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Austinites take Egypt: Six local designers debut brands in pop-up abroad

Inside one of the ATX+Egypt entrepreneurs' pop-up shops on 2nd St. last December. (ACC Fashion Incubator)

Six Austin-based fashion designers and entrepreneurs are ‘making it work’ in Cairo, Egypt, where they are showcasing their designs in a pop-up exchange market far away from home.


The designers will return on June 8, completing the final phase of the U.S. Embassy Cairo-funded ATX+Egypt Entrepreneurship Program pilot. The program guided 16 designers—six from Austin and 10 from Egypt—through design education and a professional showcase in each other's home countries to increase global brand awareness.

Austinites Jonathan ‘Chaka’ Mahone of NefrFreshr, Musa Ato of League of Rebels, Christina Fitzgerald of ONLY by Nina Fitzgerald, Margo Dilling of Turtle Cay Island Wear, Cassandra King of CassandraCollections and Randell Jones LNS Crew Productions flew to Cairo to show their collections on May 31 and will stay until June 8.

Director of Austin Community College’s fashion incubator Nina Means told Austonia the Austin-based designers were supposed to open the Cairo pop-up in February, but the event was postponed due to COVID.

Means said the pilot was made possible with a partnership between the city of Austin, the ACC Fashion incubator, Fashion by Texas and Macy’s. Travel fees, rental spaces, needed technology and education on designing for different cultural contexts, management and marketing were all provided free of charge for all 16 participants.

Means said the program has been extremely successful—so much so that representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo reached out to ACC directly to do another round. Means said the project will have another round this year, exchanging more designers with Austin’s sister city of Cairo, but may open the program to other cities abroad in the future.

“The Embassy was really proud and excited about this project, they told the Department of State in Washington how well it went,” Means said. “People were really pleased with it, we brought on some really exciting partners and we're looking forward to doing it again.”

Means said applications for the next round will open sometime this summer.

“The designers here in Austin really deserve to be seen and to scale and grow, and this is a really great way for them to do that,” Means said. “It's an incredible program. They don't pay for anything except for making the product, they get to sell it and keep the money. It really gives Austin brands exposure and opportunity for revenue and spaces that they typically wouldn't have access to.”

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway