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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Nine West: International Shoe Shop Brand at Sun City Mall, Heliopolis
Designer shoe shops in Cairo are few and far between, but the fastest growing shopping mall in Cairo houses one of the world's best. Born at number 9 of West 57th Street, New York in 1978, Nine West is famous in over 60 countries for it's quality women's shoes and handbags. They've even opened up several branches all over Cairo, converting run way trends to high street fashion. Nestled on the third floor or Heliopolis' Sun City Mall, Nine West is uniform with all it's other franchises with simple, chrome signage, an all glass front and immaculate displays within.
The window displays draw fashionistas in with an eclectic mix of styles; glitzy party shoes, formal heels and brightly coloured, summery sandals. As soon as we entered, a welcoming shop assistant pointed us in the direction of their new collection and proceeded to linger close by should we have needed to try anything on.
The majority of the summer collection was fun and colourful, whilst largely remaining practical. A pair of stripy, nautical-looking, slip-on wedges was fairly expensive at 999LE, whilst brightly coloured crochet pumps were 499LE. Plain, flat, soft leather moccasins were available in black, white and navy (699LE) and for a different look, pretty round-toe, beaded pumps were priced the same.
Neon coloured (369LE), as well as metallic gold and silver (599LE) t-bar flip-flops were amongst the beach footwear; some beaded, strappy sandals with turquoise and gold detailing caught our eye (599LE). Kitten heeled sandals were also aplenty which confused us slightly as to whether kitten heels were in fashion, or indeed if they ever left.
Nine West also stocks an abundance of simple black heels – a wardrobe essential. We spotted a pair of average height, patent black heels for 699LE, whilst a matte leather pair was going for the same price, and a pointy, black satin pair with a bow on the front was 599LE. A simple, delicate strappy pair with black beads on the heel was retailing at 799LE. On the other end of the spectrum, a pair of skyscraper platforms, embellished all over with gold glitter was 839LE.
Most of the shoes had a small clutch bag conveniently placed next to them in order to complete the set, starting at 400LE. Other than glitzy purses, Nine West was a little thin on the bag front, although we did spy a very large, brown leather handbag (599LE) amongst neon and grey totes, boat-patterned beach bags and various other casual handbags, although nothing really struck us as being particularly fabulous.
While most tastes can be catered for in their Sun City Mall branch, quality oozed from some pieces, but was often lacking in others. Nine West's prices are certainly more on the expensive side; however, if you're looking for a tasteful pair of shoes for any occasion, Nine West could be considered a good starting point.
While the world’s flashiest brands continue to flood shops in Cairo, there is also an increasing appreciation for comfort and quality as the biggest factors, rather than just the label.
French brand, Sledgers, has just joined the ranks at Mall of Arabia, providing “French Style & Comfort” for both men and women, specially designed with rubber outsole padding to keep your feet happy.
Providing women with a larger set of options, the store also has a dedicated section to Aerosoles; a women's high-quality comfortable shoe brand, displaying a full range of their products.
Located in between gates 18 and 19, the external display of the shop is appealingly lit with bright spotlights that you can’t miss it.
Inside, the shop is split into two sections, with Sledgers products on one side and Aerosoles on the other. Impressively enough, the interior display is widely spread and neatly organised, making browsing of the large collection easy.
Aerosoles’ women’s collection ranges from summer season to winter styles, from evening shoes, party shoes, summer sandals and plain loafers all displayed in various colours and modest designs.
Simple items include a large collection of flat summer sandals (549LE) as well as high-heeled sandals (649LE) and low-heeled sandals (599LE) in a vast selection of fun colours.
More basic designs include earthy-coloured peep-toed shoes with wedged heels (599LE) in smooth floral patterns and vintage sandals with casual low heels (549LE) in black, white and creamy-beige.
The most frequent type of shoe on display at the time of our visit was those suitable for career women, if you will; comfortable, basic and sturdy. Standout items included a variety of practical flat loafers (549LE) available in simple colours, as well as a selection of formal mid-heel shoes (699LE) in chic soothing shades.
While Aerosoles carries a line of handbags, the bags on display were limited – selling at around the 599LE – and fairly standard in style, some used striking blues, oranges and yellows, ideal for the summer season.
Only two products of Sledgers footwear were available for women; overpriced multicoloured ballerinas for (999LE) and a pair of casual, creamy high-heeled shoes (1199LE).
On the other side of the store, the men’s Sledgers footwear displayed a vast mixture of styles boasting good quality casual and classical footwear as well as soft and leathery loafers, all ranging in price from 1099LE to 1499LE.
While everything is relatively overpriced, the wide collection of quality footwear goes someway in pulling in customers. If a simple, quality shoe that will last is what you’re after, it’s worth the investment.