style profile: vika shipalana
Posted: 05 July 2018
I was born in Mount Coke in the Eastern Cape, and grew up in Bhisho. I am the Prestige director of Pernod Ricard South Africa. We target high-net-worth and affluent individuals in the country, and introduce them to our portfolio of brands by having them available in five-star hotels, restaurants, private members’ clubs, bars and, most recently, nightclubs. I like what I do because I love luxury, beauty, excellence and creating experiences for people to enjoy. My earliest memory of summer is when I was about three years old on the beach with my mom and brother, wearing a navy and red jumpsuit. We were playing in the sand and later rode the Smartie miniature train for kids. My favourite pieces of design at home are my Paco rugs. They were ridiculously priced, but worth it. My children and I sit on them, play with our dog Coco, have prayer evenings and sing and jump around on them. When I want to dress to impress, I wear anything by Gert-Johan Coetzee or Tuelo Nguyuza. On those days, I have to make sure my face is beat, and makeup artist Clara Banx is my go-to girl. My kitchen-cupboard staples are good, sharp knives. My go-to comfort foods are cake and jelly sweets. My favourite restaurant is Marble in Johannesburg. It’s a very inspiring space. I love the decor, views, ambience and music. Everything looks and tastes great, and the service is exceptional. My summer drink is Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2004/2006. I always travel with my journal. Travelling gives me the time and space to dream, think and reflect. The one place I’ve travelled to that I’ll never forget is Amsterdam, the first city I visited by myself. I walked the streets, hopped on buses, trains and ferries, met great people in cool places, and felt like a local. From my travels, I always like to bring back tea. The taste and aromas transport me back to wonderful places. My next dream holiday is a trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy with my husband and children. If money were no object, I’d treat myself to a walk-in closet filled with the most glorious couture gowns. I’m reading Equal But Different by Dr Judy Dlamini. I hate it when people are mean. It’s so unnecessary. I’m definitely not a good planner. If I could change one thing about South Africa, it would be the inequality, and ensuring that there’s quality education and healthcare accessible to all. Don’t leave Johannesburg without trying the Absolut Elyx cocktails served in copper pineapples at Mesh Club on the Keyes Art Mile. When I was younger, I used to think that I was adopted because I looked nothing like my mother or brother. The best advice I ever got was from my mother. She said I needed to learn to be happy alone. I was such an extrovert and used to want to be surrounded by people all the time. These days, being alone with God brings me such peace and clarity of thought. Thanks, Ma.