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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Fred Perry: New Branch Opens in Mohandiseen
Fred Perry has opened up another branch in Cairo on Lebanon Street in Mohandiseen, and the shop is in good company. Surrounded by Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry, this part of Mohandiseen is almost a fashion highway.
Although celebrity branding is nothing new, the likes of Jay-Z, P Diddy, JLO and Kanye West like to have you believe that they are the pioneers when it comes to self-branding. British tennis player Fred Perry was way ahead of them and actually invented something useful - the sweatband. After the success of the sweatband he created a polo shirt and voilà, a brand was born.
As with any other shop in Egypt, the in-shop music easily trumps the music in any club in Cairo; the loud, pumping beats will guide you into the relatively small shop. On the right hand is the women’s section which is considerably smaller than the men’s. Half of the women’s collection consists of Amy Winehouse-designed items, most of which are bright pink, infused with pop art. A super-short pop art dress carries the hefty price of 1525LE but considering the singer’s untimely death, this dress is not so much a purchase as it is an investment. The best items in the store are probably the long cardigans. Made from 100% pure cotton, they're airy and comfortable. They go for around 1150LE apiece; expensive but in this case, totally worth it. Fred Perry’s signature polo shirt goes for 650LE though the women’s section isn’t afforded many colours.
So perhaps it is better to jump on over to the men’s department where, at the same price of 650LE, more colours are available. There is choice between the slim fit and the regular fit. All possible colours you can think of are available from baby pink to Kermit-green to electric blue. Women should buy the slim fit a size too small and it will fit perfectly. The shop also stocks a nice collection of shorts for men. They are priced between 650LE and 900LE and sport bright chequered patterns.
Fred Perry also caters to babies with a range of polo shirts, shorts and blouses. The polo’s are 425LE and blouses are 555LE, which is on the expensive side for such a small piece of fabric.
The accessories department offers plenty of shoes and bags with casual-chic sneaker-style ballerinas costing 565LE. The bags are ideal to take along to the gym and if you’re a light packer, they serve as decent weekend bags too. The larger bags are between 600LE and 900LE.
The staff at Fred Perry are friendly and the changing rooms are spacious. There’s an undeniable attraction attached to that simple wreath logo and for basics and casual-sporty clothes, Fred Perry is a pricey go-to.
On the Cairo shopping scene, there's nothing more sought after than clothes. Since opening in 1988, Turkish clothing brand, Koton, has prided itself on providing up-to-date women’s, men’s and children’s wear. Having expanded into the international market in the last few years, Egypt has been gifted two branches - one of which is at Citystars.
During our visit, Koton’s seasonal sale was in full flow, with many items priced with up to 70% off the original cost. Because of its size and category disorganisation, it may take you a while to thoroughly search through all the racks and shelves. This particular brancg also stocks very limited men’s and children’s clothes, and the space is dominated by an extensive collection of ladies’ fashion.
Paying attention to the women’s section, we noticed a wide range of summery, floral trousers reduced from 399LE to 320LE. Skinny jeans in bright colours including hot pink, orange and turquoise were available from 170LE and a pair of tight white trousers was selling at 280LE instead of 399LE.
Maxi dresses in an array of floral, striped and chequered patterns were stylish but overpriced at around 500LE. There was also a range of conventional, knee-length dresses available in a rainbow of colours and styles (235LE+). A cute, chequered black and white dress was priced at a meagre 52LE.
Although we spied a few knee-length skirts strewn around the shop, aside from neutral and bright coloured items (250LE), the collection was pretty limited. A bright orange maxi skirt stood out and was being sold at 369LE.
Blazers were also on offer, available in both long and half-sleeved styles; the one that caught our eye was reduced from 770LE to 560LE. Basic, plain t-shirts - and ones adorned with simple designs and drawings - start at 90LE. We were smitten with a more overstated sleeveless, beige, polka-dot tunic top with a bow tie on the chest, but again thought its price of 399LE was slightly excessive.
Koton's accessories stand was laden with all sorts of jewellery, particularly necklaces, earrings and bracelets, none of which had price tags on them. Handbags were priced at around 300LE, wallets at 60LE and belts were 70LE. Summer-appropriate items such as sunglasses, short-shorts and bikinis were also available. Their collection of ballet pumps was mostly reduced from around 350LE to upwards of 179LE and boasted jolly, striped red and beige designs along with both metallic and neutral colours.
Despite there being a sale on, we were quite often baffled by the expense of some of the clothes. However, with such a diverse collection of items and a decent range of basics, Koton does provide a few wardrobe staples at reasonable prices.