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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Mobaco: Quality Cotton Goods in Heliopolis
Shopping for quality cotton products in Cairo is not an easy affair; a fact which makes us all the more grateful for retailers like Mobaco. Located on the second floor of Citystars' phase one, Mobaco is a spacious shop that could take hours to thoroughly go through. Once inside, the men's collection is to your left and the women's collection can be found to your right.
The men's section carries an abundance of polo shirts (160LE), dress shirts, t-shirts and blazers (380LE). Also available are bathing suits starting at 124LE.
After quickly scanning the men's section, we realized the women's section was far more colourful and interesting. Mobaco's dresses are its best feature; available in all lengths and patterns, they are perfect summer companions.
An ankle-length button-up denim frock costs 245LE, while a simple ankle-length dress is priced at 650LE. A loose-fitting orange floral dress had a price tag of 440LE, and a grey button-up dress with yellow, white and green flowers sold for 329LE. For 530LE you can get a powder pink and white knee-length floral dress with spaghetti straps.
Polo shirts, both long-sleeved and short-sleeved, come in a wide selection of colours starting at 124LE. Mobaco also carries basic t-shirts in all sorts of colours for 260LE. Although the price might seem a bit high for a basic design, the quality of Mobaco’s items is unsurpassable.
Mobaco's cotton skirts also come in a range of styles and colours. A white knee-length cotton skirt is for 440LE; maxi skirts are also available in several colours starting at 200LE. Another collection of maxi skirts by New Man are priced at 299LE.
You can also find sheer tunics for 490LE, denim shorts (490LE) and bolero jackets (315LE). Skinny trousers also come in several colours, such as royal blue, green, red, caramel and white.
Linen suits are also on offer; starting at 169LE for the trousers and 279LE for the blazer. For 219LE you can get yourself a basic pullover, while cotton cardigans – light enough to wear on a hot summer’s day – come in a variety of colours and are priced at 145LE.
In terms of accessories, Mobaco carries summer totes for 240LE and a chic pleather camel handbag was a bit overpriced at 450LE. Although Mobaco's handbag collection is pretty limited, it doesn't hurt to have a look around.
Some of Mobaco's prices might be a bit high, but we wholeheartedly believe that the quality of their items can hardly be matched in Cairo.
The influx of international fashion brands to the Cairo shopping scene has produced mixed results on the streets of the city. With its sleek, clean-lined shop front, Bershka looks the part inside the modern walls of Mall of Arabia in 6th of October City. You can find it located in its thematic homeland between Stradivarius and Pull & Bear. Incidentally, all are shops owned by Spanish retailer Inditex – so what makes Bershka stand out from the crowd?
Bershka’s interior shies away from the I-am-not-a-shop-I-am-a-surf-shack look, which other shops attempt, and opts instead for minimalist, block-colour walls without shots of models in bikinis. If anything, Bershka thinks it’s a nightclub, and sports a futuristic look with anti-aircraft speakers filling a central panel wall, blaring out techno/trance music as if it were Amsterdam circa 1997. The overall look is fresh and modern, with mannequins wearing the latest trends dotted about the open-plan layout, and accessories displayed to their full glory on spacious shelves.
The women’s clothing selection is
diverse, ranging from the slouchy t-shirt at 99LE, to a hot pair of heels for
559LE. Although the tops were often flimsy and see-through, we’re willing to
put this down as a style choice rather than lazy tailoring, as the heavier
items seem well made and durable. Surprisingly for an international brand,
there was the odd unfortunate print top with incorrect English across it –
another style choice? We think not.
The designers at Bershka have been inventive with this season’s trends – dying a pair of suede boots mint green and glitzing up baggy jumpers with interesting motifs. However, unlike its neighbouring sister shops, it seems Bershka missed the memo about Aztec prints and denim jackets.
The shop also came short in the men’s section, which was banished to a dark corner, and where items were outnumbered by women’s wear at least three to one. Disappointingly, Bershka too has condemned men to the confines of the blue colour spectrum, although one florescent lemon shirt did catch our eye. Logo-print tees and suede shoes ruled the day, but if they’re on season in the fashion world, the abundance of heavy coats and jackets means that Bershka are one season behind Cairene temperatures.
We were delighted to find that sale season was upon us and prices had been generously cut by up to a third, meaning some t-shirts were just 19LE. Despite its low prices, Bershka’s sale was not the sprawling mess which pits girl-against-girl for the best bargain, and means you leave the shop with a black eye and missing a shoe. In any case, trendy and laid back shop assistants were on hand to help lest a brawl should break out.
Unlike Zara or Massimo Dutti, Bershka doesn’t branch out into office-wear, maternity or sports sections, but does what it does best and sticks to everyday wear, perfect for just hanging out in. Bershka makes an effort to remove the stress from clothes shopping, and while you won’t find anything especially daring in its fashion ranges, it’s a refreshing find after the showboating of other young-person clothes shops.