On 15th December 2020 at 120 Bree Street Cape Town, the doors of Duck Duck Goose opened, our very first brick and mortar retail space. I sat down with Masego Shiho Morgan to discuss the origins of the store and our vision for the future. I hope you enjoy our story! With love, Daniel Sher 1 day before our opening! The story of how Duck Duck Goose came to be is a long one, involving many different people, and it’s a good one. Duck Duck Goose started before there was even a vacancy on 120 Bree Street. Before there was even a brand called Good Good Good, there was Daniel Sher, chatting to people in bars and making friends over coffee and beer, taking interest in what their hopes and dreams were. I first met Daniel in March of last year, pre-pandemic, and it was only in November (2020) that I got to listen to his stories and watch his interactions with people, with his friends. When he started telling me about the store and why he wanted to create one, Daniel talked about wanting a home for Good Good Good. But through hearing the stories about Daniel’s life, I realized that Duck Duck Goose isn’t just a home for Good Good Good, it’s a home for city boys, city girls and even possibly self-proclaimed suburban girls. Both Good Good Good and Duck Duck Goose come from the same place, the same love for people, for his friends and his love for inspiring South African design. Daniel just wanted to dress his friends, to make them feel comfortable and confident, the same way he does through conversation. Good Good Good is just another way for him to have those conversations. And Duck Duck Goose? It’s the home for those conversations and a place to feel safe and comfortable enough to have them. Masego: Which came first, the location or the name? Daniel: The location. I can tell you exactly how I found out about the availability of this location or I can otherwise give you a history about how I wanted to have a store in this exact location 5 years before it became available. M: Tell me everything because I feel like in some ways you manifested it. D: Yes, in a way I did. In 2014, I moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I was living in Sea Point and working at Ernst & Young as an auditor in Lower Long Street. During my lunch breaks, I would walk alone up to Bree Street specifically to eat at Max Bagels, while my colleagues would eat at the office canteen. I became excited about Max Bagels’ food, firstly, and I then fell in love with their authentic and unpretentious culture of love, safety and good conversations. I became friends with the founders Matthew Freemantle & Andrew Kai as well as Sebastiano Zanasi who managed the store. I had found the first inner-city spot that felt like home for me in a new city. At the time I’d already decided to wind things down with me.plus.one – my previous clothing brand, which I ran as a side project during my articles. At this time, I already had the name and concept for Good Good Good. It was supposed to be a functional basics brand for men of all sizes – this concept has slightly changed but it’s still core to the Good Good Good brand offering. The dream of having a flagship store for Good Good Good existed before I even had a first product for Good Good Good. I had a T-shirt design from me.plus.one which became the first T-shirts shape for Good Good Good, the regular fitted T-Shirt. A picture of me (Daniel) at Max Bagels in February 2017. Anyraaay, Max Bagels became the first restaurant to collaborate with Good Good Good in our ongoing series of restaurant T-Shirts. Since that October 2016 collaboration, at my request, Matthew has had his ears and eyes open for available Good Good Good retail spots as close as possible to Max Bagels. Over the years I looked at a lot of different places around the city, and none of them ever felt quite right. There was an opportunity of doing a pop-up store next door to Arthur’s Mini Super in Sea Point in April 2020 which sort of made sense because I’d previously lived in the area and it is owned by my friends Willy Balls (Hobson) and Stephanie Ginsburg. But that pop-up location wasn’t in the CBD, and I’ve always been a city boy. Then COVID-19 hit our shores and we had to let that pop-up opportunity die. During lockdown level 3 just as things were opening up, Matthew contacted me about the availability of this spot on 120 Bree Street, right next door to Max Bagels! The space was an absolute mess, but the location made so much sense. It took the landlady 3 months to decide who she wanted to rent to, but ultimately I won the shmoozing battle. A picture of Matthew Freemantle on the day he showed me the space. You can see me in the window’s reflection. M: It’s like the universe said, “just wait, what you want is coming.” D: Yeah, and it’s been great to see and be a part of is this inner-city revival of independent business. Andrew Kai is about to open a restaurant on the other side of Max Bagels, Clarke’s is still here across the road, Rosetta has opened two blocks away at 101 Bree St. It feels like we’re a small Bree Street family, and I can’t see or smell a Bootleggers for 4 blocks! M: So the location came first, but what’s the origin story for the name of the store? D: I was having dinner with friends, and we were eating duck. Koos Groenewald, one of the designers of the store’s identity, talked about how he’s suggested the Duck Duck Goose name to so many of the restaurants for whom he has created brand identities. At the time, I was looking for a name for the store because I wanted it to be a multi-brand store, and not exclusively a Good Good Good flagship. I loved the sound of the name. It worked with the playful nature that Good Good Good is known for, I mean Duck Duck Goose is literally a playground game. So, Kgabo Mametja and Koos worked on bringing many metaphorical plays on this game into our visual branding and in-store design. M: Brand story-wise, what is the meaning behind the name? D: Philosophically, we view each of our in-store, independently owned, South African brands as our golden ducklings. The golden “geese” are the brands and products that our community chooses to buy. M: Was there a time in the renovation process when you doubted we’d open Duck Duck Goose on the 15th? D: Definitely! I made several calls to Adri Van Zyl, our interior designer and project manager, in the week building up to the launch. Because of COVID-19 there were restrictions on how many people could work in our 13-square-meter space at any given time, and because it’s such a small space everything had to be built in stages, so it took a lot longer than we expected. On the day of the launch, I sent a message to Adri asking “are we opening at 5 PM?” because she kept on saying “you can’t come yet, there’s no space for you”. Only at 4 PM did I get a message saying, “Okay, you can come at 4:30 PM.” We still had to stock the entire store but Adri pulled it off, we pulled it off! We opened the doors at 6pm that day, which you (Masego) sarcastically exclaimed is actually Cape Town’s 5pm! M: Why did you choose the brands that you have stocked, other than them being beautiful South African owned and made? D: Other than them all being beautiful brands and products, they are all brands owned by designers I deeply admire and respect. They’re great storytellers and tell their own stories in their own authentic way. We’re not trying to be South African versions of Euro-American brands. To me, each of our in-store brands are representatives of the enormous commitment and determination it takes for South African brands to succeed on an international level. They are the carriers of the ambitious South African dream for commercial success in fashion and other design, despite the major lack of access to resources and government support for our talent. There are many other South African brands who I would like to one day stock at Duck Duck Goose, we just do not yet have the retail space or budget to stock them. Ultimately, to me what the store represents is that through sharing one local retail space, we all come up together.