24 Nov 2023 THE V&A WATERFRONT REOPENS A REVAMPED ALFRED MALL The newly refurbished Alfred Mall, which adjoins the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in the Quays District in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, has reopened its doors in time for the festive season. The revamped Alfred Mall, anchored by the AAFRICAA store, along with 5 other tenants, fills the transition between offerings at Watershed and the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, presenting an exciting boutique offering of design, art and craft. AAFRICAA’s flagship design emporium is a 450sqm lifestyle mecca and must visit destination for locals and travellers alike and is a unique new concept store for curated contemporary African design, offering a dynamic retail platform for the continent’s leading contemporary brands and designers. With an emphasis on crafted and artisanal luxury, AAFRICAA is a place where great in house collections, ever evolving exhibitions, and new collaborations will continually be explored in celebration of the creative energy of the continent. Complimenting the boutique mall is a food and beverage offering on the quayside with a new external concession area looking out over the water to the city and Table Mountain. With the opening up of the building’s arches and raising the pedestrian canopies, visitors are presented glimpses from pedestrian level though the building to the water’s edge on the quayside. The mall is energised on the Alfred Square side with the reinvention of the external area previously a carpark into a new public square with greenery and a water feature while the Victoria Alfred Hotel now dons a new and independent entrance off the upgraded arrivals plaza. Built in 1904 as the North Quay Warehouse, the Alfred Mall building is nearly 120 years old. Throughout its lifespan, the building has functioned as a coal shed, the old port rope store, an overflow warehouse for the Union Castle Shipping Company Building (UCB), a customs baggage store – and the original mall in our neighbourhood, before the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre was built. In 1990, the building’s storied past gave birth to a new, exclusive speciality mall as well as the precinct’s first hotel – the Victoria and Alfred Hotel – a development that solidified our neighbourhood as the city’s top tourist attraction. Now, the space is ready and waiting to live out its new life as the unmissable destination of the contemporary African aesthetic, one that marries heritage with imagination to inspire a new generation of visitors with the stories of a modern and vibrant continent. V&A Waterfront Chief Executive Officer, David Green said the time is now right to unveil the renovated Alfred Mall following the influx of tourists choosing to holiday in Cape Town over the national holidays and school holidays closures. “The V&A welcomed just over 20 million visitors in the last 12 months which highlights the steady recovery that is being experienced across the country. This is up 36.1% on 2021, but down 23.8% pre-COVID-19 in 2019 over the same period,” said Green. Instead of traditional brick-and-mortar retail design, the V&A is reimagining retail as a space that invites shoppers on a journey of delight and discovery. Here, the V&A aims to defy expectations by creating immersive, shareable experiences that visitors can show their friends and families to showcase the best that Africa has to offer. “Aafricaa is a development from our ongoing partnership with the V&A Waterfront and our work on projects such as the award winning Joy From Africa to the World and the Zeitz MOCAA shop. In our collaborations together we have discovered we have a shared passion for the creative community of this continent and a commitment to projecting the work of artisans and designers to the world. Aafricaa gives us the perfect opportunity to let this work shine in a beautiful environment where visitors can meander at their leisure and be inspired by the designs first hand.” Laurence Brick, co founder Aafricaa Store According to Green, the concept behind the renovation was to redefine the future of retail and the customer experience; to explore how other countries are innovating retail spaces and to add an African flair that captivates a new generation. “Our neighbourhood is vibrant with an undeniable electrifying spirit. It’s a source of endless potential alongside our retailers and community.” List of New Tenants at Alfred Mall • AAFRICAA AAFRICAA (pronounced ‘Africa’) is a unique new concept store for curated contemporary African design, offering a dynamic retail platform for the continent’s leading contemporary brands and designers. With an emphasis on crafted and artisanal luxury, AAFRICAA is a place where great in-house collections, ever-evolving exhibitions, and new collaborations will continually be explored in celebration of the creative energy of the continent. • Coco Safar Coco Safar is a luxurious all-day café experience designed to take you on a culinary journey beyond the ordinary in a retro-chic and relaxed French-style café setting. From our world-famous croissants and collection of the world’s finest coffees to freshly baked breads and pâtisserie that push the boundaries of culinary couture, we cover your every need. • Mungo & Jemima Mungo & Jemima has been the home for proudly South African clothing and accessory designers to showcase their ranges since 2008. Quality and exclusivity lie at the heart of the brand. Here customers can browse hand-picked items from the clothing ranges of I Love Leroy, Selfi, Margot Molyneux, Good and Coppelia. Accessory lovers will be spoilt for choice with gorgeous leather handbags from The Joinery, Willow Tree and FSP and jewellery treasures from Laloo, Queen Magpie and WAIF. Loyal customers have long looked to Mungo & Jemima as the source of timeless and relaxed South African style – aimed at making the wearer feel special. • Hannah Lavery Hannah Lavery is a design house for women’s apparel based in Cape Town, South Africa. It offers a complete wardrobe in neutral tones based on classic designs. We are dedicated to building wardrobes with longevity. • Jane Valken Bohemian in its roots Jane Valken is a visual feast to any supreme colourist comprising mostly of clothing, jewellery, and home ware. Owners Sarah Jane and Cecil Valken Bosman use hand spun, and hand-stitched cottons and silk blends come together in woven harmony. One handloom garment takes up to 27 days to complete with motives woven into the fabric and the utmost care given to each and every piece. • Treasures of Africa Treasures of Africa is home to Africa’s finest precious gems ranging from rubies from Mozambique, gold from Cote D’Ivoire, opals from Ethiopia, emeralds from Zambia, tanzanite from Tanzania, tourmaline from Namibia and diamonds from South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe. The store also offers concierge for information on uniquely African travel experiences.