A History of the 'Featured Designer' Booth at Shelflife

25 Apr 2024, 12:00
A History of the 'Featured Designer' Booth at Shelflife

One of the new (old) features that we’re excited to introduce to our 50 Bree Street Cape Town store is the ‘Featured Designer’ Booth. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Shelflife’s history, the Featured Designer is one of the pillars on which Shelflife was built when it first opened its doors back in 2006 and with the launch of our new store, this felt like the perfect way to go back to our roots.

The 'Featured Designer' was originally part of our 119 Loop Street Store and an ongoing project until 2010, where a small but meticulously curated booth was set up for a spotlighted local brand to showcase their collections and pieces. Every month or two we would focus on a different brand or designer, which would be accompanied by a launch party, pop-up or gallery space all showcasing the featured designer’s work.

Shelflife, 119 Loop Street, Cape Town

At the time, there were little to no stores selling local brands and we used this as an opportunity to shift the focus of fashion and streetwear to be more inclusive of what we had to offer here in South Africa. The Loop street 'Featured Designer' space housed many of the brands which went on to form the eco-system of our local, but specifically, of Cape Town’s streetwear DNA – everything from TwoBop, Butan, Young and Lazy, Head Honcho to many more.


The 'Featured Designer' space in our new Cape Town store is just the start of reviving the Shelflife archive, with it expanding to our Joburg and Online stores in the next few months. The booth will prioritise local and continental designers and will showcase any and everything from special releases from the featured brand, in-line stock, or Shelflife collab pieces. Just like old times, a new designer will be welcomed into the booth with an event, pop-up, party or exhibition to really shine light on the designer and what they’re all about.

After fourteen years, we are proud to welcome the first 'Feautured Designer' into our new store- Grade Africa. Started by our good friend and an OG streetwear pioneer in South Africa, Zaid OsmanGrade is a clothing brand born in South Africa with a mission to inspire individuals to elevate themselves and their communities. This has always been the driving force for all of Zaid’s work, whether it be his first store Lost Property or his iconic event Sneaker Exchange.



The name ‘Grade Africa’ pays homage to the foundational first grade, where one learns important fundamentals that serve as a springboard for future growth and success.

From humble beginnings, Grade has become a community-based brand with retail locations in Johannesburg at Mall of Africa and in Cape Town at Battery Park V&A Waterfront. The brand’s unique style blends African heritage and contemporary fashion to create a bold and modern aesthetic that reflects the vibrant spirit of South Africa.

At Grade Africa, community is at the heart of everything. The brand believes in empowering individuals to be their best selves, and inspiring communities to work together to achieve their goals. Through products and collaborations, Grade aims to create a positive impact and make a meaningful difference in the world.

In addition to their retail locations, Grade has pop ups in cities across the world from time to time, having previously appeared in New York, London, Dubai, Lagos, and more.

Don't miss the chance to experience Grade Africa, which is available now in our Cape Town Store only, until the end of May 2024.

This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more!