Journal

Farm to table fashion

At Okapi we work with select tanneries in the Karoo region to source common-place, local livestock, Blesbok and Ostrich leather and have developed strong relationships with the farming communities in South Africa. We work directly with the farmers and tanneries to give complete transparency regarding the source of the leathers and the leather as a bi-product of existing farming practices, to reflect the Okapi’s essence of meeting exceptionality and authenticity, with sustainability and the minimisation of waste.

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OKAPIXCAPSULE – An exclusive collaboration between OKAPI, MAXHOSA BY LADUMA & RIKY RICK.

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Today sees the launch of OKAPI’S collaboration with two of South Africa’s most prominent artists – famed knitwear designer MAXHOSA BY LADUMA and influential South African hip-hop artist RIKY RICK on its limited edition capsule collection.

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The collaboration brings together fashion and the world of music, combining the refined craftsmanship of OKAPI’s signature designs whilst taking inspiration from RIKY RICK’s fashion-forward and artistic sensibility and the Xhosa inspired aesthetic of MAXHOSA BY LADUMA.

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The collection features a range of cross body bags, pouches, and belts made out of ostrich leathers in shades of red, green, beige and black, all tanned by highly skilled local artisans in the Western Cape. Exotic skins have been selected for this collection to reflect the brand’s essence of meeting exceptionality and authenticity, with sustainability and little waste.

Available exclusively in

 London: The Shop at Bluebird and by appointment from the London Showroom – 40 Eaton Terrace, SW1W 8TS

South Africa: The Okapi Flagship – Trumpet Building, 19 Keyes Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Merchants on Long, 34 Long Street, Cape Town

Launching online from November at http://www.okapi.com.

Behind the scenes of Riky Ricks ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’ featuring OKAPI

OKAPI’S collaboration with two of South Africa’s most prominent artists MAXHOSA BY LADUMA & RIKY RICK has been featured in Riky Rick’s latest music video – I CAN’ BELIEVE IT.

Directed by Adriaan Louw, and shot on 16mm film in Johannesburg

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Coming Soon – OkapiXCapsule

 OKAPI has collaborated with two of South Africa’s most prominent artists – famed knitwear designer MAXHOSA BY LADUMA and influential South African hip-hop artist RIKY RICK on a limited edition capsule collection.

A sneak peak of the collaboration can be seen in Riky Ricks music video for ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT‘.

Launching exclusively 03.10.18

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Introducing Made to Order

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Introducing Okapi’s Made to Order service on the ostrich shin clutch.

Choose unlimited combinations to create your own unmistakable showcase of creativity, exclusivity and timelessness.

Launching exclusively at the home of Okapi in London as part of London Craft Week

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40 Eaton Terrace, London, SW1W 8TS
9th – 13th May
11am – 7pm

Contact the Okapi showroom now to request an appointment.

Get your gaming cap on for the Okapi Backgammon Tournament!

You are cordially invited to ART SATURDAY at the Okapi store in Johannesburg on Saturday 25th November where we will be indulging you in a backgammon tournament.

Get your gaming cap on!  A prize will be awarded to our backgammon champ!

To join us RSVP to anadia@okapi.com with your team details and number of players joining you.

All Our Love,

The Okapi Team

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Okapi Flagship Johannesburg – Coming Soon!

Okapi is delighted to announce that it will open its first flagship store in the exciting and energetic city of Johannesburg on the 4th May. Residing in the Trumpet building of the Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank, this will be the first shop dedicated solely to Okapi

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Working alongside Tonic Design agency, the sophisticated and modern interior design will reflect the refined craftsmanship that is found in every Okapi piece.  In line with the brands ethos of creating luxurious and artisanal handbags and accessories that are designed to grow with the owner over time, the Johannesburg flagship will offer clients the opportunity to customize their bag with bespoke options including personalization.

Follow us on Instagram for updates @okapibags

Merchants Aime Paris

MERCHANTS AIME PARIS will see the iconic African Concept Store Merchants On Long make its highly anticipated appearance in Paris as a pop up boutique within the heart of the elegant 8th Arrondisement at Amastan Paris at 34 RUE JEAN MERMOZ 75008, FRANCE.

