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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Amina K: Egyptian Bohemian Chic Clothing in Mohandiseen
The local fashion scene in Cairo has been growing in recent years, run by young twenty-something-year-olds who proudly incorporate Egypt’s most traditional themes and patterns into their designs and adding a modern twist. At twenty-four, Amina K is at the forefront of this movement, using purely Egyptian cotton and designs to create funky bohemian clothing and accessories.
Amina K’s showroom is located in a quiet, nondescript residential building in Mohandiseen, but the space itself is a bright, energetic and innovative oasis filled with a variety of multicoloured clothes, embroidered high-waist belts and hand-sewn, crescent-shaped and oversized clutches.
The room is lined with racks of clothes, including maxi dresses with Fayoum macramé detail, double-sided kelim vests and loose cotton shorts as well as long tunics with printed florals, abayas and galabayas. Each piece is a unique mix of different textures, colours and patterns. The designs are inspired by traditions in El Arish and Fayoum, and use kelim and patchwork detail. Prices for clothes and accessories range from 450LE to 800LE.
At the centre of the showroom, a table proudly displays leather and El Arish embroidered high-waisted belts (starting at 475LE), shirts of various colours, textures and details, as well as the designer's new line of sunglasses for Baraka (625LE). The adjoining room serves as the workplace for the seamstresses, where the next season’s designs are created. However, there are a few racks in the room containing summer sale items (with an average price of 300LE), including maxi dresses, Al Arish embroidered high-waisted silk skirts, patterned shorts and tops. Don’t be afraid to try on unique pieces such as the cotton one-sleeve and double-sided dress accessorised with an El Arish-inspired rope belt.
The showroom’s sales staff are attentive, friendly and eager to offer advice on how to wear the clothing. You can easily spend a few hours here trying on outfits and accessories, and trading fashion tips. This is particularly important because the pieces can be so bold and distinctive; they require some finesse and skill to be worn effectively.
Amina K employs only Egyptian seamstresses and since most collections are handmade, you would assume that the number of pieces and sizes are limited. Surprisingly, though; many items have sizes ranging from XS to XL, though certain combinations of colour and design may not be available in each size. Regardless of your age, style or size; Amina K aims to cater to all trendy Egyptian women.
If you’re looking for unique clothing items proudly boasting Egypt’s heritage in a modern way, look no further than Amina K. You will leave this showroom not only with new items to add to your wardrobe; but also with a wealth of knowledge on how to pull off that chic Cairene look.
With a newly launched branch in Lebanon Street – not too far from the existing one in Geziret El Arab Street – popular Spanish high-street fashion brand, Mango, has revived its presence on Cairo’s increasingly eclectic shopping scene with a colorful fiesta and a new summer collection for all the fashion gurus out there.
We entered the new spacious two-story venue, completely drawn by how neat and perfectly soothing the summer collection looks; with unified colours in each department skimming and browsing through the items is a breeze.
The first collection we laid eyes on was comprised of red, blue and white colours. A red-patterned jumpsuit with hints of blue (699LE), a cool white shirt with neat blue stripes (499LE) and bestseller jeggings (399LE) available in different shades of blue, were among the items that stood out.
The second collection, comprising of white, beige and black colours, had a sleeveless, dressy blue jumpsuit with a V-cut (699LE); one of the many items that wowed us.
Mango is known to also offer a versatile collection of evening gowns for shoppers, which can only be found in limited branches; a large collection of simple evening gowns – varying between 1,299LE and 1,599LE – can be found in abundance found in the Lebanon Street branch.
The outlet’s second floor is where all the discounted items are, with over 50% and 70% reductions. Cocktail dresses – including a short strapless one we loved – can reach 345LE. The shop also offers a large collection of trousers reaching 145LE each, in addition to shirts and blouses between 199LE to 245LE – prices that will only be available in Mango during discount season.
Overall, Mango’s summer collection boasts a colourful and vibrant look with an edgy, modern twist; it’s a treat for the eyes, but sadly not a treat for the pocket with its prices not affordable for the average shopper.