We're looking fabulous while fighting back against our oppressors.
With recent worldwide movements like #MeToo and cases of the sexually-harassed fighting back in Egypt (such as Teegy Neshrab coffee pick-up incident), women have found their voices and don't seem to be planning to quiet down anytime soon. That being said, it's hard not to feel proud by all the recent courage many of these women have shown in the face of adversity. Every time we read a story on the news about a women standing up to her offender, or taking her sexuality back into her own hands, we can't help but feel like there is more we could be doing to contribute to these strong boss bitches. Selissa's jewellery, a brand centered around women empowerment, isn't just wondering if they can change things, they're already on it.The Egyptian brand, whose pieces revolve around topics pertaining to the suffering of women as well as their strength in getting back up, was founded in June 2018 by Egyptian graphic designer student, Nourhan Selim Issa. Having actually decided to start the brand after learning about #MeToo, in an effort to contribute to the cause, Issa encourages women to embrace their scars and find the strength and beauty within their struggles. “The name of each piece has a story behind it," explains Issa. "So, the mutilation earring is my way of raising awareness on FGM and the earring is shaped like a blade to symbolise the tool used in the process. The cat call earrings are to raise awareness on cat calling," he continues. "The Revival earrings, which are two inter-looped circles, symbolise a cycle and the message behind them that it will get better, everything gets better. That's how life goes, in circles." For Issa, the brand is about more than just aesthetics. Having already founded another brand in 2015 (Trinity), Issa wanted a clean slate with Selissa's. For the young designer, Selissa's had to have its own identity.
“I wanted to contribute in my own way. I want women to know that they should wear what they feel. I want them to know it’s fine to cry. I want my pieces to make them realise that it’s okay if they’re hurt or broken, they're still strong.”Issa doesn’t always decide on the theme and name beforehand, though, with some of her designs inspiring the names only after they’ve been created.
“With FGM, I knew what I wanted to do. With the heartbreak choker, which isn’t smooth but rather full of ragged spaces, it was after looking at it that I came up with the name. It’s just how it made me feel when I'd look at it with all the roughness.”
Selissas’s designs are made of silver, with the occasional piece being gold-plated. Citing the widespread of craftsmen and silver stores in Egypt as a reason for choosing that specific material, Issa makes sure that everything about Selissas is personal and meaningful.
Check out Selissa's on Instagram.