The official opening of the much-anticipated AKJP Collective, the latest brainchild of designers Keith Henning and artist Jody Paulsen, took place yesterday evening (20 October) and promises to be the first step in an exciting new direction for the talented twosome as well as for concept shopping in South Africa.
What was the Adriaan Kuiters store in Cape Town’s happening Kloof Street is now a forward-thinking, welcoming space dedicated to showcasing creative, quality South African designer items. Henning and Paulsen handpicked the designers for their opening offering and the list consists of PICHULIK’s spring/summer 2016 collection, Steffany Roup jewellery, Take Care, Hannah Collection by designer Hannah Lavery as well as Drotsky, the new label of Elaine du Plessis, and, of course, the design duo’s own Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen label. The only beauty product on the list (for now) is House of Gozdawa, Agata Karolina’s Cape Town-based perfume house that works with natural oils to create seductive perfumes.
The Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen Spring/Summer 2016 collection – their biggest to date – is available in the new concept store too. Says Henning: “We have used women’s items on men and men’s items on women. The fits are spacious and forgiving. We have introduced fitted women’s trousers and shirts, and paired them with boxy and loose garments to retain an effortless, easy-wearing look.” The colours are typical Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen and nudes, whites, greys, black and primary colours dominate. The collection, to quote GQ magazine, “broke the runway” at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Cape Town Fashion Week.
Once inside, shoppers will be welcomed by an open, uncluttered space and neutral colours that allow the various designers’ displays to catch their attention. Each designer is allocated a shell that can be adapted to different products, be it with a rail or shelving. The interior is minimal, modern and sophisticated – a space that captures luxury and one that you will want to linger in longer.
At the launch event, Henning explained the thinking behind the concept store: “Because it can be overwhelming and financially difficult for South African designers to expand internationally, we are aiming to grow the store in Cape Town until it has built the necessary momentum to go overseas. It is our dream to make it the go-to South African design store for international lovers of good design. This is an exciting progression for us and knowing that we are moving forward, makes us very happy.”