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Ancient Egyptian Fashion Makes A Comeback! By Ntumba Mukendi

February 2, 2014

Joan Smalls-Rodriguez models ancient Egyptian fashion on the cover of Elle Magazine.

Did you catch what model Joan Smalls Rodriguez was wearing on the cover of Elle magazine this past January? What an African flash-back! Joan Smalls-Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican fashion model. She ranks at number #8 on Forbes' 2013 World’s Highest-Paid Models list. Her dress looks like the straight Egyptian tunic dress.

Elle Jan 14 Cover


It has a straight silhouette with one or two straps. It is not clear if all of these dresses exposed the chest area but some did and so does Joan’s dress. I’m not sure if our society is evolved enough to wear her dress to a part, but it does look nice on the cover of a magazine. The common women wore the tunic and the wealthy women wore the sheared pleated dresses.  Below are examples of different versions of straight tunics.

Egyptian Peasant Female



Ancient Egyptian Dresses

These dresses were worn in 1700 B.C. and have now been recycled and worn by model Joan Smalls-Rodriguez.

Egyptian Fancy Dress
Egyptian Goddess





About Ntumba Mukendi

Congolese born Ntumba Mukendi is a fashion designer who previously worked at Tommy Hilfiger, then launched her own brand ntumba.ntumba design ( Her company utilizes authentic African fabric to help boost the African economy. Ntumba is also the founder of the fashion-based organization ntumba.ntumba apparel ( which promotes gender-empowerment.