I love the excitement you get when hunting down that special something while shopping – it reminds me of discovering things while traveling! Finding something unique, different or traditional to wherever I’m visiting becomes an obsession of mine.

Many years ago on a trip to Morocco, I knew I was going to find that special something…The Souk in Casablanca became my hunting ground! This enormous maze had everything imaginable and anything you might need or want. Row after row, stall after stall, it was almost overwhelming. But, I was on a mission!

The quest I had decided on was to find Moroccan babouche slippersWhen I eventually did find them, I was over the moon. The colours were vibrant, the cut was simple and the fit was comfortable – in other words, they were perfect! Not giving my luggage a second thought, I promptly bought eight pairs; I just had to have as many different colours as possible. My quest was over, I had found my grail.

Fast forward a number of years to the present day, when I was given the name “Coast & Koi” by a friend who was wearing a pair of their babouches. I was curious as to whether this was possible – were there really babouches available that were handmade locally, right here in Cape Town?

So, by appointment only, I followed the trail that led me to an Aladdin’s cave. I was absolutely astounded! It was true that, right here in the Mother City, there’s a buzzing little Souk no bigger than a garage.

Before my very eyes were an array of kimonos, silk ensembles, bags, scarves and, to my absolute amazement and delight, the most beautiful babouches I had ever seen. Handcrafted, unique in every way, with each individual pair telling a story. They were all magnificent – and now there was no need for me to go back to Morocco.

Caryn Wilensky – the founder of Coast & Koi – is a visionary and gifted designer. Caryn is a natural creative imbuing her creations with an eclectic streak. This makes her brand unique and different. She is an alchemist transforming handmade babouches into something magical!

Her babouches are comfortable, super chic, opulent, and elegantly laid-back. The moment you slip your feet into these slippers, there’s no turning back. QueenB! was spellbound; they were like jewels on my feet. I loved them so much they inspired me to write about my personal experience; there and then we decided to do a shoot.

On shoot day, Caryn moved around expertly putting it all together. Bold and beautiful silk reversible kimonos, thrown over silk palazzo pants, their blazing colours complementing one another. Purples and reds mixed together, turquoise matched with greens, and yellows paired with pink. The mood was that of a boudoir; the story goes on until the masterpiece is done.

Caryn adds some je ne sais quoi to any outfit with her creations and I’ll wear them whenever I need to zhuzh something up. And that’s what I love the most about Coast & Koi.

Photographer on shoot day Angie Lazaro

QueenB!……..Abuzzing off

Coast & Koi
Tel: 072 290 2822
2A Vredefort
269 Beach Road 


Facbook: coast and koi shoes
Instagram: @coast_and_koi

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