Founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008 by Hanneli Rupert, Okapi is an African luxury lifestyle brand. Named after the elusive antelope otherwise known as the ‘African unicorn’, Okapi draws influence from the mysticism of Africa, exploration, magic and the natural world.
We source all of our materials in the Western Cape of South Africa and also do 100% of our manufacturing in the area too. This is a simple approach to promoting and elevating heritage craftsmanship whilst also creating sustainable job opportunities within local communities.
We have fostered close relationships with everyone in our production line from beginning to end. We work with the original ostrich farming families, conservationists and fourth generation leather craftsmen to create truly authentic pieces.
Guided by the African philosophy of UBUNTU ‘I am because we are’, the ethos of Okapi is strongly rooted in the idea of farm to table fashion and social upliftment.
We work only with sustainably sourced materials from locally sourced, commonplace livestock such as Ostrich and Blesbok, the leather from which is a by-product of the existing free range farming industry in South Africa. This gives further purpose to materials which would otherwise be thrown away and also contributes to the development of rural communities in South Africa.
The initiatives run by Okapi and our suppliers also contribute to the development of rural communities in South Africa, through grassroots craft group collaborations and small scale farming initiatives which focus on sustainable farming and human development.
These guiding principles, inspired by the philosophy of UBUNTU, reflect the essence of Okapi’s ethos of meeting exceptionality and authenticity, with sustainability and the minimisation of waste.
Okapi is named after the elusive antelope otherwise know as the “African Unicorn.” It was discovered at the turn of the century in the anthropological era of African exploration.