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MERCHANTS ON LONG POPS UP IN JOHANNESBURG

Johannesburg shoppers will be delighted that African designers like Lukhanyo Mdingi are on offer at the Merchants on Long pop up in Rosebank.

By Kimberley Schoeman
It’s all in the details, Hamaji’s Antassia Top is hand beaded by Samburu women in northern Kenya, marrying craft with contemporary style.

This June, Cape Town’s mecca for Africa’s luxury designers, Merchants on Long, makes its way to Johannesburg’s Keyes Art Mile for a curated pop-up fashion and lifestyle experience. From 10 to 30 June, the Okapi flagship store in Rosebank will play host a beautiful selection of fabulous designs from across the continent.

Following the successful sample sale in Cape Town last May, local designer (and recipient of the prestigious 2021 Karl Lagerfeld Prize), Lukhanyo Mdingi’s signature woven creations and menswear pieces will also be available at the Johannesburg pop-up.

Everybody wants a piece from Lukhanyo Mdingi, like his stunning woven knitwear.

If you have ever had the pleasure to pop into Merchants on Long, you were likely to have engaged with some of the designers exclusively stocked at the Cape Town who marry traditional African craft with contemporary styles. Now in Johannesburg, fashion-lovers can pick up pieces from Maki Oh from Nigeria, Emilia D’s dreamy knitwear and shirting, or Sidai Design’s meticulous Maasai-inspired beadwork jewellery.

“Merchants on Long has a fantastic online store that delivers countrywide,” says Jeanine Benjamin, Merchants on Long CEO. “But we know that being able to engage with the clothes, physically feeling and seeing the pieces, is the best way to appreciate the quality of craftsmanship and textile choice.”

Hamaji Studio is the Kenyan-based designer that promotes sustainability and conscious consumerism for a fashion-forward consumer.

Some of the continent’s most celebrated luxury designers like Viviers, Kenya-based Hamaji, and streetwear brand Good Good Good will also be available at the Keyes Art Mile’s creative corner. Good Good Good’s children’s wear, like their Vrou Vrou Onesie is definitely a piece to pick up for its waffle weave finish, sustainably made by hand at Mungo.

GOOD GOOD GOOD’s children’s wear is made by South Africa’s Mungo Mill in their waffle weave Vrou Vrou textile.

When it comes to homeware, Ananta Design Studio is a firm favourite for bringing playful light into creative spaces with their lamps, hand beaded by women at MonkeyBiz Cape Town, a non-profit around the corner from Merchant on Long’s flagship store. Popping into the Merchant’s on Long Jozi pop-up is a unique opportunity to pick up one of Ananta’s colourful Maata Pita Table Lamps, which are typically made to order.

Studio Ananta’s Maata Pita Table Lamps are handbeaded by women, typically made to order but will be available at the Merchants On Long Pop-up.

“We want to be able to showcase these designers, while supporting and celebrating African craftsmanship,” adds Jeanine Benjamin.

Since establishing in 2020 with a clear focus to a platform talents from South Africa and the African continent, Merchants on Long continues to showcase some of the top designers on our radar, connecting Africa with a global, fashion-savvy market. The Johannesburg pop-up follows previous pop-ups in Paris and London, showcasing designers like Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Sindiso Khumalo.

Kimberley Schoeman

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