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Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Perto: Affordable Shoes & Colourful Bags in Nasr City
Among the plethora of shops standing on both sides of Nasr City's infamously crowded Abbas El Akkad Street is Perto; a shoes shop that offers ladies’ mediocre-quality footwear at affordable prices.
Once you step inside the shop, you find yourself in a hallway-like space crammed with shoes and handbags from floor to ceiling. The space then expands into a wider area with a few seats in the middle. Although the shop is dimly-lit, its glass displays allow a lot of sunlight in. The fixtures and shelves are wobbly, which made us wary when approaching them.
The sales attendants are helpful enough to ask you once about your needs and if you politely dismiss them, they will go on to carefully watch your every move around the shop.
Perto carries all the sorts of shoes that you could possibly need. Ballet flats are available in abundance, in a variety of colours and designs; glittery ballet flats are available in silver and gold as well as pink, black, blue and green (85LE). Simple ballet flats with a bow are available in basic colours like black, brown, navy blue and grey.
The shop also stocks items like pleather loafers and satin evening clutches with metal embellishments. You can also find high-heeled gladiator sandals and patent leather wedges in colours like fuchsia, turquoise and black.
The shop's collection of evening sandals is remarkable; they're available in all the colours that you could possibly need. Sandals in colours like silver, gold, black and brown are found in abundance, embellished with faux jewels. Satin evening sandals also come in colours like red, purple, pink and white. However, the white satin sandals looked extremely cheap, although they are priced at 100LE. A glittery pair of golden pumps is priced at 100LE.
Perto's handbag collection is not exactly limited but tends to stick to patent leather and lizard prints. Leopard print handbags are also available in browns and greys, starting at 140LE. Fake Louis Vuitton monogram bags are also on offer for 145LE. There are also silver and golden purses, while patent purple lizard print purses are available for 140LE.
Perto has a small collection of kids’ footwear stacked at the back of the shop; it offers faux leather belts in greys, blacks and browns, starting at 70LE. You can also find travel bags strewn around the shop.
Perto's collection of footwear and handbags isn't the best the city has to offer nor the most affordable, but if you happen to be shopping in Abbas El Akkad St., why not pop in anyway?
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.