Carol Bouwer
Carol Bouwer
Image: Karl Rogers

The one indulgence you would never forgo? A dear friend recently shared the virtues of solitude as a source to feed your soul. I realised how, as women, we are driven by an incessant desire to give. But we don’t always remember that we can give emptiness if we don’t refuel.

What are your essential grooming products? I am hooked on Lancôme Génefique, which has transformed my skin. Lancôme was my partner during the African Odyssey in June, and I have not stopped singing the praises of this product, which has returned elasticity to my skin, and enhanced my glow. At night, I use a new find called Embryolisse, which I bought in Paris.

Which tech gadget couldn’t you live without? It has to be the cellphone, sadly. I dislike it hugely, as I find it a huge disruption, but it has been such a great catalyst for growth in how we do business.

What is your single most sentimental object? I don’t attach sentiment to objects. Moments are far more exciting: memories such as picnics in remote parts of Holland with my in-laws, my mom, and the whole family; memories from my youth, interviewing interesting people in rural South Africa, or snowy Gstaad.

What is your drink of choice? I was introduced to champagne because of my job, and love it. I also have a real passion for tea, which I started to collect in about 2007. My favourite is the French Earl Grey from TWG Tea.

Where do you eat out? Living in Cape Town, you are spoilt for choice. For great sushi, you can’t beat Willoughby & Co. The restaurant has remained unpretentious, despite the team’s commitment to the best standards this side of the equator.

Which element of your wardrobe signifies your style? I live in pointy shoes, whatever the colour — all my shoes seem to look the same.
What was the last object you fell in love with? A mustard dress at Ports 1961 in Paris. I wore it to the Valentin Yudashkin show during Paris Fashion Week. I am drawn to simple, classic silhouettes.

A watch brand you love? The brand I collect the most is Longines, as it is relatively affordable and the designs are uncluttered.

The last place you travelled to that captured your heart? Prague remains a place I would love to take my son, Danté, despite having been mugged there. The architecture, the theatre, and the energy of the city are electric.

Which books can we find on your bedside table? I am reading scripts, as I just went back to producing Motswako myself. On my bedside table is a book by a woman I love and admire dearly: Patricia de Lille.

Which musician really appeals to you? I live on Emeli Sandé, and have to be reminded to hit the mute button on my soul, as I get louder by the minute. Love, love, love her!

What’s next on your list of must-haves? A beautiful fountain pen I saw in Qatar, with Arabic script all around the body of the pen.

What is the one item you’ll always find in your fridge? Cheese, cheese, and more cheese!

The best gift you’ve been given recently? An oud oil I cannot do without from Oman. Please allow me to keep it secret — I will, however, give you a warm embrace, so you can smell it.

A gift that you’ve recently bought for someone? The very same oil.

Which place inspires you? Our country does! In my heart, growing up in Soweto, facing angry men with guns in Casspirs, I never believed a time would come when I could look at our country with trepidation, yet have hope that we can certainly triumph.

Someone who’s recently caught your attention? An online style maverick called Kwena Baloyi, who is South Africa’s next big name. She’s the most exciting young fashion voice I’ve come across in ages.

Your favourite city in the world? Amsterdam gave me my husband; after Cape Town, it has to be my gratitude home!

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