There’s nothing else quite like it! Quite simply, that’s what sets SAADA apart. In an increasingly homogenized world where one feels trapped and contained by grey mundane conventionality, it’s the inspiring multi-coloured, out-of-the-box, spark of SAADA that gives us all a breath of fresh air.
Being dictated to about the next big thing – the must-have, what’s on pulse, what’s “right” right now – by the fashion police, all of it doomed to be eyebrow-raisingly passé and hopelessly out-of-touch a season from now, bewilders us… Rubbish! We give the proverbial and very elegant middle finger to those rules – what’s cool today leaves us cold, and if it’s “hot right now” then it’s likely to burn you later.
A visit to one of our events tells this story better than words. Unlike other events that focus on a singular contemporary, innately transient moment, our annual Expos – one in Cape Town at the start of each year, and one in Johannesburg in Spring – are a boutique-style celebration of the vast history of design – past, present and future – and not simply a contemporary moment thereof. This assures the extraordinary variety of exhibits: each unique item on show tells its own story, while at the same time is a piece in the great and glorious puzzle of design through time.
The fifty odd SAADA members, and the additional invited expo exhibitors, are as much hand-picked by SAADA as SAADA is by them: along with the stamp of credibility and automatic accreditation by Brussels-based CINOA (Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art, or International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers’ Associations) comes immediate access to our events. These include the two aforementioned annual Antiques, Art & Design Expos, and also the occasional mini-expos, pop-up exhibits, and corporate “Fresh Affairs” that we hold throughout the year.
We also organise intermittent “SAADA Circuits” in precincts that contain a concentration of SAADA member outlets. While the recent SAADA Circuits in both Parkhurst, Johannesburg, and in Franschhoek, Western Cape, were popular with various high-end media representatives and bloggers, it is important to note that these fun-filled tours are also open to and can be arranged for the public as well.
Additionally, SAADA accreditation comes with the personal support of our permanent office. Just a phone call or email away, we are not just Customs officers assisting with imports and exports, but are immediately on hand to help with anything from sales recommendations, to details regarding the Second Hand Goods Act, from which our members stand to enjoy very favourable exemptions.
Finally, SAADA membership comes with inclusion in internal and external media publications, including exposure and a chance to advertise on our website, our Facebook and Twitter pages, in our regular newsletters, and of course in the Membership Directory booklet you are holding right now.
Unconstrained by the rules of conventionality – to us being “in fashion” means being dictated to, so we’re deliberately breaking them. Instead, our preoccupation is with quality, integrity, relevance and innovation in design – elements that are timeless. We’re not necessarily “in fashion” and we’re proud of it… but we’re not out of fashion either: we are simply beyond it!