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Cape Town Street Style

Cape Town street style

I will never stop to emphasize the importance of travelling (read more about that here) and seeing with your own eyes, how people translate culture and other influences into design, fashion, concept stores, shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and hotels – or with other words: everything life style. It’s in the cities that this happens, and the metropolises are like magnates to young people, creatives, and everyone else curious. I recently went to Cape Town, and below is a selection of my favourite Cape Town street style.

Tribe Coffee Bar Cape Town

Tribe coffee bar.

Unfortunately travelling isn’t always possible, and it’s in this case that the Internet offers such a rich source of inspiration, as we’re allowed to see things through someone else’s eyes. It’s at the same time inspiring on both a personal and professional level, and if you work in fashion design, having new inputs are crucial to the design process. Another huge benefit is becoming aware of the type of consumer(s) that inhabit the city. When working in the global fashion industry, and today with social media we really all do, this becomes very useful. Knowing what types of consumers are ‘out there’ is of incredible value to any brand and fashion professional.

Long Street street style

Long Street – street style.

But back to Cape Town! So there’s a lot to be said about the city. It’s the oldest in South Africa, and has been in the hands of both the Netherlands and Britain before the South African Union was formed in 1910. It wasn’t until 1994 that the first election for all black citizens took place, and Nelson Mandela won and became the president of the country. This was a victory, as Apartheid, a word most people are familiar with meaning ‘separateness’, was once and for all, at least politically and legislatively, put to an end.

1994 isn’t terribly long ago – as I write this only 22 years to be exact – and there are still many left-overs from the years prior to Mandela’s presidential term. You still see mostly black people in unskilled labour positions, and legislations are put in place to prioritise black people for positions of employment. From what I heard, this then makes it hard to white professionals to find a job in Cape Town, and it puts in evidence how hard it is overnight to put fairness and justice into a country with 50 million people and a long history.

Politically the country isn’t in a very good position, and people are worried about the Prime Minister and his behaviour. The currency has experienced noticeable decreases, as foreign investors withdraw their investments, and the continuous tension between black, white, and coloureds, especially in the North part of the country, add to an instable and insecure situation.

But in all this, as we have seen also other examples of for instance in Ukraine, fashion and creativity continue to find their way. Cape Town is mostly known as a leisure city, and the warm climate, beautiful coastline with bars and restaurant attract many tourists, as well as having a strong gay scene. All this is centred around Camps Bay and Bantry Bay, and the whole scene comes close to what you find in Venice Beach, LA. People are good-looking in fitted street style or relaxed kaftans, with flip-flops, gladiator sandals, panama hats, designer sunglasses and of course the statement handbag.

But there’s more to Cape Town! The area around Long Street is the ‘District Cool’ with concept stores of interior and fashion, art galleries, small independent boutiques, bars, restaurants, and fashion schools. This is the essence of Cape Town Creativity, and the players are translating the heritage and intuitions into writing the design history of a country, where democracy is only 22 years old. South Africa is rich in tradition, symbols, and handcraft, and it’s the young design generation, who are using this in creating the modern South African Design DNA.

Below is a gallery of places and people that I found inspiring.

Cape Town interior shop

117 Long Street.

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Cape Town street style

117 Long Street.

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Tribe Coffee Bar Cape Town

Tribe coffee bar.

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Turquoise WV Bree Street

Bree Street.

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Avoova design store

Avoova design store, all products made of pieces from ostrich eggshell.

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Long Street skate boarders

Long Street skate boaders.

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Dapper Coffee Bar

Dapper coffee bar.

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Merchants concept store

Merchants fashion concept store with upcoming African designers.

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Cape Town street art

Cape Town street art.

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Long Street street style

Long Street – street style.

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Pop Song sparkling wine

Pop Song sparkling wine from South Africa.

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Mememe fashion store Cape Town

MeMeMe fashion boutique with upcoming African designers.

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Cape Town street style

Cape Town Street Style.

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Second Time Around vintage store Cape Town

Second Time around, Long Street vintage store.

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Colourful houses Cape Town

Colourful houses, area of the Muslim community next to Long Street.

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Tirmah Interior Cape Town

Colourful rugs, Tirmah interior.

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Cape Town street style

Cape Town street style.

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