As I made my way up Kloof Street, the original epicentre of coolness, a song by Echosmith playing almost on repeat in the back of my mind and seemed so apt for the AKJP Collective (@akjpcollective) launch. For those of you not in the know, and really if you are a regular reader of my musings you should be familiar with Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen, you would know that their venture may only be seven months old but already a bastion of fashion in a highly competitive industry.

The weather outside may have been dark and gloomy for the smokers and gossipers sipping on their Krone MCC but inside was white hot with Cape Town’s “IT” fashion crowd who’s who gathered to admire the design duo’s latest reinvention. As with everything they do, every handpicked item in the store is characterised by its future-conscious creativity underpinned by solid design and craftsmanship. Since it opened seven months ago, the seven original designers, both emerging and established, have now grown to 15 and is just what quality fashion in South Africa needs: a platform to sell.

Already basking in the glow and admiration from their AW|16 collection shown at SA Menswear Week (and Pitti Uomo) in February this year, a vibrant homage to Georgina Gatrix’s art, the collective now also includes our favourite ELLE Rising Star talents Tamara Chérie Dyson and Nicholas Coutts, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Matblac, Pichulik and Waid as well as Selfi, Thalia Strates, House of Gozdawa, W35T, Steffany Roup, Drotsky, Hannah Collection, Amanda Laird Cherry, Feat. And Sock. Co.

If you were wondering what the was, it seemed so apt for the crowd and clothes, after all, if you are like me, you’d agree that “you wish that you could be like the cool kids, ’cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.” Trust me, grabbing a few of the highly covetable scarves and coats from Nicholas (@nicholascoutts) or Mathew Nielsen’s (@Tweetmatblack) new handmade leather iPhone sleeves or anything really from this store means you won’t have to wish anymore: you’ll definitely will “be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”

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