Alternative Design 128 Long Str

Posted 2010-11-25 @ 09:30:23 In articles > features

Its 5am, 1998 and the Turtle is closing. Soonish... finish your beer.


This is for those of you from the 90’s.


Those who appreciated skulking around StGeorge’s mall late at night,
After a heavy session of Pothole or Hog or V.o.D, or maybe even something darker...

Those of you who watched as the sun rose over the city and the traders of Green Market Square would start setting up.

It was these mornings that you could look around and see your friends. The dazed and the damned!
Blitzed and laughing about the night before over a coffee or coke from Cadiz café.

Those who sat listening to the song of clanging metal as the stalls started to take shape.
Its where gruff Joe Petersen would come wandering down to town for a day of chilling and busking. [Miss ya, you old bastard!]

Those who worked the long days and those that flittered through the stalls and narrow corridors. 
Those who appreciate the scent of green wafting through the air.
Those who played the jingle of wallet chains and Goth boots, mixing with the nattering chants of those annoying, peach clad, peace loving, uberHippies.
[Ok, yeah. I really hate hippies but I hate the Hairless Krishna more.]

Many of today’s (in)Famous Folk made their start in green market square.
And so this is the story of one such Celebrity.

Alternative Ideals: KingDaddyCool, doesn’t come easy.

Tony Hunt started his stall on Green Market square in 1990, selling medieval, Victorian and sun dresses. As an entrepreneur; quality, style and ofcourse, a winning personality seemed to be just what the Cape Town scene needed. So 2 out of 3 weren’t a bad start.

It would be one of the first ones setup and last ones down and visiting the market, my day wouldn’t be finished with a good rant with Tony and the others. You can always rely on a sly smile and a wink from the man. No matter how shit your day; Tony could always cheer you up. And talking to him meant you got to perve nonchalantly at the beautiful women who came to browse his selection.
For his clientele:  true ladies man; respectful but complimentary, always helpful and professional and knew his designs and fits perfectly.

If you wanted to impress your woman, you’d bring them to Tony’s stand and leave him and her to pick something beautiful and well suited to her style.
A quick nod and he’d be away on his pitch, advising and selecting exactly what the women had in mind. 

Green Market had a wonderful "Local is Lekker"  accepting all creeds and kind. Focusing more on the creative side of the mountain folks but catering for all artists alike.
It was a bustling place of business and a hangout for many of us Goths, metalheads and UnterMenschen.
If you drank at the turtle, you probably worked or frequented the market.

 ...right guys?


Here we had a true alternative scene, supported by the Alternative design stall, Sgt.Pepper’s, Purple Turtle and ofcourse getting tattoo’d by Metal Machine and Wildfire Tattoos.
But times change and the market slowly became overrun by the same curios and crap we see at every tourist destination and our local artists and culturists had to move on.
A blessing in disguise really....

Tony unpacked his crates for the last time and the rumbling of his black convertible, old school Beetle could no longer be heard in the mornings.
(god I miss that beetle dude.)
He bit the bullet and moved to the corner of Long and Shortmarket streets and opened his own shop: ALTERNATIVE DESIGN

The shop was great and Tony expanded from ladies dresses to Gothic wear, jewelry, accessories, corsets, boots and the like.
Sure we missed the market, but now business was not weather dependant!
 Which meant MORE stock! Which meant more for me to buy!

[God. I think I bought my first fishnet longsleeve from that store.]

Alternative Design soon became Cape Town’s hub for creators, designers and creative customers alike.
Now, with the same gusto, others too were blossoming their businesses, using Alternative Design on a consignment basis which allowed us nightfolk to find it all under one roof, guided by a host who knew his clientele all too well.
Alternative design has what most other businesses don’t: Variety and personality. I’m never sure which to assign to Tony or the shop, but they are there!
Each time I’ve wandered in, there’s new stock, a great vibe and ofcourse, waaaaaaaaaay tooo much to buy all at once.
Alternative design caters for all, and from the clientele and the media surrounding the shop we feel right at home.

The range of clothing suppliers include

  • Eden Wear Latex
  • Wolf Clothing - Helna & Mark
  • Demonia Boots and Shoes - UK
  • Fetisch Clothing
  • B.Fusion
  • Living Legends
  • Siren Clothing
  • Alchemy Gothic
  • Fetisch Clothing

And if its not there, Tony can probably get it.

The idea of the shop was to provide a foothold to local alternative talent, allowing them to display and market their ideas and apparel to the ever hungry scene.
After 3 years Alternative design found a new home at 128 on Longstreet.
This now provided a perfectly situated store catering for both tourist and local and giving us all a bit of the darker tastes from gothic to metal to fetish mixed in with a bit of Victorian and sunny goodness.
The eclectic variety of the store is not too dark that it doesn’t attract your regular customers and not too sunshine and snapples that it shuns the true collared weirdo’s.

Once there, the business took off and our favorite brands were now able to be imported:Band shirts, muso merch and ofcourse, never forgetting our wicked and wonderful local designs~ all in one space for us to use and abuse and peruse.
Everything from ladies casualhigh fashion, to gothic jewelery, knee high boots, bags, wallets, accessories, tshirts, art deco... my god.. I suppose it has everything if you’re on of the nightkin. (shuddup.. I’m not referring to a Twigh-hard ok!)

These days you’ll find Tony happy to oblige or advise you on anything from the culture to the history to the fit of your clothes.
And with support from an unending stream of alternative youth, mature rockers and local talent, Tony Hunt has made his mark on our scene by being the KingDaddy of Cool in the Alternative Design market. Its always a good time to visit and you’ll probably not leave empty handed.
But this isn’t a one way street either: If you look past the gear and apparel, you’ll find a man who supports the SA scene in every way. Old fliers and posters of pasat and upcoming events fill his walls. Parties I’d forgotten or couldn’t remember attending... hell... even the original invite to a GothicBlack Wedding still makes it mark in his shop.

My hat off to a man who worked hard and struggled through to become a legend of our culture.

Love you bud, Keep rocking!

Links I’ve found


Tags . long street cape town . wolf clothing . alchemy gothic . wildfire tattoos . sgt peppers



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Alternative Design 128 Long Str



by Phil

    I remember a day, having just left Sgt Peppers with a buddy. Wed just bought fresh Metal shirts. Me a Slayer, my friend a Cannibal Corpse. We strolled onto the train at Claremont, clad in our evil attire. Needless to say there was a preacher on the carriage, amidst a deeply passionate sermon. His eyes met the hardcore imagery on our chests, he jutted a finger in our direction and belowed "rescue us from the evil !!". Hehe. One passenger was even chanting "yes, yes" under his breath. I now raise one eyebrow at the humour of it all.

    Posted   2010-11-25   10:31:30

by sasha

    do you post?

    Posted   2015-01-13   15:16:08

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