If you don’t live in Cape Town, but find yourself in the city, do make sure you visit the AKJP Collective Concept Store. If you do reside in the mother city, then make your way to the store to stock up on some top local designer wear for winter.
Seven months after the launch of the AKJP Collective, designers Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen are preparing for their new venture’s first winter season. In the space of a few months, the original seven emerging and established South African designers stocked in the store have grown to 15 – and they’re some of the most coveted labels in SA!
As with everything they do, every handpicked item in the store is characterized by its future-conscious creativity underpinned by solid design and craftsmanship.
“We have had enquiries from several new designers wanting to be part of the store and the Collective, so it was only natural to expand. We continue to select designers based on quality and originality, but having more does allow us to stock a greater variety as each has his or her own identity and style,” says Henning.
AKJP’s own designs – the very exciting autumn/winter collection shown at SA Menswear Week in February this year – are available too, and includes the 12 pieces shown at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. The range includes AKJP’s new parka/raincoat that’s in line with the designers’ current focus on outerwear made from jacquard, cashmere, silk, wool, cotton, mohair and impala leather.
Below are collections from other designers participating in the collective whose designs caught my eye:
After winning the 2014 ELLE Rising Star award, Tamara Chérie Dyson wasted no time in establishing her Tamara Chérie label. Her ready-to-wear designs are minimalist, putting the spotlight on the cut and fabrics – which include her trademark wool.
AKJP Collective is the exclusive stockist of Selfi’s new menswear range launched at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. Added to this are designer Celeste Arendse’s practical, comfortable pieces inspired by farmworkers’ and fishermen’s “uniforms” tempered by feminine barrettes and printed scarves. You don’t own any Selfi items? What the heck is wrong with you? This brand is not only utterly fabulous, but also well priced!
Luxury leather handbags don’t get much better than Thalia Strates’ artisanal satchels, totes and shoulder bags. The sophisticated designs are functional and made from leather that’s been polished to enhance its natural patina. I like the classical simplicity of her designs and beautiful workmanship.
I NEED THIS BAG!
House of Gozdawa
The down-to-earth, easy-to-pronounce names of House of Gozdawa’s six perfumes belie the expertise and skill that went into each bottle of Agata Karolina’s natural perfumes. This season, you will find Andrea, Simo, Albert, Marta, Hel and Aga at the AKJP Collective.
Nicholas Coutts, another ELLE Rising Star winner, first made everyone sit up and take notice with his highly covetable scarves and coats that combine being chic with being cuddly. If you’re looking for a statement coat, do check out his collection. But it was his super cute knitted beanies (below) that I fell totally in love with.
Nicola West’s ethically produced W35T label is establishing itself as one of the foremost sports luxe labels in the country. The autumn/winter range was launched as recently as a week ago and just landed at AKJP. The lilac chiffon and tulle story is quite something to behold.
Steffany Roup was one of the original seven designers stocked by the AKJP Collective and her bold jewellery accessorised their equally striking SS16 designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town last year. I love the square metal cuffs!
Amanda Laird Cherry
This well-established, ever-popular Durban-based menswear designer is known for delivering interesting cuts and textures that can be layered and juxtaposed to create an individual style. Her selection for the AKJP Collective combines runway designs, brand staples and brand new items. My dear old hubby is one of her biggest fans.
Katherine-Mary Pichulik is the number-one designer and maker of statement jewellery in South Africa. Her latest collection, Woman, sees the introduction of her first modular pieces (pictured below on the RHS) that can be interchanged with various designs.
Feat. Sock Co.
The AKJP Collective is the only Cape Town store to stock Feat.’s quirky sock range that relies on pattern, bright colours and rather quirky designs to catch the eye. I’m obsessed with the anatomy pair.
Gisèle Human’s striking asymmetric jewellery and gorgeous hair accessories are cut by hand and crafted from recycled brass. I love everything in her collection.
It makes me so happy to see our wonderfully cool and creative South African designers gaining recognition both locally and internationally. Also, I might add that the pricing of their garments is actually quite affordable (ranging from R900+), and the quality is superb. Please guys, they need your support so we can grow our clothing industry into what it should be – up there with the best of the best.
You’ll find the AKJP Collective store situated at 73 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town.