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Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied

Vintage clothing fashionistas will already know Babette Clothing from the Church Street store, where once-off­ vintage pieces mingle with upcycled and reworked items. Now you can shop all weekend long, as the brand has opened a permanent stall at Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay, which trades from Friday to Sunday every week. Babette Clothing founder Barbara Talbot tells us more.

How did your business start?

During my studies at Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion in Stellenbosch, my perception of fashion changed completely. I developed a real passion for vintage items. After my studies, I spent a few months travelling and going through every possible vintage shop and market on my way.

I came back inspired and with a bag full of thrifted treasures, some reworked and upcycled, and I started selling at small markets in the CBD. My brand quickly grew from a small studio in Woodstock to my own little store on Church Street Cape Town, which is now six years old.

Today my boutique stocks old and new items, all unique fashion items and our own personally designed, locally made leather shoes. We still love the market scene and we’re thrilled to now have a permanent spot at Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.

Why did you choose this area for your business?

The quality, whether it be the food, the stalls or the people. I love the diversity and the vibe is just always outstanding. The team behind this market has really curated the most awesome shopping experience.

How did you find your premises?

I applied for a stall some time ago, but there’s a waiting list. So I had to wait until one was available.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

We have a lovely stall with a changing room and lots of space to browse all our treasures without feeling cramped. The crowd that Bay Harbour Market attracts is also just what we’re looking for to expand our brand footprint. From tourists to locals, we appreciate each new customer.

Who are your neighbours?

J Beenz is right next to us. It sells the cutest locally made kids’ clothing (how convenient for me, a mom to be?). And Mint has fabulous vellies and cotton knits.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?

As it’s a market, the prices are very reasonable for the number of people going through.

How many people visit your business each day?

At the Bay Harbour Market, between 6,000 and 7,000 people come through every weekend.

Do you have any expansion plans?

I’m expecting a little girl in June, so no expansion plans until after she arrives.

Do you operate online as well?

You can shop selected Babette pieces on our website or mail us at for postage orders when you see anything you like via social media.

What’s your most popular item?

Our signature reworked vintage frocks and leather shoes.

For more information on Babette Clothing, phone 021 424 4457 or visit the website

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