Designers, entrepreneurs and friends Marian Park-Ross and Kirsty Bannerman have opened their second Mungo & Jemima store in Cape Town.

Both designers of successful brands, Marian Park-Ross of Good and Kirsty Bannerman of Coppelia, opened their first Mungo & Jemima boutique in 2008 on Cape Town's Long Street. The idea was to give their collections and other local designers a platform to sell designs with like-minded people.

After the success of their first store, Marian and Kirsty have opened a second store in Claremont, which is still Mungo & Jemima, but they’ve taken it to the next level. It’s bigger, there’s more selection and, quite honestly, it’s evolved. They’ve managed to balance the warmth of a home with the experience of a boutique.

"We’ve crisped up [with this store]. It still feels like Mungo & Jemima and has the Long Street store aesthetic, but it’s bigger and is taking a slightly different direction," Marian and Kirsty explained.

Both Marian and Kirsty are positive about the new space and think that the house gives a new energy to their shop space, but the gloom of recession dread is hard to escape. However neither Marian nor Kirsty are bogged down by the negative predictions for the economy. "We opened our first store during the recession. There 's been talk about it for so long and if you’re going to worry about what economists say then you’re never going to do anything. Some people live their whole lives in a recession so you can’t let it hold you back. We just need to remain competitive, keep working and then hopefully survive," Marian said.

Marian and Kirsty were both looking to expand and explored various venues from Joburg to Stellenbosch. They settled on the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town as they felt there were few boutiques that appeal to customers looking to buy local designer clothing and accessories.

"This area is great because we’re along the same strip as a number of boutiques and offer a bespoke boutique experience but with clothing that is well priced," Marian explained.

Optimistic about their new space, both are focused on ensuring the Southern Suburbs customer responds well to the store. "We hope that they embrace it because as South Africans if you don’t buy local brands you can’t improve the economy. The only way to create employment is by supporting local business," Marian added.

The actual interior is neutral so as not to take from the clothing – white walls and ceilings, mushroom washed floors that look like they’ve been walked in and a raw, brick wall are the perfect canvas for the bright clothes ready for the summer season. Around the corner are the discreet changing rooms adorned with their customised bird wallpaper, which features ‘M & J’ on it. The big shop windows make the space sunny and inviting and the store opens onto an intimate courtyard where you’d like to sit in your newly purchased dress and sip sundowner GnTs!

The launch (that took place earlier in the week) embraced the space with champagne and wine in the store front as you walked in. Guests could meander through the store, snack on gourmet cupcakes (lemon meringue, oreo and caramel fudge) and walk into the courtyard for snacks, serious fashion debate and a bit of celebration – the quirky signs exclaiming ‘hurrah’ reminded you it was a happy occasion. Guests encouraged each other to try on different items and added exclamations of "That looks so great on you!" – the buzz was tangible; it was a meeting of friends and fashion.

6 Cavendish Street, Claremont
021 683 5065

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