Opening with a lot of buzz, ABn’G is a department store that puts the focus on unique design and displays it in one space. From fashion to fabrics, digital collages and Azza Fahmy jewellery collections, cofounder Rana Faramawy explains the concept and the vision behind the store,
“We wanted to have a place where all designers can come together and not see each other as competitors but as complimentary to each other. Similar to department stores like Gallerie Lafayette, where shops can exist in one space and still thrive. Secondly, we wanted to expand the horizons of the average consumer who wouldn’t readily think of how to use these pieces,” said Faramawy, who cofounded ABn’G with Ahmed El Erian.
Part of this problem is consumer imagination. By putting its eclectic objects in one place, the average consumer is more likely to think of a way of using, rather than what Faramawy usually hears: “I can’t picture this in my house.”
Both Faramawy and El-Erian come from design backgrounds; Faramawy studied product design and El-Erian studied architecture at Cairo University and Cambridge University. ABnG places few restrictions on the products on display; the only criterion is unique, fresh design, whether local or international. Their collection includes concept furniture, home accessories, art pieces and fashion. Some of their artists include Dibaj, Chairs & Co., Bel Arabi, Deana Shaaban, Khan Hamza, Morning Owl, Pheel and Unty.
“We have local and international designers like Maja Soric who is Croatian. What is important is to have one of kind pieces that cannot be found anywhere else and are available for good prices,” said Faramawy.
The opening on Saturday 8 March included live music performance by Glass Onions, who specialise in Beatles covers, with the vocal talents of Hany Mustafa.
The opening showed a diverse collection of items by artists and designers that included Adel Sabet, Nadia Tattawy, Maja Soric, Azza Fahmy D.S., Outside In, Morning Owl, Pheel, Unty, Karim Shaffei, Aly Hazzaa, George Azmy, Samir Labib, Hala El Sharouny, Nermin Bahaa anhd Mariam Ibrahim.
At 9pm Egyptian designer Deana Shaaban showcased her 2014 spring collection in a runway show that was well-received and put the spotlight on her part of the store after the show ended.
“The reception on our opening night was lovely and we are very pleased. This is phase one of our project,” said Faramawy. When asked to give us a hint on what phase two would entail, she replied laughing, “I won’t say but I promise you it will be something big.”