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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Luxury out of Africa

Hanneli Rupert’s exotic unicorn bags

14 Июня 2014

Okapi’s London Pop-up shop
Okapi’s London Pop-up shop
The mythical African unicorns — known in South Africa as «Okapi» — have magic about them. So it was not so surprising to see that designer Hanneli Rupert had waved her wand over an art gallery in London’s Percy Street — to turn it into a pop up weekend shop.
Hanneli Rupert of Okapi which was created with a view to being one of Africa’s first true luxury brands
Hanneli Rupert of Okapi which was created with a view to being one of Africa’s first true luxury brands
For just four days the handbags will be on display until 6pm on Monday: totes in the African continent’s blesbok leather or ostrich, each with the brand’s signature hardware — Springbok horns dangling from a gold-plated chain.
 
«It’s about exotic skins — but keeping them sustainable,» says Hanneli, who says that every element of an Okapi bag is traceable, sustainable and ethically sourced.
100% of the chains, horns, labels, leathers, linings and packaging are made and sourced in South Africa
100% of the chains, horns, labels, leathers, linings and packaging are made and sourced in South Africa
 
The designer’s passion for her native South Africa led her to open a Cape Town store called Merchants on Long. But her plan is to expand, with a permanent store in London as the first of a discreet retail roll out.
Hanneli’s bag brand mixes the unique and exotic with details such as Springbok horns to make them stand out
Hanneli’s bag brand mixes the unique and exotic with details such as Springbok horns to make them stand out
Bringing Africa to the UK means introducing signature rich colours from bark brown, through burning sun yellow to Limpopo river green for sturdy bags and sleek wallets.
 
For those who miss the pop up, Okapi is for sale on line at www.okapi.com

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