When There’s Money to Burn: Villa Baboushka (Cairo)
Going on about their business down one of Zamalek’s heavily trafficked streets, is the hopelessly stylish concept boutique Villa Baboushka. The brainchild of Amir Mostafa (the man behind 69 and L2), Villa Baboushka is housed in a beautiful 1930s manor that has the feel of a chic boudoir that once belonged to some stately European aristocrat. The boutique has been quietly catering to the whims of Cairo’s fashionistas over the years and has built a loyal following keen on seeing what will go on display each season.
Baboushka stocks both high street and luxe brands, with a smattering of well established Middle Eastern designers thrown into the mix. There are labels you might not have heard of (Tabla Rosa and Haute Hippie), labels you might be familiar with (Robert Rodriguez and Poleci) and those you’re sure to have come across at some point in time (this is where I swoon over the precision and creativity of the Grand Dame of British fashion: you know I’m talking about Vivienne Westwood). There are countless unique pieces hidden away in every room and it doesn’t take much effort to unearth at least one treasure you will be certain you need.
Like desperately need.
There are bags, shoes and other accessories if you’re on the look out for that perfect belt or clutch to finish off your outfit. A lot of the artwork is also up for grabs if something catches your eye.
The pièce de résistance though is on the top floor of the villa. It’s where you need to be if you have a fancy event on the horizon to scour rack after rack of beautifully cut gowns that glitter, blink, sparkle and sway under the touch of your fingertips. We’re talking the type of full length affair you’d need to walk the red carpet alongside a tux-ed up Brad Pitt. Naturally, the price tag matches the glamour of the gowns with financially-crisis friendly dresses starting at 2000 LE (300 USD) and pricier versions ringing in at 8000 LE (1,200 USD) or more.
Indeed, the prices aren’t for the faint of heart (thanks to markups caused by unregulated custom controls and made worse by inflation and a crap exchange rate), however the most fabulous thing about Villa Baboushka is the store’s quarterly blow-out sales where their entire stock is available for anywhere between…wait for it…50 to 70% off.
I bet if you weren’t sold before, you sure as hell are now.
31 Ismail Mohamed Street
Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Open daily: 11:00 – 23:00