We tend to think of Cape Town as the place that does “bohemian” better than any other city in South Africa. Just take Frieda’s for an example (see yesterday’s blog here). Effortless, quirky, retro, hip. Well, to rise to Jo’burg defense for once, she is more than capable of holding her own.

Meet exhibit one: Superella, fashion designer Ella Buter’s store in Mellville (just opposite the Bamboo centre). You are already smiling when you read the handwritten sign that greets you at the door, and inside you step into her fashion world. Her work is described as innovative and eccentric. She is known for excellent craftsmanship.

Ella uses the space as her working studio. So you will easily find her designing something or cutting material right there in the shop. Around her is all her staff behind their sewing machines, in full view of everyone walking in, making her creations. It reminded me of the way I felt when restaurants first opened their kitchens so you could see right into them - it somehow makes you feel connected to the experience by making it real, authentic and unique, seeing what you are going to buy take shape in front of your eyes.

What I absolutely loved about Superella is the way Ella “curates” her store (merchandising just doesn’t explain what she does to the walls of her shop!) It is filled with little objects and photos, creating a sort of a 3D mood board for the clothing collection. Currently the store’s theme is a Winter Country/Farm bumpkin. I cannot wait to see how the shop will look when she changes it to compliment her summer collection. My guess? Very much nice, probably.


Cnr Rustenburg Road 8th & 9th Street 


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