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The Merchants Aime Paris installation at Amastan will be a continuation of the successful Merchants pop ups, following on from the 2012 Merchants in London pop-up which took place at the Blue Bird Shop on the Kings Road and the 2016 London summer pop – up ‘Merchants x Okapi’, which saw African handbag brand Okapi host Merchants on long at its London store alongside a host of designers from the continent. The carefully curated Merchants Aime Paris pop up installation will be a truly integrated experience transforming the Paris space into a treasure trove of African design and hosting an array of talks, events and surprising performances throughout its residency at Amastan.

Alongside Okapi other designers showcasing at the Paris installation will include – Frazur Parfum, Halsted, Maxhosa by Laduma, Henriette BothaLaurence Airline, Bantu, Lalesso and loza maléombho

The MERCHANTS AIME PARIS pop-up will launch at Amastan Paris on September 2nd until October 6th and will be holding designer hosted showcases throughout its residency. Follow Okapi and Merchants on Long on social media for updates @okapibags @merchantsonlong.

Merchants X Okapi – Merchants in London is coming back!

Merchants in London is making a comeback.! African luxury brand Okapi is excited to be collaborating with iconic destination store Merchants on Long to bring the best in African luxury to London

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On the 2nd May 2012, all roads lead to the launch of Merchants in London at The Shop at Bluebird on Kings Road. The carefully curated pop-up brought the best of African design to the residents of London, with the opening night being attended by guests such as Princess Beatrice, Chelsy Davy, Angie and Mark Rutherford, Serge Betsen and Francesco Ciaidi. With the interior matching that of its inspiration Merchants on Long, the locals had their pick of ”Made in Africa” fashion, homeware and accessories from African designers including MaXhosa by Laduma, Frazer Parfum, TRMNL, Lalesso, SAWA shoes, Patrick Mavros, Leather Rose and Guidemore to name a few.

This year June sees the return of the quintessential event, with African luxury brand Okapi collaborating with iconic destination store Merchants on Long to bring you Merchants x Okapi. Alongside Okapi’s new spring/summer 2016 capsule collection, select pieces from top luxury African brands Lalesso, Thabo Maketha, Fouché London, Halsted, Smith Art Gallery, Patrick Mavros, Maxhosa by Laduma, Sindiso Khumalo, Henriette Botha, Monaa Shoes, Frazur Parfun, Clan, Bello|Edu, Laurence Airline, Dolce & Banana, Laloo, Loza Maléombho, Lanre da Silva, and Michael Nelsonwill also be available for purchase/on show.The pop up will donate 10% of the sales from selected designers to the African Fashion Fund – a not-for-profit organization that supports and develops emerging African fashion designers.

The MERCHANTS X OKAPI pop-up will launch on June 8th at the Okapi store in London, with designer-focused evenings hosted by the individual designers being held fortnightly.

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Okapi Icon – Alice Heusser

Meet Okapi Icon, entrepreneur and fashion designer Alice Heusser. Alice is one part of the African design duo that make up fashion and lifestyle brand Lalesso. The business model is transparent, sustainable and relies on ethical production facilities in Kenya and South Africa. Lalesso is inspired by the East African kanga cloth and their print rich deigns. The exclusively summer label engulfs an effortless sense of freedom and a contemporary African feeling.

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 In your own words what do you do?

Many people think that running a fashion line is all about designing clothes. Obviously this is a big component to it but at the end of the day you are running a business. We are faced with constant challenges but that’s what keeps me on my toes. I feel really blessed having the freedom of running my own business.

 What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Working with people from all walks of life is hugely humbling and gives one a broad spectrum of people to learn and grow from. It’s also wonderful seeing people wear Lalesso and loving the brand. There is so much blood, sweat and tears that goes into each creation, so seeing women look so beautiful in the garments is very fulfilling.

  I was inspired to start my own business because…..?

We initially started Lalesso as a sideline project while studying fashion design in Cape Town. The brand then developed very organically from there. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household so it was always a path that I aimed to pursue.

 Some of the artisan communities I work with include….?

This season we worked with a group called Hadithi which did all our beading and embellishments on our resort and RTW collections. They are a wonderful, talented group of men and women in the Kasigau region of Western Kenya. We also work with numerous other artisans in Kenya. All our garments come with a Maasai hand-beaded  bracelet and a brass Africa charm. We try and involve initiatives like this wherever possible.

  What’s next….?

Continuing doing what we are doing, improving from the mistakes that have been made and remaining mindful, creative and inspired along the way!

http://WWW.LALESSO.COM

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