrova.
PT: Finally, we’d like to know what the future holds for Omar Tantawy.
OT: I want to continue working with what I love the most, marketing and advertising, while pursuing my passion for fashion. I believe that my career would be able to support me in bringing Vogue Magazine to Egypt someday, and ultimately leaving our Egyptian mark in the fashion world. My blogging will help me create a fashion culture and community that appreciates Egyptian art.
We don’t doubt that it will. Prime would like to thank Tantawy for the interview, and if you would like to check out his Instagram page – click here.