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Fashion Forward

Sep 13, 2017 | Featured, Features

Luxury fashion and accessory label Kat van Duinen recently opened shop in the V&A Waterfront’s new Silo District, another sign that for its owner, Cape Town is truly home

WHERE IS HOME?

I was born and raised in Poland but I now live in Cape Town, the most beautiful city in the world. I’m really happy here.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS DIFFERENT?

I strive to make sure our brand presents itself as authentic, luxurious and rooted in South Africa – our entire offering is manufactured locally. We fuse both European and African aesthetic, keeping the designs minimalistic, and we work mainly with exotic skins such as ostrich, python or crocodile, which require specialised manufacturing knowledge. For our garments we choose various kinds of silks and wools, which are embellished by hand.

PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR STORES

My flagship store in the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District is opening this month at the same time as the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. It will be situated in Silo 5 Building, just across from the entrance to the new Radisson Red Hotel and will neighbour Glasshouse Rejuvenation and Kirsten Goss Jewellery. Our renovated boutique at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock will be reopening soon.

“For our garments we choose various kinds of silks and wools, which are embellished by hand.”

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Art and fashion are my great loves – I wanted to be an artist and photographer growing up – and I am also truly obsessed with South Africa.

WHAT DOES THE WORD “HOME” MEAN TO YOU?

For many years I didn’t really pay attention to where I was as long as I could do my thing. Cape Town changed everything. It’s truly home. The people and things I love are here: my family, wonderful friends, team members, business associates and of course the city’s breath-taking natural surroundings.

VINTAGE OR NEW?

I love vintage and contemporary. I appreciate the attention given to older pieces. It’s such a pity it’s so rare now. At the same time, new possibilities, ideas and combinations of materials in fashion, art and design make my heart expand. From businesses such as Afraid of Mice on Long Street to Southern Guild in the Silo District, the Long Street Antique Arcade to designer Kirsten Goss – I love them all.

WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL HOME LOOK LIKE?

Like a well-organised art studio.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?

I hope I will still be doing the same thing just bigger and better. I would love to own more stores, create more ranges, shoot bigger campaigns, travel more…
katvanduinen.com

Credits: Photograph: Supplied, Interview: Debbie Loots

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