This new clothing store is tucked in a quiet neighborhood in Zamalek, and is home to very simple and inviting interiors. Whether people are looking for event attire, must-have unique pieces or everyday comfortable clothes, all these outfits are available as part of Boutique 17’s collections. It also displays footwear, handbags and statement accessories, which are great for dressing up a simple outfit.
Boutique 17 opened in April 2016 with the launch of its debut spring/summer collection, which was admired by many and marked the shop’s success. The founders are Marwa Mitkees, an AUC graduate and the owner of the children’s clothing store Little Cherries, and Ragia Aboul Enein, also an AUC graduate who had started off her career working in her family business of manufacturing and exporting ready-made garments, traveling on a regular basis to shop for the latest trends and update their collection with exceptional pieces.
What motivated you to open Boutique 17?
“We both love fashion, have a great passion for shopping and indulge in traveling, which greatly inspired us to open our own boutique. What encouraged us even more are the great experiences we have from our previous jobs that we knew would help us bring together our dream, where we can pick and choose different clothing pieces that cater to different tastes,” said Mitkees.
“Marwa and I are cousins and best friends, which was a great motive for us to work together. Boutique 17 made it in the Egyptian fashion scene and quickly gained a good reputation for housing elegant and widely diversified clothes to help each and every woman portray who she truly is with confidence,” added Aboul Enein.
Why did you open in Zamalek in particular?
“We are big fans of Zamalek! It’s such a vibrant neighborhood with a lot going on. We saw that it was a prominent market, popular for housing many clothing stores. This in turn made Zamalek residents familiar with the concept of boutique shopping, since they love buying clothes that differ from what could be found at mainstream, big-chain shopping stores,” explained Aboul Enein.
“Zamalek is a central location, which makes it accessible to many of our clients. Therefore, we welcome our shoppers who live in far neighborhoods, such as 6 October, Heliopolis or New Cairo. Last but not least, it’s close to where we both live, which makes it much easier for us to manage the store and keep a close eye on what’s missing to best address our clientele’s needs,” Mitkees added.
Why the name Boutique 17?
“Since we love simplicity, we took the easy way out and named it after the building number we are in, so it is basically called Boutique 17 because it is in building number 17,” explained Mitkees.
Cozy, fashionable and affordable is what best describes Boutique 17. What do you do to ensure these qualities?
“We always exert a lot of effort in carefully selecting our clothing items to present our clients with fashionable, voguish and hip pieces that they can happily add to their wardrobes and always resort to for a polished and stylish look. Moreover, we always strive to buy the best quality at the best price,” highlighted Aboul Enein.
“We do our best to broaden our collections to ideally address diversified styles for different people. For example, we offer from dressy clothes and beachwear to conservative clothing pieces for veiled women to save our clients the hassle of having to go everywhere to find something that suits them,” commented Mitkees.
“We are very much inspired by the concept behind clothing shops like Zara that are trendy yet within budget. What we are doing at Boutique 17 is encouraging women to understand the concept of ‘boutique shopping’. We want to bring fashion and affordability together because with the current economic instability that Egypt is going through as a result of the devaluation of the currency, people are not really encouraged to spend. When you find stuff that you like within your budget, you will be happy to buy and enjoy them,” emphasized Mitkees.
Both ladies aspire to open up new boutiques at different locations, such as 6 October and New Cairo.
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