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.
Okapi works 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. We endevour to give further purpose and use to these often disregarded and forgotten materials by creating functional, leather and horn masterpieces.
By incorporating these materials into our products, Okapi is taking what would be waste in order to create sustainable jobs on the African continent.
The uniqueness of our leathers is characterized by the deliberate inclusion of the natural markings which the animals incur in the wild.
This gives each Okapi piece a more organic and changeable quality, allowing it to grow with its owner in appearance and meaning over time.