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CAPE TOWN CHRONICLES: HANNELI RUPERT

Courtesy of Alyssa Surrett of Harper's Bazaar

Hanneli Rupert

We caught up with South African businesswoman, Hanneli Rupert, to get the scoop on the hottest spots in Cape Town. Rupert launched her own concept store, Merchants on Long, that stocks ethically-produced African products, as well as her own line of handbags—Okapi. Here, we learn about the town's hot spots, plus the inspiration behind her impeccably chic accessories. 

Harper's BAZAAR: Must-see attraction? 

Hanneli Rupert: You cannot come to Cape Town without taking a roadtrip. The first one to tick off your list should be Chapman's Peak, then perhaps a trip up the west coast to Paternoster.  

HB: Best spa? 

HR: The One and Only.

HB: Favorite restaurant? 

HR: This constantly changes but some of my favourites in town are La Colombe, Pot Luck Club and Il Leone. In the winelands Tokara and Reubens. 

HB: Favorite shopping destination? 

HR: Merchants on Long on Long Street

Merchants on Long

HB: Best hidden gem? 

HR: Brunch at Baked Bistro in Bakoven followed by Beta beach. 

HB: Inspiration for handbag line, Okapi? 

HR: My main inspiration for Okapi comes from the natural world. I am fascinated by the sophistication of nature's classic and simple symmetry. Wherever possible, I try to let the natural materials I am working with (for example bone, leather or wood) lead the design.

HB:  Current favorite Okapi styles? 

HR: My favorite pieces at the moment are the small Yemaja in Ostrich Shin and the Ostrich Shin pouches paired with clip-on feathers. All of my designs are made to mix and match. The ethos behind the brand is very much one of subtle long lasting luxury, what we do is not seasonal, but it is nice to be able update your look every season. We cater to that through allowing our clientele to add new accessories to their bags such as the horns, feathers and different handle styles.

Okapi bag, $3,865, okapi.com; Okapi  top-handle bag, $1,740, okapi.com;Okapi keychain, $135, okapi.com; Okapi bag, $2,255, okapi.com

HB: Travel wish list? 

HR: Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe! I am fascinated by what they achieved thus far with their approach to Eco Tourism. 

HB: Travel mantra? 

HR: Meet new people, try new things and keep an open mind.