Guild, Design Gallery & Concept Store, Cape Town

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is the most visited site in Africa, and that fact speaks volumes about the power of retail considering the cities recent regeneration, and it’s not been lost on South African entrepreneurs Trevyn and Julian McGowan.

Last summer the couple launched Guild, a Design Gallery and Concept Store in the V&A’s Silo District, located next to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (which we wrote about recently, click here to read the post).

GUILD Store presents a fresh and intriguing collection of limited-edition product developed from the designs of selected visionary voices, a wide assortment of items from cutting-edge fashion, jewellery, accessories, stationery, books, ceramics, tech and kids’ products.

The space recently moved from the industrial area of Woodstock to its new location at the Silo, and showcases curated exhibitions and work from home-grown artists and designers.

The new space combines their existing retail and exhibition businesses in one whitewashed 400-square-metre warehouse, and uses their curatorial skills to showcase African art and design at its most covetable. Guild, also produces an in-house range of furniture.

The opening is the latest milestone in a gradual, organic expansion for the Guild Group and is clearly giving homegrown African design a huge boost. The McGowans have been working with South African designers since 2003, when they began exporting homegrown design to retailers like the Conran Shop and Anthropologie.

Works on display include the collectable nests by Porky Hefer above, covetable terracotta ceramics in yellows, blues and reds from Andile Dyalvane and a steel-and-cork cabinet with two identical Cape women painted on the doors by Wiid Design and Lionel Smit in our second photograph above (who we also recently wrote about, just click here).

This year the McGowans are celebrating a decade in the collectible-design trade.

“With our collectible design gallery established nine years ago,”says Trevyn, “we’ve taken limited-edition African design globally, where we present at fairs like Design Miami, Collective and Design Days Dubai and work with institutions like the Cooper Hewitt.

The anniversary exhibition will feature solo presentations by Justine Mahoney, Andile Dyalvane, Conrad Hicks and others.

Meanwhile the new flagship will carry on the mission of the couple’s Cape Town-based design fair, also called Guild, by inviting international galleries like London’s Carpenters Workshop and Beirut’s Carwan to exhibit “on our home turf,” says Trevyn. “It really allows us to showcase to the world what South Africa can offer from a design perspective.”

The Guild Group Store. Coode Crescent, Port of Cape Town
V&A Waterfront, South Africa

Visit their website here.