The Definitive Guide To Johannesburg from Out Of Office

Trust: These guys are travel pros.

During the last twelve months, Diana Frame and Kapono Chung of the cool-kid accessory line Out Of Office have journeyed to Australia, Jamaica, Italy, Miami, and Hawaii. Yah, in the past year. Their most recent expedition was to Johannesburg, South Africa—a spot that had always been an OOO dream destination—and they did a dive deep into all a city has to offer. Diana’s here to share her wisdom. —jane-claire quigley

The Lowdown

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A Nelson Mandela plaque in the Maboneng neighborhood.

“We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we landed in Joburg. During our week in Cape Town, we had been told numerous times that there was nothing to see there and that it wasn’t worth our time. In the 20 years since apartheid, Johannesburg in particular has had a reputation for crime and urban decay. During our stay, we walked as much of the city as we could. Eerily beautiful and decidedly African, the mass exodus of foreign investment during apartheid has certainly left behind a ghost town filled with abandoned buildings and fragmented infrastructure.”

Where to Stay

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“We decided to stay in Maboneng—we wanted to be in an urban area where we could experience some of what the new street culture is like in Joburg. It is only very recent that there are any walkable parts of the city. Driving between malls and other gated communities has been the norm for the past 20 years. In Maboneng, we were psyched about the number of young people starting their own businesses with the help of some (also very young) innovative developers trying to revive the city center.”
The Hotel Rec: 12 Decades
The House Rec: This Airbnb

Where to Eat and Explore

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“Thanda at Uncle Merv’s makes the best egg sandwiches and smoothies in Joburg.”

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“Run by a bunch of young entrepreneurs from different parts of Joburg, the Curiocity Backpackers tours of Soweto—a must—and other parts of the city are rad.”

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Neighbourgoods Market happens every Saturday in Braamfontein. The first floor is filled with food vendors, and the second floor has an outdoor space filled with picnic tables. The covered part of the second floor has a bar area and clothing and accessory vendors.”

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Market on Main happens every Sunday in Maboneng with many of the same food vendors as Neighbourgoods—which is a plus if you like to try everything like we do. The galleries and shops within the Arts on Main building where the market is held are also worth a look.”

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“The party moves to the jungly rooftop of Living Room down the street from Market on Main at dusk.”

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“On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when it’s warm out, The Blackanese grills fresh fish and prawns outside and serves them whole with some rice. It was some of the best seafood we’ve ever had.”

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“Five hours before we left for the airport, we had the privilege of visiting one of the oldest hat factories in South Africa, home to the new brand Simon and Mary. Witnessing what other designers and makers are doing is a huge inspiration to us, and everything about the Simon and Mary history and process today blew us away. Plus, the hats are fly.”

These two made your new favorite travel companion—check out their so-cool tote here.

 

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The Insider: Diana Moss

If we had the time (or, let’s be real, the finger dexterity), we’d spend the rest of the afternoon right-clicking everything we love, want, and have to have from Diana Moss’s blog, Miss Moss. Don’t believe us? We got distracted by no less than six things on the South African tastemaker’s site while writing this lil’ intro. (Okay, eight.) Here, a taste. —carlye wisel

Q: What’s the last great thing you read?
A: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton—one of those summer holiday reads that I couldn’t put down, filled with intrigue and mystery and romance and a bit of period drama. Just when you think you have the story figured out you realize you totally don’t.

Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Black skinny jeans paired with tees or classic button-down shirts—I’m like the far less cool (and less French) version of Geraldine Saglio or Emmanuel Alt. It’s not easy to get me into a dress. I just really love a good pair of pants.

Q: If you could steal any item of clothing from any store or person, what would it be?
A: Anything by Acne! At the moment, I am coveting their insanely beautiful fringed bags. I also own a pair of their Pistol boots in black…so I wouldn’t mind walking outta there with some brown ones too.

Q: How’s that NYE Resolution coming?
A: Oooh, boy. I have two major resolutions this year: to walk more and to eat better (along with 90% of the population). So far I’ve managed to read about the Whole30 program that everyone is raving about, but haven’t started it yet. No DAIRY? Really? If anything, my new years resolution would be to eat more dairy.

Q: What’s your one solid beauty secret?
A: I’m pretty obsessed with BB cream—it’s just the right amount of cover for me, and I love not having to go down the heavier foundation route. It makes your skin look like you just came off the beach every. single. day. This cheapie option from Garnier goes everywhere with me. I think products you can get at a chemist work just as well as more expensive brands…but I’m also the girl who falls asleep with her make-up on, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me.

Q: What’s been the most beneficial part of running your blog?
A: I just love having a valid reason to browse the internet! In the past, I used to have to make excuses for my addiction, but now it’s technically my “job”—so just being able to do something I really love every day is pretty amazing. I’m also appreciative of the fact that it has allowed me to connect with such cool and like-minded people from all over the world, even though I will probably never meet them in person.

Q: So, what are the three reasons we absolutely have to see Cape Town?
A: The mountain, the beaches, and the weather! I think that everyone in Cape Town has that “wow, we actually live here” feeling—it’s really a magical place. If you want many more reasons to visit us, check out my guide to the city.

More people we heart! Right this way!

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Of a Kind

The color of this Chapel bag—made in Cape Town from locally sourced canvas and leather—is so incredible. It has the intensity of ink from an exploded ballpoint pen. —erica

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Things of the Week: We’re Not Messin’ Around Edition

Mutual: We both discovered this graphic statement of truth completely independently of each other and each found it compelling enough to make it our desktop backgrounds. The fact that it’s uncredited only adds to its mysterious specialness. So, mark your calendars: Full-on amazingness arrives on Nov. 17.

Erica: I have a new favorite blog, you guys, and that seems like a big deal. It’s called Miss Moss, and it’s written by a South African graphic designer named Diana Moss who has stellar taste in everything that has to do with aesthetics. According to her Twitter, she also appreciates cheese and cured meats. How about you go check out some of my favorite posts and then immediately add her to your RSS?

Claire: There isn’t so much to say about Zicam RapidMelts except that they work. They really work. The moment you begin to feel mucus aggregating anywhere in your body, take one. Completely disregard the thing it says on the bottle about every three hours: Follow your first by as many as you can stand, as quickly as possible. It’s homeopathic; there is no overdosing in homeopathy. 

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