Be vegan for a month (but don’t miss out on the special flavour you love)
Fashion Collage Deli
Make mine an ice-cold dress and a t-shirt sandwich
Please note: this establishment has been closed.
Thulare Monareng has taken her clothes down from their rails and instead has displayed them in deli fridges, Coca Cola crates and shopping trolleys. Fashion Collage Deli is a new concept store where you can browse original clothing bites like you would vegetables, preserves and gourmet cheeses.
Swaziland-born Thulare was brought up in New Orleans and studied Fashion Design and Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She’s worked alongside designer Walter van Bierendonck, of the Antwerp Six in Belgium. And, when she later moved to Cape Town, she found it difficult to break into the fashion industry.
"The problems facing South Africa's fashion industry are that the market isn't as well developed and there is a lack of support from large retailers," explains Thulare, "Creative designers often don't understand fashion from a commercial perspective or can’t afford to market their ranges."
Vibrant prints and tailoring
Thulare's colourful store is mostly inspired by Africa, but her travels have also culminated in two ranges in line with international trends. The Thuli range features young, urban street wear with kimono-style wraps and harem pants, influenced by Japanese designers. Her Thulare Monareng range appeals to older women with its fine tailoring.
"I designed a black tank top emblazoned with 'Soweto 33' to commemorate 33 years since the Soweto uprisings. The uprisings are significant anywhere you go in the world," says Thulare, "The tank top is a simple design, but it's popular. Sometimes the simplest things in life have the biggest impact."
Each designer has their own space
Underwear that’s been designed by Undercova, has been rolled into tubes and displayed in a deli fridge, Kenyan designer Liz Ogumbo's vibrant dresses hang from shelves lined with Coca Cola crates, and pink and purple shirts designed by Shirt & Co. hang in a milk fridge. And, French designer Clare Cane's statement dresses are hung in Pepsi fridges.
"The only way you'll understand the industry is by working in a retail environment,” says Thulare, "A trio of local designers, DFS, have set up a section at the back of the store for emerging designers and I will offer advice on quality control."
While Thulare was trawling Woodstock furniture stores and second-hand catering stores for design features, she came across Recreate, who recycles milk bottles into lamps, milk urns into tables and scales into clocks. Their designs are displayed in the shop windows and are for sale.
"I want my store to be an interesting retail experience for shoppers," concludes Thuare, "I plan to serve coffees and teas in a little kitchenette and turn the back courtyard into a Japanese garden. I'd like to host fashion shows, art exhibitions and live music. Fashion Collage Deli will evolve into a space for innovative ideas and concepts."
By Lisa Nevitt
Fashion Collage Deli
219-223 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 2774
Opening Times: Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm and 9am - 1pm on Saturdays.
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