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Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Talon: New Shoe Shop in Dokki with a Little Sophistication
Commence eye-rolling. Yet another shoe shop has opened on Mosaddak Street. Nevertheless, despite the large number of such shops, this one seemed particularly worthy of further inspection.
Just across the street from Pizza Hut, the shop is definitely hard to miss with a large and bright window that’s inviting with a display of their newest collection. Consisting mainly of patent leather middle-sized bags in different summer colours such as orange, red, yellow and white, they come with a price tag of 235LE; they also come with matching peep-toe pumps that cost 150LE.
Inside, there’s an extended collection of bags in varying styles and colours. Though some of the bags come in bright colours, the most stylish are the brown leather ones. Whether the bag is average sized or a pouch, the prices range around 200LE.
Talon also offers some colourful Burberry which are highly unappealing. Besides them obviously being knock offs, with tawdry colours, they are also slightly more expensive than the other, much more stylish alternatives.
When it comes to the shoes, we easily spotted a good number of enticing pairs. Given its name, the shop really does stand out with its heels collection. Colourful leather sandals with medium to high wedged heels come at a price of 115LE, while high-heeled canvas sandals cost 125LE. There’s also a remarkable patent leather pump collection, available in different colours and costing around 150LE.
On the other hand, the shop’s flat shoes collection wasn’t nearly as impressive. Canvas shoes were in limited colours and bear a price tag of 95LE. Silver-studded leather ballerinas come in the basic colours of black, brown and camel and cost 75LE. There is also a choice peep-toe flats designed with two intertwining colours at a price of 90LE. A small collection of gladiator sandals range from 95LE to 115LE, but their excessive ornaments take a lot out of their style.
One thing which distinguishes Talon from most other shoe-shops is its kids’ collection, although the collection itself is not the least bit impressive. Ranging from colourful beach sandals to leather ballerinas, the entire collection is highly tacky to say the least.
Overall, we must give a thumbs up to the quality of Talon’s products. The finishing is meticulous and quite sophisticated, especially considering the relatively fair prices.
With so many shoe shops in Cairo, shopping for footwear can often be a bit of a headache unless you know where to go. Famous for its shoes and leather accessories, Normandy is steadily becoming one of the go to names for both men and women in Cairo. We headed to their mammoth Abbas El Akkad Street branch in Nasr City to see what all the fuss was about.
The shops medium-sized window is illusory; on the inside the shop is similar to a giant exhibition area, showing off two whole floors of leather shoes, sneakers, sports apparel, novelty t-shirts and several bags and belts. Every row of shoes is conveniently labeled according to size which made for a straightforward, uncomplicated shopping experience. Although there was no specific area for women's shoes, many of the plimsoles and trainers could easily have been unisex.
The space is bright and sleek, and the service is pleasantly unobtrusive, but we quickly discovered that almost all of Normadny's stock is made up of fakes. Although we don't condone conterfeit products, Normandy has become increasing popular for their stock of convincing replicas. Boasting logos of famous brands including Zara, Lacoste and Massimo Dutti, we were surprised to see these copies being sold for 300LE - 400LE. Vans and Crocs counterfeits are aplenty whilst CAT and Timberland imitations were priced between 250LE and 300LE.
Although the prices may seem appealing, there’s no guarantee of quality or lifespan; we’d recommend, if you do part with money at Normandy, that you inspect the shoes closely for any faults in the stitching or gluing before, as some are a little suspect. It’s also important to remember that – as they are replicas - the sole of the shoes aren't printed with the brand logo, but instead include the name of the shoe local shoe factories.
Morality aside, we found many of the prices to still be rather high; however, Normandy has grown in popularity amongst among Egyptian youths who feel the store offers new, stylish reproductions at affordable prices.
Cairo 360 does not condone the manufacture or sale of counterfeit goods – unless they look really authentic. Just kidding! Or are we?