The Edit: 5 Cape Town-Based Brands to Shop on The Folklore Marketplace
Words by The Folklore Team
Taking place twice a year in Cape Town, South African Menswear Week (SAMW), which takes place this week from 27-29 May, is the only stand-alone platform that is dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the African continent. SAMW aims to provide a world-class platform for menswear designers and brands to showcase their latest collections. The three-day event displays the best of South African menswear while supporting recent graduates and emerging brands.
Partnered with the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Fashion Council, SAMW aims to offer a platform that enables homegrown brands to access business opportunities and develop meaningful connections while raising awareness both at home and abroad.
In light of this, we’ve rounded up some of the best Cape Town-based brands that you can shop right here on The Folklore Marketplace. From workwear-inspired labels to sustainably minded designers, discover them below.
A ready-to-wear brand by designer Keith Henning and artist Jody Paulsen, AKJP offers a contemporary take on utilitarian clothing including simple T-shirts, stonewashed denim and button-down shirts. Oversized fits, boxy shapes and layers are all part of the AKJP aesthetic, which ranges from muted neutrals to bold prints. AKJP also runs a concept store, AKJP Studio, which offers a curated selection of apparel, beauty and lifestyle products from South African brands across the country.
Swimwear brand Atlas Label creates pieces for those who desire timeless style and comfort. Featuring clean and classic lines crafted using traditional production methods that honour the origin of each piece, the brand’s swimwear ranges from wetsuits to bikinis and one-piece suits. Atlas Label is committed to producing high-quality, environmentally friendly pieces and takes careful consideration towards fabrics, materials and quality construction.
Good Good Good
Founded in 2016, Good Good Good was established by Daniel Sher with one core mission: to create functional basics for people of all sizes and genders with a focus on ethical practices and sustainability. Working out of a 25-year-old heirloom factory located in Maitland, Cape Town, Good Good Good produces essential pieces – think T-shirts, workwear-inspired jackets and coordinating sets – using locally sourced fabrics from African textile mills and designers. Its workforce consists mostly of women, performing everything from quality control to cutting and sampling, and many of Good Good Good’s designs are inspired by and named after them.
Womenswear brand Selfi takes inspiration for its name from the word “self”, and designer Celeste Arendse draws from the idea of self-empowerment and betterment for each collection. With a design sensibility immersed in nature and sustainability, Selfi’s signature jumpsuits are handmade from natural Ramie linen in Cape Town by local artisans. Arendse incorporates various aspects of South African culture and identity into each piece, playing around with shapes and silhouettes that celebrate the female form.
Designer Nicola West launched her fashion label W35T (pronounced “West”) in Cape Town back in 2010. She designs hand-painted wrap dresses and slip dresses that flatter every body shape, appealing to confident, fun-loving women everywhere. Inspired by her imagination and the street life of Cape Town, West incorporates the city’s landscape into her creations, which are crafted from viscose fabrics, a semi-synthetic type of rayon made from wood pulp. Then, they are cut and sewn by hand to create bespoke prints. Since each dress is handmade, subtle differences occur in the colors and patterns, which makes each piece unique to the individual.