The Studio @ Zafir: Affordable Accessories at New Concept Store
you’d know that this tiny shop on Zamalek’s Taha Hussein Street sells colourful
locally made t-shirts carrying Egyptian designs. The young and funky shop
recently celebrated the soft opening of The Studio @ Zafir, a concept store in a
flat on the first floor behind the shop space. The Studio @ Zafir brings
together Egyptian designers (and one Lebanese designer) celebrating all things
local and funky.
The small room carries a shelf on its right
side displaying notebooks, organisers and coffee travel mugs by Hani Mahfouz Designs
(HMD) as well as colourful flip-flops by local brand Shibshibi.
On the other side, large retro film posters
hang next to a shelf displaying cool and affordable tile stickers by Drumstick
Designs (less than 100LE) and music albums by local production company 100Copies. CDs include
music by Rango, Mahmoud Refat and El Tanboura.
small wooden box covered in Chinese newspapers carries
copies of the last two TokTok issues next to a 2011 calendar. In the corner by
the room’s only window, a Louis XV armchair is covered in bright red kheyameya
fabric next to a sleek lamp with a large felt tarbush-shaped lampshade,
complete with a long black tassel. Next to it, a small red TV set has been
converted into a fish tank.
The window is flanked by a large stand
displaying the jewellery line of Beirut designer Zinab Chahine, called Ctrl+Z.
Her collection of young, colourful and cheap jewellery is easy wearable, including her bright charm bracelets, long pendants and bulky rings with images of
arab pop icons, symbols and funny slogans. Priced between 20LE and 140LE, the
collection is extremely affordable and will brighten up any wardrobe.
In the centre of the room, you can find
aprons made of blue kheyameya fabric and hairbands with mini-tarboushes by Boho
Sharqi. The local clothing brand also has a tiny rack carrying four or five clothing
items in muted colours.
At the opposite end of the room, several
photographs and prints (starting at 100LE) hang on a wall, all of which follow the same Egyptian
theme that the whole shop seems to embrace. A collection of colourful woven
baskets are arranged beneath a massive print and next to a small collection of
brass earrings by Eman El Banna.
The cool thing about Zafir is that
everything is extremely affordable, with many items priced under 100LE, which
is becoming a rarity in Cairo’s boutique culture these days. Although the shop
is still in its soft opening phase, this reviewer is excited to see if it can
cement itself as an alternative shopping destination in Cairo for cool, funky local
brands at affordable prices.