Superstar: Fashion on a budget

Whether you’ve freshly arrived from New York study abroad and are already missing the thrifty, hipster oasis of Bushwick, or you’re experiencing the ...

Sep 28, 2013

Whether you’ve freshly arrived from New York study abroad and are already missing the thrifty, hipster oasis of Bushwick, or you’re experiencing the Marina Mall doldrums and looking for a change to your wardrobe, Abu Dhabi’s Superstar clothing store is your solution.
Superstar is situated squatly next to the entrance of Hamdan Center. Many of us pass it on walks home from Al Ekram and briefly ogle its brightly lit display window, stocked with clothing of all different shapes, sizes and fabrics, but rarely do we venture inside. Yet this two-story shop hides great treasures among its stacks of suitcases, bedazzled parade of ball gowns and patterned fedora display. Many of these finds are a great addition to any NYUAD wardrobe, and you can often buy them at cheap, budget prices.
The store, which opened in 1986, is currently owned by Heshmat, 52, who moved to Abu Dhabi from his home country, Iran. Originally consisting of one space in Hamdan, it has since expanded into the neighboring lots and quadrupled in size.
The store acquires its clothing from an international plethora of brands ranging from American to European. Many of its supplies come from Dubai, where Heshmat buys the store’s inventory at wholesale prices. Nowadays, Superstar has become popular enough that salespeople visit the store to sell their own products.
On the second level, which consists mainly of women’s apparel, a friendly man named Unais, 22, from India, sits at a sewing machine. Unais makes alterations and repairs on the clothing. If you purchase something from Superstar and find that it doesn’t fit, you can ask for your buy to be tailored free of charge.
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Unais at the tailoring desk on the second floor. By Zoe Hu/The Gazelle
Given the huge range of clothing and the staff’s eager friendliness, finding a new outfit is incredibly easy. Here are some picks:
Photos by Nino Cricco/The Gazelle. Edited by Dorothy  Lam/The Gazelle. 
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Superstar excels in its selection of graphic t-shirts, most of which boast slogans referring to summery California beaches or far-away neighborhoods in New York. The store also has a range of simple hoodies and jackets so comfortable they would put American Apparel to shame.
On Ling: Hat 25 AED Shirt 25 AED Shorts 35 AED
On Soichiro: Hoodie 15 AED Shorts 35 AED
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If you’re looking for some basics, you’ll find shirts in solid, versatile colors. If you browse the sale racks and ask about possible discounts, you may be able to stock up for low prices.
On Ling Shirt: 20 AED Pants: 49 AED
On Soichiro Shirt: 20 AED Shorts: 49 AED
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One of Superstar’s greatest perks is its playful smorgasbord of patterned shorts and shirts. Find buttoned-downs with white pinwheels or navy flamingos and pair them with hibiscus-patterned shorts that harken back to those few beachy days during Marhaba when we actually went to the Corniche.
On Ling Shirt: 20 AED Shorts: 35 AED
On Soichiro Shirt: 20 AED Shorts: 35 AED
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Superstar is a also fun place to browse if you’re a stripes aficionado. Its shirts-and-pants combination sets come in a multitude of different colors to choose from, and the material is soft enough to be comfortable all day.
On Soichiro Shirt: 20 AED Pants: 70 AED
On Zoe Shirt: 30 AED Shorts: 35 AED
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Whether they be shiny patent leather, galaxy patterned, leopard or floral, you’ll be able to find pants suitable for any festivity. Explore, browse around and stay open-minded. Who knows what else you’ll find?
On Ling:
Pants: 45 (comes in a set) AED Shirt: 19 AED
On Zoe Shirt: 20 AED Pants: 19 AED
Zoe Hu is features editor. Nino Cricco is a contributing writer. Email them at 
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