While one of them welcomes the guests with her natural warm smile, the other one roams the store, frantically adjusting the bags and supervising the team behind the counter: the two Abdelraouf sisters welcomed their Cairo-based clients at their first flagship store.
Mounaz and Aya are the region’s favourite sister couple to take the fashion industry by storm. After winning the Vogue fashion prize and becoming Gigi Hadid’s favourite everyday brand, the sisters came back to the heart of Zamalek to celebrate their biggest milestone to date.
“We wanted people to start interacting with our bags while purchasing them. We have realised that, yes, people trust our overall service; but they would still rather look at the bag, touch it, feel its texture, and try it on. Accordingly, it only made sense with what we are trying to establish as a very big brand name that we have our own flagship store; this is where the idea came from,” said Mounaz.
After years of following the brand’s updates and new releases through social media and international media platforms, the brand’s loyal fans were greeted by the sisters as they walked each and every client through the details of their store as well as the story behind the award-winning collection.
“We have always known that we wanted to have our own store. We had an image in our heads almost four years ago. Nonetheless, physically speaking, we started working on it eight months ago—and, finally, this came to life,” said Mounaz.
According to the sisters, the store is an exact replica of the vision they have always had in mind years ago. The store’s interior is a representation of the brand’s aesthetic and timeless designs.
“Basically, our logo is black and white; meanwhile, we always tend to add shades of pink or nude in our bags. Accordingly, our brand and store is black and white with a bit of a feminine colour. We used very expensive materials, such as marble and brass, as these reflect the high-end nature of our bags. Then we focused on the details, including the pink cactus, the door, and display. In other words, while walking around, you basically feel like a part of the Okhtein world,” said Mounaz.
As for the location, Okhtein has chosen to start what is anticipated to become an international web of branches from Degla centre in Zamalek. The low-key shopping destination is already the home of few local gems, such as Amina K and Vertan.
“I think that Degla is a very cute centre. We are surrounded by other emerging designers, which is great. It just felt like the right decision to take,” said Mounaz.
As for their current plans, the sisters aim to continue spreading their carryable magic to every corner of the world. After adding many renowned global names to their database of clients and taking centre focus in many world-class publications, the sisters also aim to have a chain of flagship stores to include every big fashion capital.
“The next store is set to be outside Egypt as we are only focused on having one flagship store in Egypt and do not need more. However, we might relocate when the brand gets bigger; but, for now, our four-year plan is to keep this store as it is,” said Mounaz.