Pholoso Selebogo, originally from South Africa, moved to fashion-forward Antwerp many moons ago. She now lives and works in the city as a sought-after stylist, and she recently took us on a jaunt of her favourite neighbourhood hotspots.
The thing about Antwerp is that it has a super cool story, but I think once you live here, it’s just so normal; I can go to the supermarket in a pair of pyjamas and a face mask. I love that there are so many creatives here. It’s a nice atmosphere. But where I live it’s not necessarily a place for artists, because I’m based in the historical centre. It’s the kind of neighbourhood where you find all sorts of people, near Nationaalestraat which has, of course, must-sees like the MoMu, the Antwerp Academy and Dries van Noten‘s shop on one end, and tacky tanning salons and Turkish hair salons on the other. It’s a busy area and that’s especially true for the Meir, which is the city’s main shopping street. By day it’s completely filled with people and I go there when I need socks or something but, I mostly like walking through it at night. It’s so packed during the day while at night it’s really peaceful and it gives you time to actually look at the lights and the beautiful old buildings and enjoy the scenery. It’s not completely deserted, though. You still bump into the occasional couple taking a stroll, people driving taxis illegally or walkers admiring the lit-up shop windows. I also really like to walk through Rijke Beukelaarstraat, a side-street of Nationalestraat. It’s very residential and romantic with little flower beds, a bit like a village. It’s quite a contrast to its busy surroundings. And I love the Kloosterstraat, a very old street where you should head if you’re into vintage stuff or antiques. It’s also home to the concept store RA, a space I could spend the whole day in, seriously. It’s like a version of my ideal wardrobe and I love to look at their stuff, whether I’m able to afford it or not. They have a great brand selection; my favourite bit being the vintage corner. Plus, they support young designers and artists, and use the shop as an exhibition space. I also like going there because I’ve known the owners for a long time and it’s like visiting friends. I usually end up in their restaurant for a glass of wine and some food. When I want to have a coffee I go to Normo which is just around the corner from my apartment. It’s very cosy and mostly frequented by students because it’s close to the campus. My favourite drink there is called Winnie The Pooh; it’s a coffee with cream and honey and Maltesers on top. It looks like a cake and is really over the top, but so delicious. For drinks I head to Korsakov. It’s this kind of bar where everyone ends up at one point or another, one of the few places where I can just go to have a drink and not be surrounded by uber-cool fashion people all dressed in black. At the same time it’s also not too scruffy. It’s a melting pot, really; a mix of cool and not cool. It’s down-to-earth with a vintage feel, a smoking room, couches, and mismatched furniture. It all makes for a very cozy atmosphere – you feel like you’re at home.Normo, Minderbroedersrui 30 – 2000 Antwerp normocoffee.be RA, Kloosterstraat 13 – 2000 Antwerp ra13.be Korsakov, Mechelsplein – 2000 Antwerp MoMu, Nationalestraat 28 – 2000 Antwerp www.momu.be Dries Van Noten, Nationalestraat 16 – 2000 Antwerp www.driesvannoten.be