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Cape Town: Divided By Drink, United in Fashion

October 2013

By Hanni Heinrich, Cape Town

While South Africa is known internationally as wine country, it also has a burgeoning craft beer industry. Urban warriors and young professionals converge downtown on Long Street at the new Beerhouse, to take global drinking tours. Having opened in Cape Town in early August, Beerhouse has 16 beers on tap and 99 bottles available, hailing from Germany, Belgium, The UK and, of course, South Africa.

Students and those who are looking for a cheap night out venture to Obz and drink traditional 750ml bottles of Black Label, Castle Lite and Milk Stout. Obz’s vibe is peaceful and intellectual, and you often find students at Obz Café drinking, chatting, or reading.  The surrounding area, marked by the short Lower Main Road is packed with tiny bars. A Touch of Madness, for example, offers not only a needed dose of nighttime insanity, but a good venture out for very little money.

Further south in the suburbs, a barely legal, yet hardcore party scene thrives in the clubs like Claremont’s Tiger Tiger. The young and wild often grab typical vodka-soda-type mixed drinks, but also have a quenchless thirst for the South African brandy legend, Klipdrift. Klipdrift Export, Klipdrift Premium, Klipdrift Gold and the premixed Klipdrift & Cola are always popular.

Despite its reputation for being a hotspot in the debauched suburbanite scene, Tiger Tiger is one of the country’s longest-standing nightlife institutions, having opened back in April 2006. While in Obz, you might hear the people philosophizing about the world, in suburbia, party-goers down shot after shot of whichever brew is within reach. Pink Panties or Springboks shots are all possible options, as is the notorious Tiger shot, a lethal but lekker mix of Potency energy shooter, apple sours and vodka.

On the other hand, when it comes to fashion, the Cape Townian style transcends divides and brings the rainbow nation together. Fashion among South Africans is popular and a must. There’s never an excuse to not look fancy—everyone must look beautiful. Cape Town in the evening is high-fashion, not to mention stiletto central.

But not everyone has the funds to dress so high-rent. Mr. Price already offers the latest fashion trends for very little money, and often you find lunch break shoppers, students or people on the fly in their downtown shop, seeking out summer colors, prints and graphics for women, men and children alike. 

The local fashion pride, however, is Intsangu, a fairly young brand that celebrates creativity and a fusion of more abstract influences, like smells, objects and colors. Their goods are mesmerizing and intriguing. Using traditional material, like shweshwe, a very strong cotton, and African patterns make Intsangu as rough and robust as Cape Town’s roads—therefore, Intsangu focuses on street style.

At YDE, fashion victims will definitely find their outfits. Although YDE is a fashion outlet chain, there’s a twist. It gives young designers an opportunity to display and sell their merchandise without having the expense of operating their own stores. All the designers there, like Bombshell, Milla or Miss Friday, sell contemporary clothing for women and men.  Eightey designers are lucky to sell their pieces there.

South Africa understands that today's women lead a multi-dimensional lifestyle: work, play, relax and  live life to the fullest. That’s why Foschini is so popular. For more than 80 years, and in over 200 stores across South Africa, Foschini has been giving South African women the clothing they want to wear. And then there is Darkie. With an Afro-look and a comb in the curls, it’s a local label that does not believe in celebrity marketing.  Their slogan is just simple as the brand: We design you buy. Darkie combines design and culture and focusses on street wear. Since 2002, the label has steadily increased its clientele whilst still retaining a unique South African brand – for everybody.

Liquor, Beer & Wine
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Cape Town

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