By: Ntombenhle Shezi (@NtombenhleShezi)
Whether it is the Dallas inspired items one finds on the racks or the African print peplum skirts and over-layered jackets designed by Thelejane herself , the quaint shop can be seen as a curation of the personalities of co-owners Jamakazi Thelejane and Sthembiso Mngadi.
Posters of style icons from Grace Jones to Pam Grier deck the walls of Fruitcake Vintage, and the bursts of colour are reminiscent of the “Pop 80s”; the era in which co-owner, Sthembiso Mngadi, grew up in. Whether it is the Dallas inspired items one finds on the racks or the African print peplum skirts and over-layered jackets designed by Thelejane herself , the quaint shop can be seen as a curation of the personalities of co-owners Jamakazi Thelejane and Sthembiso Mngadi.
Mngadi started to follow his passion in 2009, when he started selling vintage clothes from his house in Yeoville. “I would cook food and invite friends over. Soon my friends were bringing their friends. The food was free and people who initially had no intention to buy the clothes ended up being the ones coming back” says Mngadi. It was not too long after this that he met Thelejane, who too had a love of vintage clothing and great style. The pair discovered an 18th century fashion heritage rich space in the Fashion Kapitol at a time when the city was going through multiple changes. This space would become the home of Fruitcake Vintage.
Selling a product in a space that people were not so familiar with was tough. “Then there was the point when everyone was doing the ‘vintage thing’,” says Mngadi, “it appeared threatening at first, but funnily enough our business grew stronger, especially during this phase where everyone was rocking the vintage style.” Mngadi attributes this to the care they take in sourcing and presenting clothes that are really good quality, “although we source our clothes from the same spaces as most people, we do not follow trends, we sell what we feel and what we would love to see people wearing,” he adds.
Fruitcake is definitely on the rise. They were recently featured as part of CNN’s Inside Africa and are currently working on establishing a pop up version of Fruitcake Vintage in Soweto, where most of their customers are from. With an affordable price range (pieces range from R50 to R500) the store has something special for everyone.
Street Address: 130 Pritchard, Corner Troye Street, Fashion Kapitol, Shop no. 20
Telephone: 011 024 8005