The BoF Podcast | The Retail Philosopher Creating Waves in Egypt and Beyond


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Amir Fayo, the founder of 69 Group, marries brand architecture and art direction to create retail and hospitality concepts rooted in culture and connection. Best known for operating Egyptian stores Maison69 and Villa Baboushka, Fayo breaks with conventions to create immersive store experiences that resonate with consumers on an emotional level. Everything starts by not thinking of himself as a retailer.

“I don’t know how to do retail. Retail is structured. Retail is data. Retail is numbers … I connect to people, to how they feel, what makes them tick, what makes them be interested,” he says.

This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed sits down with Fayo to discuss his innovative attitude toward retail.

Key Insights:

  • Fayo, who was born in Wales and raised in Egypt, says his architectural style is heavily influenced by his multicultural upbringing. “Egypt gave me a heart, the UK gave me my creativity and the US gave me my thinking process.”
  • There are three pillars to how Fayo approaches a project. The first is building an environment in which people can form an emotional memory. The second is creating a sense of social intimacy. Finally, he remains focussed on the idea of elevating the everyday. ‘I want to elevate [mundane moments] to be something that people remember, that people want to come back to,” Fayo explains.
  • When designing retail spaces, the idea of home is kept at the forefront. “When we started to define that code, I said, where is that space where there is no right and there is no wrong? It should be home,” says Fayo. “We’re going to design homes because homes should be welcoming. Homes should create belonging. Homes should create easy connections.”

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