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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
The Little Shop: Chic Clothing and Necessities for the Little Ones
Shopping for an expectant friend or new parent can be quite difficult in Cairo, although life has been made considerably easier with the recent opening of Mothercare and Premaman. While both shops stock the bulk of what every new parent will need, their exorbitant prices, and rather generic style may cause some to prefer shopping abroad instead.
However, the picky shopper and the difficult-to-please mother may have met her match in The Little Shop, a quiet ground-floor shop on Gezirah Wusta Street in Zamalek. Just a two-minute walk down from Metro Supermarket and Flamenco Hotel, the Little Shop has white-washed walls, clean wooden flooring and soft ambient music, all of which work to soothe the expectant shopper’s rather frantic nerves.
Divided into a few different rooms, the shop’s walls carry shelves full of baby products and accessories, as well as educational toys, trendy clothing and super cute baby covers. Here, you’ll find quality brands and funky designs that the larger department stores lack.
The shop is full of great gifts for both mother and child, from organic diaper creams and lotions by Earth Friendly Baby to decorated insulated lunch boxes. The shop stocks a small selection of stylish Reese-Li bouquet diaper bags, and a few baby aid compacts: a small and smartly designed pouch containing first-aid scissors, hypo-allergic plasters and a thermometer.
There are also brightly coloured and funky printed baby bibs and wonderfully fluffy blankets, as well as baby clothing by brands such as MoeBimbi. Our favourite item was definitely the funky printed bundle (around 500LE), a pocket-like baby cover that fits perfectly and wraps the baby’s arms to make a comfy, warm and chic bundle. We also liked the colourful pacifiers (around 80LE), each of which comes with a printed message like 'Masha’allah' or 'Mute Button.' Another cool gift is the Create-It Baby’s First Canvas, a kit of two canvases and baby-friendly paints that help you print your baby’s feet marks for keepsake.
The Little Shop also sells educational toys such as wooden rocking horses, building blocks and a Build-It Space Explorer Kit, while stuffed toys are also available, such as Les Petits Boutons by Amina El Dimerdash; a collection of striped and stuffed cotton rabbit toys in pretty pastels.
The shop also stocks kids’ furniture, including a storage bench, baby mats, a play gym and a hammock bed by HABA. Other items by the same brand are available via catalogue order. There is also a fair share of practical early childhood accoutrements such as breast pumps.
Items at the Little Shop definitely don’t come cheap: expect to pay out of your nose, between 200LE for tiny accessories all the way up to several thousands for baby furniture. However, you are saving yourself the trouble of importing these items and worrying about customs; so this shop is definitely worth checking out.
Following in the footsteps of even the most cosmopolitan cities, the Cairo shopping scene is fast evolving and welcomes more and more designer names to our colossal shopping malls. Aspiring to cater for shoppers of all ages, Citystars have recently seen the opening of Burberry Children.
Founded in 1856, Burberry has expanded from their staple trench-coats and outerwear to full clothing lines, including entire collections dedicated to children. Quintessentially British, the brand is well-known for its high quality and even higher prices. Both the exterior and interior is much like any other of their branches; shiny, immaculate and well organised, but with mini manikins sporting the latest looks.
The shop is spacious and split into two sections, with the front half offering clothes for children aged one to five years, and the back for between five and fourteen years. Although intending to offer flawless customer service, as soon as we entered the shop, we were followed closely by one of the many members of smartly dressed staff, which actually made for an uncomfortable and claustrophobic browsing session.
With an air of seriousness, a child-size table in the middle of the shop boasts several iPads, in order to occupy children so parents can pick out their outfits in peace. Alongside this, many of the rails are hung at adult height, and whilst many of the clothes are more demure than fun, it is obvious that the intended audience is in fact the adults, not the children.
Their autumn collection has been designed using warm colours such as deep purple, burnt orange and browns, as well as slightly brighter, but modest, pinks and greens. Many of the items feature the signature Burberry print, including full chequered shirts, button up cardigans (995LE), the turn-ups on boys’ jeans (1100LE) and girls’ leggings, whilst other garments sport clear but subtler logos. We also spotted striped rugby shirts (915LE) for boys, chequered day dresses for girls (1755LE) and soft novelty tops for little ones (535LE). Gift boxes for newborns are also available (1350LE) and include an all in one jumpsuit, a hat and a Burberry chequered bib. A large range of smart coats and jackets are also available for both boys and girls; wax jackets, down-filled puffers, woollen pea coats and duffles. In the way of shoes, bags and other accessories, little to none were available.
Modelled by the likes of Romeo Beckham, the clothes are admittedly both incredibly chic and smart. Despite this, considering how fast children grow, the prices at Burberry Children may seem utterly ridiculous to the average Egyptian, let alone thoroughly impractical for everyday use. However, if you’re searching for something for a very important occasion, or a gift for someone special, Burberry is unlikely to disappoint.