Located in a narrow alley in Zamalek, Soho has proven to be the IT boutique since its opening in 2008. Famed for its unique’n’chic collections, Soho brings its’ owners passion and personality to its shelves.
When I entered Soho, I was spellbound by the glam within its walls, ceiling and collections. The boutique’s setting has a fusion of white and hot pink, which makes it eye candy for every customer, providing shopping lovers an appetite for mixing and matching.
Alia Abaza and Rihan Fahmy are the masterminds behind this alternative boutique. “Rihan and I had common friends before we became partners and we both wanted to have our own boutique with very selective items. We didn’t want a boutique that has a branch in every district and not commercial items though,” Alia tells us.
“We started travelling and going to fashion weeks then planning an outline for the boutique,” she adds. The two partners weren’t budding partners before they come up with Soho, they just knew each other through common friends. “We met and we found out that we have the same background and our husbands became friends and we became friends. I think if we had started very close friends we would be having some compromises,” Rihan said.
Soho’s collections are very selective, yet very unique and you don’t see them in every shopping window like some boutiques do. “We don’t like to have our items available everywhere. Most of our collections are from European designers,” Rihan notes.
Most of their collections are from French designers like Manoush and Touch Luck. Also their jewelry is very unique from a Greek jewelry designer called Merciades who wanted to be their exclusive designer. “It’s ok to stick to one brand of jewelry as long as it’s unique,” Rihan says. Alia also does scarves designs for Soho with hand plated and gold plated coins which makes them chic yet ready for street wear.
Not only young and hip customers are their target, but also the intellectual and classy are on their top list of shoppers. “They are women who want to look different,” Alia said.
While I was chatting with the Soho ladies, a very familiar face entered the changing room carrying a fabulous cocktail dress; it turned out that the shopper was Dr Hana Shams, the well known certified homeopath who we see on TV screens with not only a long CV but also with great aspiring outfits. “They’re the most different; they don’t do brainstorming sessions they do heart storming,” Dr Shams told us.
The Soho partners think that the Egyptian fashion scene is noteworthy, “It’s great that Egyptian designers know how to benefit from their talent. Like Amina K., some have very different concepts so why not for anyone to use their talent. There was this concept that local stuff is rejected by Egyptian shoppers, but nowadays a lot of women start businesses made in Egypt and they’re very successful as I think the market is helping today. Egyptians are great shoppers, shopping is like eating here in Egypt,” Alia says.
“The female business scene emerged as everyone is trying to prove themselves. Some women get married and have kids and they quit their job and start a home business with less finance and employment. It took us a year and half to search for a place to rent that we liked, it’s not that easy,” Rihan said.