August 1, 2018

MM Woman: Cynthia

I first met the lovely Cynthia Fan at an Ikebana class taught by the inspiring Ohara Chapter. And, as so often seems to happen after you’ve met someone, our paths have ended up crossing a few times afterwards, and for different reasons. One of the paths I bumped into her on was in our store – I was delighted to discover that Cynthia is a customer of ours.

For the past two years, she has been working as a florist at Lush in Tamboerskloof where she uses her incredible talent to create the most exquisite arrangements largely influenced by her love of Ikebana. She’s also been involved in several projects and exhibitions that pair her beautiful art form with others. Most recently, Cynthia founded The Carnation, a magazine fusing flowers with art and travel, with Jade Paton of House of Grace.

We visited Cynthia at her beautiful home a few weeks ago and asked her a few questions while we were there.



For the last two years, I’ve been working as a florist at Lush in Tamboerskloof.


I love the simplicity. It only takes a one or two considered elements to make an ikebana arrangement and these elements can be dying, sprouting or crooked.


I love following the changes in plants and flowers over the seasons and I do this by going for a short hike up the mountain, walking Tom’s dogs around the arboretum, or getting roses from Chart Farm. I’m also a big fan of day trips to nature reserves or gardens outside Cape Town. In the evenings, I’m most likely at PnG or Yours Truly




Silvermine is not quite in the city but it’s probably my favourite place in Cape Town.


Some of my favourites are probably Anderson Paak, Yumi Zouma, Real Estate, Wild Nothing, Drake, Yung Lean, Rhye, Cardi B, Japanese Breakfast…




Always Heshengs in Seapoint. Pesce Azzurro in Woodstock is also great.


My family is from Shanghai and it’s been a few years since I last visited so I miss it the most.



Thank you to Cynthia for being a part of this series as well as for having us in her home and thank you to Christopher Smith and Mikhailia Petersen for the images.

Follow Cynthia’s beautiful work on Instagram.



/ While Cynthia drinks tea, she wears a cream Linen Shirt, worn with a black Cotton Jacket and black Wide Leg Trousers. Reading her book, she wears an Evie Dress is navy, paired with navy Cigar Trousers. Finally working, Cynthia wears a black Oversized Shirt and black Slacks.