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Home • PORTRAIT  • Heba Abdel Latif (Nuba Arts): “I dream of transcending the conventional for indigenous lifestyles”

Heba Abdel Latif (Nuba Arts): “I dream of transcending the conventional for indigenous lifestyles”

Heba Abdel Latif, founder and president of Nuba Arts, shares her journey from her origins in Cairo to the international sustainable fashion scene. In this interview, she reveals the ethics behind Nuba Arts and her vision for a more ecological future that respects African culture.

Heba Abdel Latif, founder and president of Nuba Arts.

Who are you and where do you come from?

I’m Egyptian, with a rich Nubian heritage, and I live in New York. Having grown up in Cairo, I was immersed in Egypt’s vibrant culture while studying at the Lycée Français du Caire. My academic career led me to obtain a BA in Business Administration and Marketing. I began my professional career in 1990 as a tour guide, and became vice-president of a travel agency in 1999. My Nubian roots have always been a source of pride and inspiration for me.

What inspired the creation of Nuba Arts, and what is its mission?

Nuba Arts was born out of a desire to make a positive impact. After resigning from the UN in 2022, I planned to build a foundation that would champion the cause of marginalized artisans. I started out as a solo artist and Nuba Arts has developed into a worldwide collective. Our mission is to empower these artisans by mentoring them and showcasing their handmade home decor and fashion accessories.

“We want to celebrate African cultural heritage in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

What countries and what types of craftspeople are represented by Nuba Arts?

We represent artisans fromEgypt, the northern region of Ghana and Kenya. Our focus is on rural areas, artisans with disabilities, and refugees from Sudan in southern Egypt. These under-represented groups receive mentoring and quality control training to meet the needs of the global marketplace, ensuring that their outstanding skills are recognized.

Can you tell us about your involvement with the UN Conscious Lifestyle and Fashion Network?

Join the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network of theUNhas been an honor. This membership reflects our commitment to sustainable practices. Thanks to our collaboration with Canvas Global, we have made significant strides in creating a sustainable supply chain that connects African artisans to the American market.

What do you dream of for the fashion world?

My dream is to transcend the conventional to embrace indigenous lifestyles and integrate natural-based products into our wardrobes. I envision a world where unique, handmade products are a staple in hotels and airline gifts, offering a sustainable and culturally enriching alternative to the norm.

Are there any projects that are particularly close to your heart?

Yes, we’re delighted to be joining the Ark Global Village 2030, focusing onregenerative agriculture. This initiative aligns perfectly with our mission, enabling us to contribute to a zero waste cycle through our home decor and accessories. In addition, we are planning an event at the United Nations headquarters in NYC to highlight the pivotal role of SMEs in climate solutions, agriculture and sustainable fashion.

Photos : Nuba Arts

Go to the Nuba Arts website

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