CAIRO: Whoever said there are no good places to shop in Egypt? Throughout the past year, several new stores have opened, providing us with a number of the most demanded international labels, from Mango and Sisley to upscale Yves Saint Laurent and Prada.
Last week, a new star in the shopping scene was born. Right in the heart of Zamalek, the ultra hip store Friction has opened its doors and features men and women’s wear, along with contemporary home accessories.
Friction is the newest chain of the same man behind trendy clothing lines, 69, the Cube, L2 and more. Amir Mostafa has been in the retail business for 16 years and has decided that now is the right time to put together a more “edgy type store. “People coming in appreciate it .We are getting great reviews from everybody so far, he says.
Friction isn’t simply another clothes store, it is a concept. Mostafa has been imagining the idea since 1968 in Manhattan, New York. In his vision, five artists who can’t afford luxury live in a warehouse and fuse their talents: music, fashion, architecture and art. “Day to day living generates friction . And friction generates ideas . Ideas generate the future.
The shop holds 82 labels, including many from young designers. The labels Mostafa chooses are not the upscale Gucci and Channel, but rather young designers and brands that are more reasonably priced.
Brands include Abercrombie and Fitch, the high quality all-American clothes for both men and women; the casual line See by top designer label Chloe and French Connection UK, famous for its FCUK logo.
The selections of designers are from all across the globe, from Brazil to Japan and including Holly G clothes, Amalia Martinez accessories and Ann Summers lingerie.
Not only does Mostafa choose the most up to date and contemporary labels, he also concentrates on “limited addition products. For the first time in the Middle East, Adidas, Puma and Nike are selling their limited addition shoes.
Mostafa is fully aware that he is mixing completely different styles; in fact, that is the theme. “It’s a play with products. People like to mix styles like a very expensive jacket with an old pair of Levis. Mixing different directions is the fashion now, he says.
The directions get even more diverse. For starters, the store racks feature a number of magazines. It has the license to sell Wallpaper for architecture, ID about lifestyle and clubbing and Creative Review, which talks about communication arts worldwide.
The upstairs level of the shop is dedicated to home accessories for the risqué. Lamps, carpets, cutlery, plates are all available in extravagant colors and designs.
Fragrances are also expected to join the collection. The store will only be selling two different fragrances at a time, featuring the most “in perfumes at the time, of course. Mostafa stays tuned in with the help of fashion forecasting agencies in London.
Other featured commodities include Yamaha guitars and iPods. More is to be added in the future. “Whatever is happening around the planet we would like to get it, says Mostafa.
Besides the merchandise, the store features a lively ambiance. A house DJ blasts the latest tunes; they also welcome other interested DJs, all they have to do is apply.
The staff also adds to the dynamic atmosphere. Mostafa hires young, vivacious characters who are, of course, fashionable themselves. This is a trend throughout all his outlets.
Visit Friction at 18b El Marashly St., Zamalek.