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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
69: Fashion Empire Back in Action
For many years, Amir Mostafa was the undisputed king of young, trendy fashion in Cairo. With his empire of fashion boutiques including 69, 24/7 and Friction, Mostafa has had his finger firmly on the fashion pulse of the Capital, offering the latest trends from London, Paris and Milan .
Friction itself was a major fashion source for hip Cairenes, offering eclectic clothing, accessories, shoes and lingerie by big-name labels such as See by Chloé, BCBG Girls, Abercrombie and Fitch; and Ann Summers.
After Friction took a short hiatus from the scene, Mostafa has now reinvented the iconic Zamalek store with a whole new image, bringing back the Sixty Nine brand that focuses solely on women’s wear.
Gone are the colourful wallpapers, graphic prints and the cluttered feeling to the showroom. Instead, the store has a simple yet glamorous design, with beaded chandeliers, golden cabinets and a blue velvet couch to rest your tired feet on.
The simpler layout allows you to focus more on the displayed clothes: racks of studded t-shirts, combat trousers, mini-skirts and gladiator sandals line the walls, while the afore-mentioned cabinets hold a selection of beaded jewellery and studded clutch bags.
The clothes on display are in mostly muted colours of blue, grey, beige and olive; with the spontaneous burst of summery oranges and African prints here and there.
Standout items include a blue, strapless jumpsuit, which is contrasted by a long coral orange necklace. We also liked the beige relaxed t-shirt paired with the short and fun metallic sequined ballet skirt.
An orange kaftan with a woven belt makes the perfect bikini cover-up, while a one-shoulder, ruffled white silk top cried out to us.
Mostafa seems keen to give an edge to casual wear by mixing it
with funky glamour. There are a few Lady Gaga-type outfits, such as a black mini-dress
with exaggerated shoulder pads, or golden lamé leggings under a distressed
black t-shirt. We also spotted several studded t-shirts and tops with chain detail.
The store is well-stocked with French, British and Italian boutique brands, including Tanqs, Mitika, Kaos and Imperial, with bags by Desire London. Tops average around 300LE and upwards, skirts around 500LE, while bags start at 400LE and dresses around 600LE.
The first floor carries a few evening dresses, notably including long dresses by Tracy Reese and Nicole Miller for 3000LE upwards.
A full range of evening dresses is available on the second floor in a wide range of colours from deep purples to delicate lemon-yellows. The
dresses are mostly in block colours with bejewelled details, while a few sequined dresses require a sense
of humour and fashion flair to be pulled off.
We liked the long cherry red dress with draped cap sleeves and the V-shaped neckline, as well as a long, bejewelled black dress that used mixed fabrics and emphasized hip pockets. Evening dresses range between 3000LE and 6000LE.
With generic fashion labels dominating the Cairo scene, 69 brings back the much-needed boutique shopping, where each item is special and not mass-produced; allowing us to mix and match the clothes to suit our individual style while staying fashionably hip.
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.