Dina El Helaly has a mission; to bring vintage chic to Cairo, and chances are she'll be successful with her newly launched uber-adorable Vintique store in Zamalek, boasting the most gorgeous, lacy, vintage-inspired pieces in town…
We won't even lie, we've been ransacking our grandmas' closest since the ripe old age of like, five. But back then it was because there was just so much cool stuff and a sense of magic and nostalgia. Now, it's just flat out fashionable to go retro. Granny chic is a thing, don’t even question it. We might even be wearing aforementioned grandma's blouse as we speak. In general though, vintage is back in a big way, whether it's actually from some bygone era or simply inspired by it, but it's all just so pretty. SO MUCH LACE. Just really brings us oodles of superficial joy – as fashion should.
So when we discovered Vintique, a boutique in Zamalek dedicated to keeping the sartorial beauty of yesteryear alive and kicking, we positively swooned. So. Much. Lace. We really just felt like we were in a Victorian novel. Crochet runs rampant. Tulle and flowing chiffon and faded floral prints got us giddy. We were in Downton Abbey and ooh it was time for high tea with the duchess. TAKE US TO THE 70s TIME MACHINE CONDUCTOR PERSON. Where we can live out our inner hippie children fantasies. We run through fields and swish our skirts and it's all very Instagrammable – if Instagram existed in the 70s. Anyway, we (eventually) got ourselves under control before our reveries ran away with us.
The store was founded just this July by Dina El Helaly, a fellow lover of vintage, who wanted to inject a little bit of the past into the present. "In Egypt, vintage is kind of a new concept," she explains, "But everything old is coming back right now, and I love that 60s, 70s fashion – the lace, the polka dots…it's so classy and elegant." Though the store's pieces are certainly an homage to a time before we could crawl, the pieces aren’t actually from a different decade; Helaly either searches for vintage-inspired pieces in London, or designs items herself.
"People didn’t understand the concept of vintage. At the beginning, Egyptians weren’t really on board with wearing secondhand clothing," she laughs, "So I decided to go for vintage-inspired instead. But I hope that mentality changes soon!"
We for one, hope Vintique starts stocking actual vintage pieces, but for now, we're content with all the lacy pretty things there! Until then, we're off to have our afternoon tea and crumpets.
You can follow them on Instagram @vintiqueeee or on their Facebook page here.