Cape Town is a hotbed for local funk and fashion. And luckily, even the neighborhood mall showcase many designers, artisans, perfumers or merchants who either got their start in or are only available in the city.
Here's a list of Cape Town's homegrown shopping in the mall and on the street:
Jo Borkett (Cavendish Square; tel. 011/27/021 671-5319; www.joborkett.co.za). Chic with an uptown sensibility, Jo Borkett is a Cape Town design shop to visit when you need a perfectly cut little black (or teal) dress to impress.
Mungo and Jemima (108 Long Street; tel. 011/27/074 803 0777; www.mungoandjemima.com). With an East-Village feel, this purveyor of hip yet well-made local clothing and accessories showcases the two partners' own designs (Good Clothing and Coppelia) as well as those of local pals. It's Cape Town's antidote to Benetton.
Charlotte Rhys (Victoria & Albert Waterfront, tel. 011/27/021 421-8852; www.charlotterhys.com). Made in its own Cape Town factory with environmentally friendly and locally sourced ingredients and packaging, its signature fragrance will have you running to the mall for your very own bottle. Prepare to feel extra good since a 100% of the workforce and middle management are made up of previously disadvantaged men and women.
Carol Nevin (Victoria & Albert Waterfront; tel. 011/27/021 425-2507; www.carolenevin.co.za). With two retail stores in Cape Town, Nevin started out hand-painting tablecloths in her garage. Taking inspiration from local art forms, flora and fauna, Nevin devised her company to feed her passion for color and textiles while helping others out of poverty. The company now offers everything for a stylish table top with a decidedly African flavor.
Quagga Rare Books & Art (86 Main Road, Kalk Bay; tel. 011/27/021 788-2752; www.quaggabooks.co.za). On the hunt for Vasco de Gama's map of the Cape? Or Jan van Riebeeks's account of establishing the city for the Dutch East India Company? If it exists, Quagga probably has it in this cool shop run by George Curtis. His son, Simon, runs the other branch in nearby Stellenbosch.
Lütge Gallery (109 Loop Street, City Center; tel. 011/27/021 424-8448). Cape Dutch furniture, ranging from the rustic to the regency is popular with collectors and decorators. This store is reputed to have the best collection of original or reconditioned pieces.
African Music Store (134 Long Street, City Center; tel. 011/27/021 426-0857). If you're a local singer with a demo, you'll probably get your start at AMS. While the store carries a selection of pan African of music in a relaxed vibey atmosphere, go in to pick up some hometown tunes like that of now famous singer Judith Sephuma.
Melissa's (94 Kloof Street; tel. 011/27/ 021 424-5540; www.melissas.co.za). A well-heeled eat-in deli with the claim of best coffee in the city, Melissa's original location high on Kloof Street has large windows and comfortable seats that fill up fast even with prices at home in Manhattan. Handmade goodies like preserves, cookies and dressings make for great gifts.
Steven Rom (Palmhof Centre Kloof Street; tel. 011/27/021 426-0546; www.stevenrom.co.za). Cape Town's just a drive away from more than 200 wineries and Rom's shop is where you can stock up on the most interesting ones. With three shops in town, and ready-made gift packs, sending home a case of Fairview Zinfandel is a cinch.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers in our South Africa Forum today.
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