The other day I was walking down Long Street and stumbled upon this super cool new store – in passing it looked like a deli, but as I peered back inside I saw that it was filled with beautiful garments… I then met the beautiful owner, Thulare, who kindly showed me around and told me her story behind this unique shop.
Below is a copy of the article I wrote on it for the khuluma magazine.
Thulare Monareng has swapped rails and closets for fridges and trolleys in her one-of-a-kind fashion haven.
‘I wanted to set myself apart from other fashion retail stores and came up with the deli concept,’ says Thulare Monareng, owner of Collage Fashion Deli in Cape Town. ‘Delis are places where you find the finer things in life in terms of food, drinks and desserts, and I want my store to be a delicatessen of fashion. I wanted to provide customers with a new and interesting retail experience, which is fun and stimulating.’
Set in a rustic, exposed-brick heritage building, the shop interior is adorned with fridges, freezers, scales, trolleys, crates and other second-hand deli items. Among these, one finds the designer clothing in stock.
Thulare’s own range of cutting-edge, contemporary African garments and handbags is inspired by indigenous cultures and traditional wear. She has lived in several countries in Africa, as well as the USA and Europe, and her clothing is a fusion of all the cultures she has come across – with a South African twist. ‘I like to mix cultural influences, such as Japanese-inspired kimono capes (pictured above) in African textiles.’ All the fabrics for her designs are sourced and then made in South Africa.
Besides her two labels – Thulare Monareng and Thuli – other labels stocked in the store include Claire Kane, a French designer based in Senegal and known for bold graphic prints on garments; Issa Leo, a Spanish men’s casualwear designer, plus a number of smaller Cape Town-based designers offering stylised formal shirts, edgy street gear and fashion underwear.
Thulare says that although most of the clientele have been foreigners, ‘we are trying to appeal to as broad a base of customers as possible’. With prices ranging from R95 for
a T-shirt up to R2 000 for certain handbags
and garments, ‘there’s something for everyone’.
• 219 Long Street, Cape Town, 021-422-2774