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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Boho Gallery: Local & International Brands in Heliopolis
There must be some unwritten rule stating that no affordable and fashionable item of clothing shall be made accessible without a painstaking search across all of Cairo. For example, in a high-street fashion shop, you scour dozens of expensive items to find a reasonably priced one; or in a cheaper shop, you have to go through dozens of unappealing items to find a good catch.
The recently opened Boho Gallery breaks this rule. It seems they have scoured both the local and European markets and made all such good catches readily available to Heliopolis residents under one roof. Located on a side street off Salah Salem, in the Sheraton Buildings, the shop offers trendy clothes, evening dresses, bags, shoes, accessories and home accessories by both local and regional designers as well as high-street brands from Europe.
Once you're inside you are immediately greeted by a stand filled with imported miscellaneous items such as reusable party picks and chopsticks, or colourful phone handsets that connect to any mobile at the price of 190LE. They are all fun pieces which you would not ordinarily find in Cairo.
Home accessories include cushions, coasters, towels, trays, mugs by Egyptian designers Joud, Khamsa Wekhmeisa and Cairoed, as well as candles from Candle Collection. A key chain hanger in shape of a wooden key by Emseko Elkhasab was especially nice, as was a seven-piece steak knife set. We also liked the colourful waterproof mitten and apron set for 85LE.
Our favourite items would have to be the accessories by Zinab Chahine with sarcastic Egyptian and Lebanese phrases such as “Etfo 3alik” and “Egyptian haybosny” printed in Arabic on bright coloured rings ranging from 50LE to 70LE.
Other accessories are available by designers Tash, Loulisque, Yokiis, Bangles & more, as well as items from Express and Primark. WeWood watches are also available as well as cute bikinis and beach dresses.
A variety of shirts and tops are displayed further inside. A white t-shirt by Nada Akram has Audrey Hepburn with a pink bow in her hair and the caption ‘I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls’ (300LE); other portrait t-shirts have Marilyn Monroe, Suad Hosny and Elizabeth Taylor. Another interesting item was a set of cropped tops by Boho Sharky with an embroidered eye and moustache that give the image of a man wearing a tarbouche (290LE).
Strewn about the gallery are stylish bags, shoes and sandals. Colourful Boho bags are about 250LE and Boho clutches start at 120LE. Bags by L.mak, J-Rose, Naomi Hanem as well as Michael Kors are also available. There was also a limited but nice collection of ballerinas, sandals and flipflops by Atmosphere as well as other European brands including a pair of cheerful orange sandals with a price tag of 190LE.
A separate room is dedicated to dresses. Rafik Zaki evening dresses are on one rack, starting from 190LE; while another rack carries imported dresses from BCBG, Miss Selfridges and Primark.
Boho Gallery is a welcome addition for its wide-ranging collections and fun pieces, but mostly for breaking the golden rule of shopping in Cairo by actually making good clothes accessible and affordable, all in one place!
There’s an increasing problem with what you might call mainstream shopping venues in Cairo – think of imported chains and brands, and local ones that follow the same trends. Most items are both generic and mass-produced, resulting in hundreds of others rocking the same outfits and looks – which is not cool, of course. That’s why clothing boutiques that offer only one or two pieces from each design have come to hold a special place in the heart of true shopaholics.
Located in Zamalek, Boho Gallery offers a collection of bold, unique clothing items that are both imported and designed locally by young Egyptian designers. The store has a relaxing vibe, with the minimal décor allowing the clothing items and accessories to stand out. A previous review of Boho Gallery's Heliopolis branch had praised the shop's eclectic range of products and its reasonable prices, so we were hopeful that this was still the case.
Offering all kinds of women’s apparel, one can most definitely build up a whole outfit from the quaint shop. From quirky, bejewelled denim shorts, to evening wear, swanky dresses, handbags, accessories, swimwear, sneakers, kimonos and kaftans – more than enough clothing options are on display.
Our eyes caught a collection ZAAM handbags lined up in a corner, including the basic bucket bags (450LE). Heading over to the vests and kimonos section, we loved the short floral vests (400LE), a black and white Aya Ashraf Designs kimono (290LE), a long white lace Medany Designs maxi kimono (500 LE), an eccentric pink-fringed kimono by Nada Akram (330LE) and a white lace beach coverup (380LE).
In the middle of the shop, we found a table boasting all kinds of gold-coloured jewellery, including earrings, bracelets and necklaces. We, however, loved the long arm cuffs (700LE). All throughout our visit, the staff was quite friendly yet not all overbearing or pushy, retreating to allow us to shop freely yet offering to help when needed.
Boho Gallery is quite the delight to visit and shop in. We love the fresh concept of the store’s offerings and how helpful the staff was. Needless to say, we couldn’t quite leave without treating ourselves to one of the dozens of pretty kimonos on display.