Cape Town is one of the only cities in the world where you’ll find authentic African arts and crafts on sale next door to local and international high-end designer wear. Take some time out from sightseeing to explore the city’s eclectic stores and boutiques.
Owned by Kirsty Bannerman and Marian Park-Ross, Mungo and Jemima is a great place to pick up a fabulous dress or accessory piece from either the South African labels found in store or from the duo’s own brands, Coppelia and GOOD. Mungo and Jemima place quality and timeless fashion above fleeting trends, making it the go-to store for relaxed South African style.
The V&A Waterfront is the home of most leading international brands, and the best place for high-end shopping in Cape Town. But the Watershed, a short walk from the main shopping precinct, offers smaller-batch, local designer goods for sale. There you’ll find fashion, jewellery and art in a market-like atmosphere.
If your idea of an intriguing boutique is locally designed furniture and accessories, make a turn at Stable of Cape Town’s Loop Street. There, you’ll find more than 100 brands for sale, and it’s the perfect boutique to visit, whether you’re looking for an original gift or an iconic statement piece for your living room.
Pan African Market
Set in an old Victorian building, this three-storey market offers shelf after shelf of arts and crafts, jewellery, ceramics, textiles, masks and leatherwork from all corners of Africa. If you’re interested in traditional African garments, the market’s resident seamstresses and tailors are on hand to sew something up for you in your chosen fabric. Bargaining in this market-like environment is welcome, and though it can feel a bit chaotic and disorganised at times, it’s possible to uncover a few hidden gems and good reminders of your trip.
The collaboration between designers Mareth van der Walt and Colleen Lesch began on a single wedding dress, and has since developed into a celebrated creative partnership creating vibrant clothing collections for women. They have a showroom in vibrant Woodstock, but also sell their goods direct to the public via their website.
Situated on the Long Street strip, MeMeMe stocks a range of trendy womenswear and accessories from top South African designers, including the award-winning owner, Doreen Southwood. Pick and choose from the well-curated selection of chic dresses, classic separates, shoes, jewellery and handbags.
Pick up a few unique homeware pieces from Plush Bazaar, situated in the Old Biscuit Mill, a shopping and food emporium in the hipster suburb of Woodstock. The small boutique stocks a range of antique French and Victorian items, glassware, kitchenware, and jewellery. If you go on a Saturday, try the delicious artisanal foods and craft beer at the Neighbourgoods Market.
And Banana - Ethno Bongo
Founded by husband and wife team Ralf and Mijou Beller, And Banana is the name of an eclectic range of African-inspired jewellery, while Ethno Bongo is the title of the couple’s furniture collection. All products are designed by Ralf and Mijou and are made in Hout Bay with a team of local crafters who use organic materials such as shells, palm fronds and reclaimed wood. Add a touch of Africa to your jewellery collection with a rope necklace with coral and beads, or get a wine bottle holder made from a French oak wine barrel. The possibilities of what to buy are simply endless at this treasure trove.
Luvey ‘n Rose
Art Gallery, Museum, Shop, Store
Luvey ‘n Rose is a charming art gallery, antique store and café, styled like an art-lover’s home. Visitors are invited to sit in one of the six rooms and appreciate the artworks that line the walls while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Unlike an art gallery or museum that prohibits touching, Luvey ‘n Rose allows patrons to touch as they please, as most of the shop’s items, including the furniture you sit on, are for sale. Peckish customers can also pop downstairs and grab a tasty sandwich or pastry from the café.
Merchants on Long
Situated in an Art Deco building on Long Street, Merchants on Long houses carefully curated luxury and homemade brands that are sourced and made in Africa. Featuring a host of South African designers, you can find a wide variety of clothing for men, women and children, as well as accessories, homeware, shoes and more in vibrant African prints and luxurious fabrics. The boutique is also the home of Okapi, an ethically produced line of luxury handbags and accessories.