I frequently drive along Buitengracht Street towards the Foreshore, and the shops on the left always catch my eye. This creative cluster of businesses at the foot of the Bo-Kaap has a name; The Urban Hub. The New Modernist is the latest addition to this go-to locale for design.

The store focuses on Modernism’s finest moments in the form of lovingly restored, collectable pieces of furniture. Not only will you discover Scandinavian retro, but you may also spot a rare Finnish item.


More than a vintage shop, The New Modernist shows off all items in their best possible state in an attractive gallery-style setting. The works on show are investment pieces by key 20th-century designers, and will accumulate in value over time.

An expert on Modernist design, the knowledgeable Emma De Crespigny curates The New Modernist’s commercial collection. Emma holds a Masters Degree in History of Decorative Art and Design from Parsons, in conjunction with the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York. De Crespigny has many years of experience as a collector and dealer in NYC. She relocated to Cape Town and opened the C20 Galerie, which she still owns. The New Modernist, her fresh venture, sees her expand her repertoire into furniture reproduction.


She recreates the classics of yesteryear, especially those beauties no longer available on the market. She utilises contemporary upholstery fabrics and finishes, making it the ideal solution if you admire the past, but prefer something new.

De Crespigny also applies her interior design skills to creating all-new décor items. She produces contemporary lighting and accessories with a retro air about them. These custom-designed ‘bridging’ products live seamlessly alongside their classic counterparts.


If you are a collector and lover of Modernism, visit the Bo-Kaap store and be blown away by the collection. If you’re unable to visit in person, you can look forward to soon-to-be-launched online shopping.

When Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 3 pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Where The New Modernist, 142 Buitengracht Street, Urban Hub, Bo-Kaap
Contact Emma de Crespigny +27 82 4140317, [email protected], www.thenewmodernist.com, The New Modernist Facebook page

Photography courtesy

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