One To Watch: KikoTio Bags

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Love art? Love fashion? Love both? Then this brand is perfect for you. The all-Egyptian handcrafted leather bags from KikoTio, combine both art and fashion. Here we talk with the designers behind the KikoTio bag to give you an insider scoop on their design ethos.

Where did the name come from?

Kiko is Reham’s son and Tio is Habiba’s son.

When did you decide you wanted to make handpainted bags?

Reham is a natural-born artist, and one day when she got really tired of her favorite bag, she decided to just draw on it and spice it up a bit and she hasn’t stopped since.

Where did the inspiration come from?

Reham was always obsessed with art and always thought that art should be worn. She has her own sense of style and always wants to create things that are related to fashion. Supported by Habiba’s entrepreneurial skills, KikoTio was born (in September to be exact) and together, we created a brand that spoke to people.

KikoTio Bags Cairo

Which is more important, being creative or being commercial?

Habiba: It depends on what you’re looking for as a brand. If you’re looking for revenue then commercial it is, if you’re willing to send a message and leave a footprint with your product then creativity is the best way to go. The reason I partnered with Reham is because I trust her creativity and taste and I know that she knows exactly what she’s doing. The market is saturated with people who make bags, and at the end of the day creativity always sets you apart. And as Reham always says: when you get tired of your KikoTio you can always frame it and hang it up on your wall because art never dies.

Tell me more about your design  process.

First, we pick out the unfinished genuine leather material to work with. This allows the paint to set in and stick to the leather better than processed leather.  Then, we pick out the design we want to draw. Available designs include Mandalas, Tropical, and Ethnic Tribal. After the client is set on the print they want, Reham then draws them on with waterproof paint in freehand. We do not use templates, which guarantees that no two bags will ever be the same and every KikoTio piece we create will be as unique as our client is.

What would you say is the best thing about your KikoTio bags?

As I said, the fact that each KikoTio bag is a unique piece of art is just amazing. Think of it as a Converse, the older it gets, the more unique it becomes because by time the leather blends in with the paint, therefore creating a peculiar, vintage look.

KikoTio Bags Cairo

How have you learned from past mistakes?

We don’t really see them as mistakes but rather mishaps that gave us experience and better judgement on several aspects of our business. From these mishaps we’ve improved greatly and we will continue to learn.

Where are KikoTios currently being sold?

We sell through our Facebook page and at ABn’G World and Bespoke Egypt. Our website is launching by the end of this month where most of our sales will take place.


KikoTio Bags Cairo