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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Gerry Weber: Quality Clothes for a Mature Shopper in Heliopolis
It’s a small world, the one we live in. It’s even more globalised when it comes to fashion. That’s why when German fashion label Gerry Weber opened a shop in Citystars, the last thing you’d expect walking into the spacious, well organized space is to find a wide array of mostly outdated styles of blouses and skirts.
Most of the clothes lean towards a more mature ladies’ style, with puffy half-sleeved jackets and below knee skirts, call it the ‘Pretty Woman era’ of cuts and fabrics, which still appeals to some people, we’re not judging, but it’s hard to explain the presence of a black and white chiffon blouse embroidered with the shiniest silver spangles - especially at a 1090LE price tag.
The racks are categorised according to colours; first, as you enter the wide space of the shop, the majority of the colours range between black, white and yellow. A printed yellow blouse (545LE) strives for a vintage look, with a washed, sepia coloured print but despite the good quality of the fabric, the design of the print does it no favours at all. Yet a quite hip sleeveless long dress printed in the same washed shades, this time of grey and pink (1765LE), is suitable for an afternoon out and is probably the most modern piece in store.
The staff are pretty helpful with what you‘re looking for, whether it’s a different size or colour, and the fitting area is comfortable with bright lighting and ample room inside. The thing is however, the shop contains only a few items that are likely to catch enough attention for further inspection. One that definitely does so is a pair of bright orange boot cut trousers (1090LE) which, among the traditional, more classic outfits, stands out as brightly as its colour.
Gerry Weber features a nice collection of scarves in many shades and styles from printed to colourfully striped ones. One in particular had a relaxing hue of pinkish grey (545LE). Though their scarves are nice to look at and would definitely add a chic twist to a simple outfit, they are overly expensive with a 490LE price range on average.
The clothes at Gerry Weber, whether it is a short-sleeved jacket or a long skirt, are of impeccable quality; their cuts, use of accessories and embroidery differ a great deal from what you usually see in other shops. The high prices however, might not give Gerry Weber a chance among the fearsome competition of the ever growing shopping scene in Citystars.
Fashion-conscious ladies often find a hard time locating shops in Cairo that offer high-quality fashion at moderate prices. Unless you are willing to drop a week's pay on a single clothing item that looks somewhat decent, Cairo is not the best destination for fashion-seekers.
La Blanca is one of those shops that offers a lot of modish women's clothes. But like all things nice, they come at an oh-so-high price. We were smitten with an über-trendy black coat, but, we all but had a minor heart attack when we caught sight of the hefty price tag; the 1175LE coat, we decided, was not that stylish anyway.
With a sinking heart, we started looking around the shop for more affordable items. A plethora of leggings starting at 80LE were found everywhere around the shop. Said leggings were available in a variety of colours, including bright orange, black, brown and grey. The shop also offers a collection of skirts; a knee-length pleather skirt was available for 240LE and a black pencil skirt sold for 195LE.
While most shops organise clothes either by colour or function, we couldn't pinpoint a particular pattern for organising the clothes at La Blanca, which made for a slightly uncomfortable shopping experience.
The sales attendants don't hover around; they let you do your own thing and are helpful enough when approached for assistance, but they mostly let you shop in peace.
Although many items were overpriced, La Blanca had a few discounted items as well. A plain white blouse sold for 195LE instead of 425LE, a black and white jersey dress sold for 295LE instead of 375LE, and a knee-length strapless dress with a front zipper was priced at 295LE instead of 445LE.
La Blanca also had a collection of blazers, though quite limited. A black blazer (495LE) made of leather and velvet looked as if it were seamed together using leftover fabric.
The shop also had a varied collection of accessories, purses, scarves and belts. A basic, simple black handbag sold for 295LE and belts started at 150LE. A pair of beige boots was priced at 300LE, but they looked a little too worn-out and shabby.
A short flight of stairs tucked behind the cashier will take you to the shop's second floor where the evening attire is located. La Blanca's collection of evening dresses mostly consisted of knee-length, strapless gowns.
A glittery golden and black dress was priced at 395LE, while a leopard print asymmetrical dress sold for 345LE. A silver sequined jacket (575LE) and a strapless glittery green blouse (195LE) were also available.
What we like best about La Blanca's evening gowns is that they tend to stick to the simpler side of things. Without too many embellishments, sequins or glitter, La Blanca's dresses would cost you more than 300LE, but they offer good value-for-money.
Although La Blanca might not be your first stop when on the lookout for quality, affordable fashion, it never hurts to give it a browse anyway.