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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Hoopla: Affordable Accessories in Citystars
When you’re out shopping in Cairo, nothing is better than knowing exactly what you need, buying it and going home satisfied. However, when shops are so large you can easily get lost in them and when hundreds of items catch your eye, it’s becoming increasingly hard to make a quick purchase; especially if you're shopping in a tempting mall like Citystars.
That temptation doubles when it comes to accessory shopping, of which there is plenty in this Cairo mall. Luckily, there are also many small booths throughout the mall that can make shopping easier and a lot more practical. Among this reviewer’s favourites is Hoopla, an accessory booth that holds in its tiny space more than the eye can see.
Hoopla stocks a great deal of colourful bracelets (starting at 20LE), most of which are made of plastic but in very good quality. There are also varied collections of short and long necklaces with classic glass stones, heart-shaped locks or creative Arabic calligraphy (35LE). Silver items can be polished for free so that they regain their original shine.
Besides accessories, Hoopla has a bunch of practical yet appealing items that easily attract passers-by such as makeup bags (35LE) available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Glittery wallets, hair accessories and photo frames are some of the products that make Hoopla worth checking out.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because they have a shop in City Centre Mall in Nasr City, which happens to be very close to Citystars. The great thing about the Citystars branch is that you can stop by the booth and shop in between checking out the many shops on either side.
Hoopla may be a small booth; but it is filled with many accessories in colourful varieties that will suit every taste and be friendly on the budget at the same time.
Wobbling under the weight of ridiculous price tags, many of Cairo’s fashion addicts are now left to choose their battles; either opt for a cheaper version of their favourite, or merely lessen the damage of bankruptcy by disregarding unnecessary items that add up figures to the cheque.
But come what may, one thing a real fashion addict can never dispose of is the final touch of a piece of jewelry, which can do wonders to an outfit. One of the places that saves the hassle of finding what’s both affordable and trendy is I AM – an accessories shop in Mall of Arabia.
Located next to Paul, the little shop has a minimal setting of black and white, letting all the shiny little items do the magic. Displayed next to the entrance is a collection of trendy earrings, including a floral ear cuff (105LE) made of leaf-shaped plastic stones of mint-green and powder-pink. While the first needs nothing but a pierced ear lobe, those who have their ear frame pierced will find a collection of sets to choose from, starting from 90LE.
Though the previous collection offers trend, I AM has other accessories that offer both trend and value through a collection of gold and silver–plated jewellery. From the 925 silver-plated accessories, we liked a pair of hollow triangle earrings (225LE) and a gold-plated necklace, to which a charm in the shape of 3 dots is attached. Bearing in mind that the brand is trying to maintain a certain price range, the pieces of this collection are microscopic, if compared to other collections.
But I AM boasts a decent collection of bags, from which we liked a velvet-embellished tote bag (425LE). Other than that, there’s a limited range of items like scarves and hats, including a tribal-patterned pink and beige scarf (299LE) and a burgundy head turban made of wool (120LE), which can come in handy in the winter.
With such a colourful spectrum of trendy-yet-affordable accessories, I AM is the silver lining to many a fashion addict’s financial woes – when diamonds are unaffordable, I AM’s accessories are a girl’s next best friend.