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Kimono Kraze: Online Boutique Brings Kimono Trend to Cairo Doorsteps
Our basic impression when it comes to fashion trends and hypes is that they mostly end up being uncomfortable and impractical – beauty is pain, right? When kimonos, however, took over the fashion scene this year and became street style must-haves, this admitted shopaholic could do nothing but tear up – true story. Yes – a fashion trend that is equal parts comfy, flattering and en vogue!
Operating through an Instagram account and a Facebook page, Kimono Kraze is a home-grown brand, started by young entrepreneur, Habiba Ahmed, that offers all kinds of ready-to-wear and custom-made kimonos of all lengths and patterns.
We came across its Instagram profile first and scrolled on through the dozens of available kimonos. Our absolute favourite picks include the Lilac Silk Kimono (160LE), the short Teal and Pink Lace Kimonos (150 E), the Fringed Black Lace Kimono (180LE) and the Red Wine Maxi Kimono (200LE).
Thinking of laid back summer days spent by the beach, we opted for the short Teal lace kimono (150LE) and the Maxi Black Lace Kimono (200LE), and direct-messaged them our order. Much to our delight, we got a fast reply confirming the availability of our desired items and we promptly sent our address and phone number to finalise the order.
Said order took exactly 13 days to arrive right to our doorstep for an extra charge of 50LE. There is, of course, still a bit of a stigma attached to online shopping in Egypt – particularly set-ups that operate on social media – but, apart from an almost two-week wait for arrival, we can have few complaints with Kimono Kraze. We also had our doubts about the whole one-size-fits-all concept of the kimonos, but thankfully, they fit us like a glove and were of perfect length.
All in all, shopping with Kimono Kraze proved to be a successful online experience; we got our desired picks without the bother of standing in long queues and stuffy fitting rooms (yes, life is hard), but we'll definitely be going back for more comfy – or komky, ha-ha – kimonos. In all seriousness, however, Kimono Kraze is a welcome addition to the increasing number of local brands operating online. What happens if and when kimonos go out of style – god forbid – is another question altogether.
Let’s face it; finding good, quality, fashionable clothes for veiled women on the Cairo shopping scene isn’t as easy as one might think. On the one hand, there is a lack of the go-to outlets fashioning clothes for veiled women, then there’s juggling the vicious triangle of size, taste and affordability, on the other hand.
Prude & Style Girl is possibly one of the very few shops trying to break that vicious triangle; as a shop specialising in ‘hijab fashion’ and answering to veiled women’s challenge of finding decent, hip and affordable fashion wear, Prude & Style Girl is a rather unique venue.
As the brainchild of two female entrepreneurs in their early twenties, Prude & Style Girl also offer online shopping via its Facebook page, but our visit to the store in Heliopolis threw up more surprises.
At the time of our visit, the shop was overcrowded - this is a place that has quickly gathered a loyal fan-base - but that didn’t detract from the wide variety of clothes and accessories on offer.
Prude & Style Girl’s summer collection caters for all tastes; there are plain simple sleeveless dresses (200LE) that can be paired with cardigans, long-sleeve dresses with different Indian-inspired and paisley patterns (250 LE) – of which we liked a beige dress with shades of blue, red and green. The shop also boasts a large variety of summer dresses available in vibrant summer colours (200LE); one white dress with blue sleeves (200LE) perfect attire on the beach for veiled ladies, caught our eye.
The shop also has a selection of evening dresses and skirts suitable for many occasions; black and white polka dot dresses (210LE), a light pink V-neck lace dress also (250LE) as well as satin and lace skirts available in different colours (150LE) stood out in particular.
But it’s the cardigans and kimonos that impressed in Prude & Style Girl’s summer collection; the versatile pieces add a hip and trendy dimension to putting an outfit together.
Overall, what impressed us most about Prude & Style Girl is the versatility of its pieces and the sheer options available. Veiled Cairenes often find themselves in despair when it comes to shopping for modern, demure clothing but this is one shop that proves you can have the best of both worlds.