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Behind The Label | Merchants on Long

Founder and creator of Merchants on Long and Okapi handbag designer Hanneli Rupert wanted to bridge the worlds of fashion and culture in Africa. Former Vogue UK stylist Tammy Tinker helps Hanneli do just this. Their Cape Town shop Merchants on Long does just that, by stocking exclusive products sourced from all over Africa. This unique concept store features diverse and exclusive collections of fashion, housewares, and art, created by some of the best artisans on the continent. We recently asked this retail savvy duo to share their thoughts about style and travel.

Founder and creator of Merchants on Long and Okapi handbag designer Hanneli Rupert wanted to bridge the worlds of fashion and culture in Africa. Former Vogue UK stylist Tammy Tinker helps Hanneli do just this. Their Cape Town shop Merchants on Long does just that, by stocking exclusive products sourced from all over Africa. This unique concept store features diverse and exclusive collections of fashion, housewares, and art, created by some of the best artisans on the continent. We recently asked this retail savvy duo to share their thoughts about style and travel.

 

Questions answered by Tammy Tinker

How does travel inspire your collection?

Africa as a continent is extremely inspiring in so many different ways: the light, the color, the raw materials. Travel through Africa always inspires. International travel allows us to open local talent with an international edge.

 

 

 

How does Africa and the UK inspire your collection in different ways?
The UK is a very traditional, historically inspiring continent - quite conservative in its ways. Add Africa to the mix and this can only be a success.
 
Describe Merchants on Long in 3 words. 
Bold, Inspirational, Unique.
 
 
 
 
 
Your collection of products keeps growing, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
We have just launched the incredible Merchants Shebeen! There are also many others in the pipeline, on November 22 we will launch Merchants Online. You will be able to see all three facets -- Merchants the store, the online creative platform, and the shebeen.
 
What inspires your collection most?
The deep dark African markets!
 
What are some of your favorite areas, in or out of town?
Paternoster by the sea, Hemel en Aarde at Franschhoek for vineyards as well. I also love the karoo. Africa as a whole is truly exquisite.
 
Who is your Muse? Describe the Merchants on Long girl.
The Merchants on Long girl breathes cool, our collections are bold. Our collections have the perfect balance between cool and chic.
 
 
 
Tell us about your favorite piece and where you were when you got inspired to create it.
Hanneli created an amazing Springbok cuff with leather rose. They come in all neons and the blackest black - the spine of the springbok spikes creates an amazing statement cuff. This cuff has to be up there with the best. Second is the Lalesso handmade silk travel scarf. It's an amazing scarf, blanket, and sarong all in one. It's a gorgeous limited edition!
 
How would you describe your own style? Please name the three staples of your wardrobe you could never live without.
I love my skinny Acne black jeans, my Sawa leopard trainers are a must-have, and of course my MaXhosa socks are undoubtably the best things in my life.
 
Your collection has a strong global vibe- What are some of your favorite cities to visit and why?
Favorite cities? This is a tough one. Cape Town is so gorgeous, and it's also where Merchants was born, so I would have to say Cape Town is my favorite city. I love Paris for its sheer decadence, New York City for the vibe, and London for its class.
 
 
 
 
What are some destinations on your bucket list?
Japan without a doubt, it would be amazing to go there! A true experience into an unknown world.
 
How would you describe your travel style?
Simple and chic. You always have to be simple and chic when you travel.
 
Which upcoming travel plans are you most excited about and why?
Summer is on the horizon in South Africa so I am thinking a few staycations this summer! Definitely looking forward to some safari time in December - it's a sunny Christmas getaway!
 
Which three products from L-atitude are you coveting most right now?
Many! But my top three are:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Globetrotter Stats
Souk or Department Store?
Souk
 
DIY or Concierge Service?
Both
 
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing? 
Everything
 
Camping or 5-Star Hotel? 
5 star
 
Drive or be driven?
Drive
 
Room service or Street Food? 
Room Service
 
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?
Carry-on bag