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Exploring Africa Since 1688

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Okapi - African style destined for Madison Avenue

On any trip one takes one is bound to return with a little something….a memento to bring back the memories of those dreamy days away from the daily grind. Today I wasn’t on a trip…just a little jaunt in to meet Hanneli Rupert for coffee in New York.  I did however want to leave with a certain memento – her Okapi!  Not the antelope, her handbag.  She very generously gave me a gorgeous silk beaded scarf as a momentum from her African concept store “Merchants on Long” in downtown Cape Town. The Okapi will have to wait until next month when I return to Cape Town.

It never ceases to amaze me just how stylish our spectacular city is…from the restaurants, hip hotels, to the wonderful interior décor stores and artists that weave their African interpretation into music, fabric, sculpture and paintings. Hanneli draws inspiration for her designs from the mystical traditions of Africa. The ethos behind Okapi is to produce luxurious artisanal accessories, handcrafted entirely in Africa.  Okapi creates job opportunities and growth while striving for exceptional quality and an understated, timeless appeal. Okapi was named after the Central African antelope so exotic it was once believed to be mythical and has long been referred to as the “African unicorn”. The core Okapi line, launched in South Africa in early 2012, consists of three styles that express elegant minimalism with an original African edge.

If you don’t carry an Okapi on your return journey you might find one of Hanneli’s other creations to be the perfect African souvenir.

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