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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Claire's: Cute and Girly Accessories in Citystars
Claire's is an international brand renowned for its cheap, girly accessories. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the franchise's branch in Cairo. Most of the merchandise is overpriced, especially considering that their quality is definitely not the best that Cairo has to offer.
Claire’s clearly targets a younger female market with its bright colours, plastic accessories and celebrity-endorsed collections (Hannah Montana, High School Musical, etc). Although the Citystars branch is a tiny shop, it is packed with a decent selection of adorable girly accessories. The layout of the products is definitely not the most practical; similar items are not grouped together. Cluttered and cramped, the space makes it difficult to navigate through the shop.
Claire's targets pre-teen girls and teenagers, so expect to see a lot of glitter and bright colours, but if you are a savvy shopper, you can find a few items that work for all ages, such as their hair accessories, clip-on flowers, earrings and studs, as well as their purses and wallets.
The shop carries everything from headbands and hair clips to flip-flops and sandals. A plastic headband will set you back 50LE; which is a little shocking considering this reviewer found similar headbands sold elsewhere for just 2.50LE. Of course, the difference lies in the fact that the former is made by Claire's.
You can also find a nice collection of handbags at Claire's. Although most cost over 200LE, they are trendy and work for all ages. Hats are also available in several designs and colours. A beach-friendly straw hat costs 147LE.
Claire's adorable earrings are what had this reviewer swooning. Available in funky shapes like teddy bears, the Eiffel Tower, ducks and hotdogs, most earrings are priced at around 100LE, which is a lot considering their size and quality. More conventional earrings are also available, including drop earrings and hoop earrings.
The shop also carries a diverse collection of bangles and bracelets starting at 70LE. You can also find several necklaces appropriate for older women, starting at 80LE.
Other items on offer include a palm-shaped jewellery holder, a keyboard-button-shaped ring, funky pens, best friends key chains, sparkly hair extensions, faux leather wallets, diaries, Capri tights and belts.
Claire's is the shop to go to when you are looking for a cute pair of earrings, or an adorable summery hat, but if you want something more serious and sophisticated, we suggest that you look elsewhere.
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.