An Explosion of South African Fashion

Let me introduce to you, Hanneli Rupert, the founder and owner of Merchants on Long, a new concept store which is an explosion of South African Fashion. The concept of her African store, Merchants On Long, is derived from her dedicated ethical fashion status with an emphasis on sustainability and equal labour practices which are reflected in the many products she designs with luxury and unique handcraft.

Inside Merchants on Long
Inside Merchants on Long

With her own handbag range Okapi, the use of materials further demonstrates her passion and devotion to ensuring ethic production. Having launched the company in 2010 in Cape Town, Rupert found a gap in the market with specific products such as artisanal organic parfum soaps, accessories from Ethiopian brand LemLem and the sneakers from Cameroon. Not only has her brand expanded in South Africa, it has reached the shores of London as she launched her first ever pop up store The Shop at Bluebird in 2012.

Inspiration from African cultural art
Inspiration from African cultural art

Instead of choosing to open her store in Cape Town’s most prestigious shopping centre, she choose to transform the dreary and shabby long street building of Art Nouveau into the home of African supremacy. Switching from the bustling and fashionable scenery of V&A Waterfront, her fashion and accessory ranges shone in supreme elegance. With a mixed array of colours, fabrics and patterns, her store became a hot attraction. The range is named for the distinctive animal and using the logo with Okapi’s Old European nickname of ‘African Unicorn’ has embedded her roots of Africa even more.

For more information visit her website: Hanneli Rupert & Merchants on Long