Okapi Brings South African Flair to London, in Time for Frieze

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LONDON — Accessories label Okapi has had South Africa’s warm, creative spirit at its core since inception, and now the brand’s founder Hanneli Rupert is digging deeper into her country’s heritage with a collaboration in partnership with knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo and musician Riky Rick. The three creatives, all of whom are longtime friends, got together to rework some of Okapi’s signature bags for a collection that addresses men and women alike. “We haven’t really been pushing men’s wear out at all as a brand. It’s funny because a lot of African designers are quite unisex; a lot of the men’s wear labels have heavy prints and an androgynous aesthetic that resonates well with women. In the case of Okapi, we are now doing more women’s pieces which men buy,” said Rupert. She added that she drew a lot of inspiration from how Rick was adjusting the brand’s women’s bags to suit himself and from Ngxokolo’s flair for bold color. “We all have quite different audiences, but we started working at the same time in South Africa and that kind of zeitgeist of African art is authentic to all three of us,” added Rupert, who also runs the concept store Merchants of Long, which

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