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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Hush Puppies: Classic American Shoe Brand at Citystars
If there’s one thing that's true in this world, it’s that you can definitely never have too many shoes – guys and girls. Hush Puppies in Citystars has quite a collection that is variable to an extent, yet they don't seem appealing enough- even for a dedicated shoe addict- to stand out in the midst of all the affordable, practical shoes shops that have taken over Cairo.
A look at the dozen or so pairs in each of the three departments for women, men and children will give the impression that these shoes have been on the shelves for at least two years, and their styles don't suggest otherwise.
The quality of leather and fabrics of the shoes are very good, though; their smooth leather is both comfortable and chic-looking. A pair of high heeled plain black shoes will set you back 750LE. However, you can find a more impressive pair of gold sandals for 600LE and they are definitely more comfortable.
Though you’ll almost certainly find one type of shoe to your liking, there aren’t many choices of within each style. Classic brown short-heeled shoes (500LE) can be found next to ballet flats (188LE), which sit right beside flowery flip flops (300LE); wherever you look, there’s something different, for better and for worse.
Most of the items in the men’s section look almost exactly the same. A basic pair starts at 700LE and there’s a small section where you can find leather flip-flops for 400LE. There's also quite a lot of shoe care items for leather and fabric sneakers, which are available for many colours and start from 39LE.
The kids’ department is the smallest section of all. In fact, you can easily miss it if you’re not looking thoroughly through the ladies’ department, as it is right next to it. Hush Puppies may well be the owner of the tiniest shoes on the face of earth, and though this thumb-sized footwear cost 200LE, it’s hard to resist buying it.
Hush Puppies also provide accessories such as socks and shades with quirky designs, like the huge-framed glasses with red leopard print (300LE). A couple of not-so-eye-catching handbags hang on the wall of the store, but will do if you’re looking for a plain, well-made leather bag which can cost around 500LE.
Despite the cute puppy logo sympathetically staring at you, Hush Puppies isn’t a store to fall in love with from the first visit. You might be lucky and find what you’re looking for, but due to the limited number of options, this might not always be the case.
Known for providing a Cairo shopping experience for the elite, it makes sense that Ego has opened a second branch in Giza's swanky First Mall. Exclusively stocking internationally renowned, high-end brands, the prices are unsurprisingly extortionate for the average shopper; but that's no surprise with Armani, Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurant, Chloe and many other designer labels in stock. Unfortunately, however, no clothes are stocked at this branch; just accessories.
Immediately, we were greeted with the dreaded, uncomfortable air of scepticism from the shop assistant, who then proceeded to follow us a little too closely around the shop as we browsed the immaculate displays.
The first section is solely dedicated to women’s handbags, wallets and shoes, while several stands boast a collection of accessories. Despite being from reputable brands, some of the pieces seemed a little tasteless and carelessly picked, whereas others were effortlessly classy. We spotted a range of colourful Zagliani snake-skin handbags, quality knee-high boots from Baldan, and a beautiful pair of grey, soft leather boots from Sergio Rossi which were priced at almost 10,000LE. The range of Jimmy Choo offers classic pointed heels, eye-catching diamante high tops (7700LE), or neat pumps for over 4000LE.
The second half of the shop is dedicated to male shoppers, showcasing a wide variety of quality, smart and casual shoes from the same, and other similarly, big brands. We noted a pair of blue suede loafers, attractive ankle boots and sneakers, along with several boxes of cufflinks, belts, wallets and silk ties. There was also a limited section dedicated to children’s footwear, with dinky pairs of shoes priced upwards of 1000LE.
Before we’d managed to find that perfect gift we were looking for, the shop assistant seemingly took offence to whatever it is he thought he read on our mobile phone, and the shop manager herself was called over to continue the systematic stalking. Practically breathing down our necks, we were aggressively quizzed on why we were looking at so many price tags – because, obviously, this is against unwritten shopping codes. Following a brief, incredibly unpleasant confrontation, we were practically escorted from the premises.
Ego brings products from some of the world's biggest designer brands to Cairo, and for that, we’re grateful. With such glamorous goods and high prices, one would also expect impeccable customer service; however, should you appear over-curious, or use your phone too much whilst browsing, you might just be shamelessly hung out to dry by the management.