In a city blessed with sunny weather 80% of the year, it’s understandable why so many Cairenes are obsessed with wearing sunglasses. While many prefer the cheap plastic versions that you can pick up off a street stall or at H&M, others regard designer sunglasses as profound a fashion statement as the designer logo bag or limited edition phone.

Baraka Optics caters to your designer eyewear needs, with branches in Nasr City, Maadi, Zamalek and both City Stars and First Mall. While it may not have as large a collection as other stores such as Maghrabi Optical, the store promises an adequate selection of top labels such as Dolce& Gabbana, Tom Ford, Chanel, Gucci, Chloé, Vogue and of course, the proverbial Ray-Bans that have dominated since last summer season.

Venturing into the tiny Zamalek branch next to Diwan on 26th of July Street, we had expected the sales people to treat us with thinly veiled impatience and wariness when we insisted on trying on pretty much every single pair of sunglasses in the store. However, they indulged our hour-long endeavour and gave us the same special treatment as they did to the less dishevelled and more elegant clients in the store.

If you prefer the classic Audrey Hepburn sunglasses look, try the Chanel Fall 2009 collection, including the CH5169 in Gloss Black or the 5128 in Bordeaux. Chanel’s prices range between 1500LE and 2300LE. For something funkier and trendier, Baraka Optics has the Dolce& Gabbana Fall 2009 collection, including the 4068 Top Gold (1800LE) that should suit both genders with its edgy tortoise-shell frame.  

If you’re tired of your Ray Bans but dig the fifties wayfarer look, try the Paul Smith unisex Farren sunglasses (1500LE). The tinted glass makes the vintage design more modern. Baraka Optics is also the first store to stock Paul& Joe sunglasses in Egypt. The Paul& Joe Volage collection features sunglasses in tortoise shell and other lighter frame colours, with lightly tinted glasses (around 1500LE). The Volage 13 brown has a square-bordering-on-cat-eye shape with a frame that graduated from a wooden brown into a mustard yellow.

Aside from an average collection of sunglasses by Chloé, Ray Bans, Police, Vogue and Gucci, what Baraka Optics does best is their deals. At the time of our visit, we were offered a substantial discount on our purchases; a 1800LE pair of sunglasses was reduced to 1500LE, and we were offered a buy-one-get-the-second-half-price deal. Apart from the winter season sale (where items are drastically reduced to almost 70%), you’ll regularly find a two-for-one deal on at Baraka Optics every few months or so. Furthermore, Baraka Optics is the sole agent for Tom Ford glasses in Egypt, so if you’re looking for last year’s pair or a design that’s hard to find in Egypt, they’ll order it specifically for you.