Hersch Raff fashion store

Hersch Raff fashion store in Attaba, Cairo, Egypt in 1909.

متجر أزياء هيرس راف، العتبة، القاهرة، مصر، ١٩٠٩.
Although the business carried on by Mr. H. Raff was established since 1905, it had become very popular with the residents of Cairo. The firm's premises in Place Ataba el-Khadra were commodious and elegant, and the thousand and one miscellaneous articles of hosiery, millinery, and outfitting were arranged with taste and judgment throughout a series of well-appointed and conveniently arranged showrooms. A traveler might purchase there any requisite for his journeyings, and in the various departments every article could be found which imagination conceives to be necessary for the provision of a complete outfit for either sex. Of the ever-changing European fashions Mr. Raff, who had been in the trade all his life, took careful note, so that his stock, which at a low estimate was worth between nearly EGP 50,000 and EGP 60,000, was never allowed to become antiquated or out-of-date. Mr. Raff was the sole proprietor. He was born at Yassi, Roumania, in 1852, and came to Cairo with his parents when quite a child. In his early years he met with several grievous misfortunes. He lost his father a year after his arrival in Egypt, and at the age of fourteen he was left to struggle as best he might for a livelihood owing to the death of his brother-in-law, who up till then had provided for his education. It had previously been suggested that he should be apprenticed to a watchmaker, but, having no taste for such an occupation, he joined Mr. S. Stein when that gentleman started in business as a ready-made clothier in Cairo in 1865. Trade was brisk; branches were quickly opened in Constantinople, Alexandria, and Vienna; and with this development in the business Mr. Raff's position grew in importance until in 1873 he was appointed manager of the whole undertaking. In 1897 Mr. Stein conceived the idea of creating a small private company by handing over the business for a period of five years to his various managers. The branch in Cairo was entrusted to Mr. I. Blumberg; in Alexandria to Mr. Marcus Stein, Mr. S. Stein's younger brother; in Constantinople to Mr. H. Blumberg and Mr. H. Raff; and in Vienna to Mr. Doro Stein, Mr. S. Stein's eldest son. Between the years 1898-99 Mr. S. Stein and Mr. I. Blumberg both died, and Mr. H. Blumberg retired from the Company, but the three remaining partners continued the business until the expiration of the contract in 1902, when, according to the original arrangement, Mr. Doro Stein assumed the control of the whole enterprise. Mr. Raff was appointed manager of the Cairo branch, a position which he resigned at the end of a year in order to start business on his own account. After waiting eighteen months for a favorable opportunity he opened his premises in 1905. His manager, Mr. Constants Moscopoulos, had been associated with him in business for something like fourteen years. The staff included some thirty-five hands. In 1875 Mr. Raff married the sister of his late employer, Mr. S. Stein. His two sons, Joseph and Max, both assisted him in the business.

H. Raff, Proprietor.

Max Raff

Joseph Raff