Just when you thought that, between the Easter break and Sahel season, you could save some money, Coterique throws you a curveball. A very stylish one.
Launching in three weeks, Coterique is the latest fast fashion provider in Cairo, stocking the likes Valentino, MSGM, Celine, Balenciaga and (all hail) McQueen ready to be delivered as soon as the high-end shopping website is open for business. The brainchild of Dana Khater, founder of the first AUC fashion magazine, Vitrina, Coterique caters to Cairo’s sartorially unsatisfied, and Khater knows, first hand, that there’s a lot of them. “While picking up all the items for our [Vitrina]shoot in Aswan last November, I noticed the hassle associated with not having a centralized shopping location like Avenue Montaigne in Paris or 5th avenue in New York. I figured the problem wasn't just for stylists, it's a pain for shoppers that want to browse all the stores before buying,” she explains.
The decentralised nature of Cairo’s retail industry, and the growing demand for luxury brands inspired Khater to fill the gap in the market, rather than have feisty fashionistas go through the stresses of having something delivered from abroad. “I then applied to Flat6Labs in December and got accepted into the programme for incubation that ends this month. I couldn't pass up the opportunity because I felt like now was the time for a business idea like this. I decided to balance classes at AUC by day and work on Coterique at night.”
Partnering up with two more Flat6Labs graduates, Essam Maged (operations/logistics) and Mostafa El Khouly (developer/technical officer), Khater began with the name: “Coterique is a combination of coterie – which means an exclusive group of people with shared interests – and boutique,” she explains. Confident in the luxury fashion industry in Egypt, (“I think there's a great wave of talent that's currently studying fashion design abroad at institutes like Parsons, Central Saint Martins and Marangoni, so I definitely see it picking up exponentially in the next couple of years,) Khater promises that the website will put skeptical potential shoppers at ease with style tips and superb service. “And once you receive your purchases in our lovely signature boxes, we’re certain you’ll be back for more!”
To be first to know when Coterique’s website launches, keep up-to-date with their Facebook page here and follow @Coterique on Twitter. For fashion news, trends and tips, visit their blog here: http://www.blog.coterique.com/