C/MEO Collective’s Head Designer Siham Elmawey Talks Style, Collaborations + MBFWA

Australian Fashion Week may be over for another year, but last week C/MEO COLLECTIVE's new collections, 'Liminal' and 'Ornate' reinforced why the Adelaide-based label is every fashion lover's top choice when it comes to snagging "it" pieces. We've always been big fans of their playful, classy and feminine designs, and so it was very exciting to receive the opportunity to interview the label's Head Designer, Siham Elmawey! You know the drill: Click the pic above to find out more!

If you haven’t noticed lately, C/MEO COLLECTIVE is everywhere and they’ve definitely made their mark within the fashion industry. The coveted label is is every fashion girl’s go-to label for exciting and innovative designs from an Australian-made label. C/MEO COLLECTIVE’s vision is to supply experimental designs to dictate future taste via bold cuts and flattering, feminine shapes.

Every fashion-loving girl knows of C/MEO COLLECTIVE and it’s most likely, they either already own something from the label and/or they’re thinking of what to add next to their cart. For us, it’s both – especially after seeing their new collections strut down the runway last week.

Established in 2010, the Adelaide-based label has cemented its spot in the industry as a go-to for its unique aesthetic—experimental shapes, unique and directional prints, and premium fabrics—all for an affordable price.

So who is the creative eye behind all the clothes you want to wear? Head designer Siham Elmawey.

At the age of 22, Elmawey was appointed Brand Manager/Head Designer of global fashion label, C/MEO COLLECTIVE. Now, at 25, she’s absolutely KILLING it!

But how did she get there?

During her studies of Applied Fashion Design and Technology at TAFE SA, she interned at the Adelaide office of C/MEO COLLECTIVE and after just one week, they offered her the position as their Assistant Designer and has never looked back! Talk about a dream job!

Ever since then, she’s steered the label’s rapid growth into the international market, grown its success locally, dressed the likes of Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Margaret Zhang, and has showcased her designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) for the last three years – not to mention grabbing the attention of the one and only Solange last year and releasing a capsule collection with the Saint Heron label! 

During Australian Fashion Week last week, we were given the opportunity to interview Siham Elmawey and naturally, we jumped at the chance! Who wouldn’t?

Scroll through to read what she has to say about C/MEO COLLECTIVE, how that collaboration with Solange came about, and her top tips for making it in fashion!

How has C/MEO COLLECTIVE evolved since it was first established in 2010?

Since 2010 C/MEO COLLECTIVE has cemented its spot in the industry as a go-to for its unique aesthetic, experimental shapes, directional prints and premium fabrics but kept its affordable price.

Who is the C/MEO COLLECTIVE Girl? 

The C/MEO COLLECTIVE girl is addicted to the runway. She is very much in tune and focused on what is upcoming and staying ahead of the trends. She is empowered, cultured and styles her C/MEO COLLECTIVE pieces with luxury brand accessories. 

Which 5 words would you use to describe the C/MEO COLLECTIVE aesthetic?

Contemporary, Statement, Directional, Tailored and Premium.

What is the inspiration/concept behind the collection you’re showing at MBFWA this year?

This year we are showing resort collections Liminal and Ornate. Inspired by architecture, fine art and literature, the collections are innovative and assured, bringing together refined essentials, statement pieces and exaggerated details. Strong crisp shirting, natural silks and pleats work alongside full dramatic ruffles.

Who are some of your favourite muses? 

Saint Records, Saint Heron, C_L_O, Oumayma Boumeshouli … I also love Leandra Medine of Man Repeller. She has such a quirky, funny personality. 

You collaborated with Solange and the Saint Heron brand last year. How did that come about?

It was like a late Christmas present as we received the email from her in early January! Saint Heron loved the C/MEO direction and aesthetic so they organically approached us about a collaborative collection re-working some of their favourite existing styles while introducing new bold colour ways and an exclusive print. The alignment was perfect… I am a huge fan of Solange and Saint Heron so it was not only incredible to be noticed by someone so influential but to also work alongside her and the Saint Heron Team!


Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve received that you would happily share with others?

The best piece of advice I ever received was to build strong relationships with everyone you work with. Listen to people’s stories, skills and put time into this. Surprisingly, it really is a small industry and you are bound to cross paths with someone again who may end up being very influential in your life. 

Top tips for making it in fashion? 

Always be relevant, one step ahead and work incredibly hard! The fashion industry these days is part design and part business – practise your time management, use a diary religiously, write yourself lists and lastly, set goals regularly (minor or major, long or short term). It is healthy to have something to work towards so that when you achieve it, you can celebrate the wins!

*Special thanks to Siham Elmawey for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with The 5 to 9 Life
All photos captured by Jess Brohier for The 5 to 9 Life during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2017.
*Cover photo obtained via CLIQUE Mag