Cape Town is one of the only cities in the world where you’ll find African arts and crafts sold next door to high-end designer wear. Take some time out from bar hopping and sightseeing and explore the city’s plethora of eclectic boutiques.
1. Mungo and Jemima
Owned by Kirsty Bannerman and Marian Park-Ross, Mungo and Jemima is a great place to pick up a fabulous dress or accessory from either the South African labels found in store or 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 a relaxed South African style.
Mungo and Jemima, 108 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 424 5016
2. Pan African Market
Set in an old Victorian building, this three-story market offers shelf after shelf of arts and crafts, jewelry, 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 it up for you in your chosen fabric – bargaining is welcome! Once you’ve bought enough souvenirs, take a break at Timbuktu Café on the second floor, which overlooks Long Street.
Pan African Market, 76 Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 426 4478
3. Love Milo
Love Milo is an online homeware and décor store offering a range of contemporary products inspired by South Africa’s nature. Founder and designer Nicki Ellis and her team of crafters operate sustainably by using only eco-friendly materials. Pick and choose from elegant tea cups and wooden saucers, cushion covers, cork placemats, picnic blankets and more in an array of signature prints. All the magic happens at their Woodstock studio but items can be ordered online and shipped locally or internationally.
Products are available online at www.lovemilo.com
MeMeMe is a lovely boutique that stocks trendy clothing and accessories from a range of South African designers, including the award-winning owner Doreen Southwood. Opened in 2001, there’s an endless selection of garments ready for you to browse through. You’re bound to find a few timeless pieces.
Summer opening hours: 9:30am – 18:30pm
MeMeMe, 117 Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 424 0001
5. Plush Bazaar
Pick up a few unique homeware pieces from Plush Bazaar that’s 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 jewelry. If you go on a Saturday, try the delicious artisanal foods and craft beer at the Neighbourgoods Market.
Plush Bazaar, Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 447 6495
Founded by husband and wife team Ralf and Mijou Beller, And Banana is the name of an eclectic range of African-inspired jewelry, 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 that use organic materials such as shells, palm fronds and reclaimed wood. Add a touch of Africa to your jewelry 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.
And Banana – Ethno Bongo, 35 Main Road, Scott Estate, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 790 0802
7. Luvey ‘n Rose
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 since most of the shop’s items, including the furniture you sit on, are for sale. And if that’s not all, peckish customers can pop downstairs and grab a tasty sandwich or pastry from the café.
Luvey ‘n Rose, 60 Loop Street, Cape Town, South Africa +27 83 557 7156
8. Skinny laMinx
For the most beautiful homeware and accessories, be sure to visit this chic little store on Bree Street. Skinny laMinx was established by illustrator Heather Moore who turned her hobby of screen printing patterns on fabric into a flourishing business. Her Scandi-inspired colorful prints adorn cushion covers, tote bags, tea towels, napkins, purses and many other goodies. You can also order printed fabric by the meter to make your own items or decorate your bedroom walls in their signature printed wallpaper. The Skinny laMinx team takes great care in producing quality products that are gentle on your skin by using only water-based inks and natural fiber fabrics.
Skinny laMinx, 201 Bree Street, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 424 6290
Monkeybiz is dedicated to reviving the tradition of African Beadwork by taking the love and knowledge that is passed down from mother to child and becoming a bridge for turning traditional bead works into contemporary artworks. Founded by Barbara Jackson, Mathapelo Ngaka-Mtati, and Shirley Finz in 1999, the non-profit organization recognizes and develops the artistic ability of local women who come from impoverished backgrounds. Today the group of over 450 beaders creates quirky and colorful dolls and animals that are sold around the world. Monkeybiz pieces were exhibited by Sotheby’s in 2002, and have since been sold by Donna Karan and ABC Carpet & Home in New York.
Monkeybiz, 61 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 426 0145
10. 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.
Merchants on Long, 34 Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 422 2828