WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES Supplied
With the intention of dressing surf enthusiasts and supports from head-to-toe, Vans Surf is excited and proud to announce its latest collaboration with South African brand Mami Wata – placing an emphasis on South African surf culture, rich history and the pure joy that surfing brings to communities across the country. From sleek shoes to trendy accessories and quality apparel, the curated assortment is designed to embody a lifestyle that revolves around surf, on or off the beach.
Local surf brand Mami Wata – a West African Pidgin term translating to “Mother Ocean or Water”, was founded in 2017 (read more about them, here). Hailing from Cape Town, where they are blessed by the Indian and Atlantic oceans on either side, the brand’s intention is focused on spending diversity and inclusivity in the world of surf. Surf development is a high priority for the team, through supporting South African Surf Therapy organisations such as Waves For Change and Surfers Not Street Children. “Mami Wata’s mission is to offer a different narrative of surfing and Africa to the world and to educate and share the positive effects of surfing with everyone. This season, Vans partners with Mami Wata to deliver a collection founded on these principles and inspired by important cultural moments in Africa’s history,” explains the team on the new collection.
From Zaire’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974 and Nigeria’s “Festac ‘77” to other iconic local music festivals, this new collaborative collection takes the bold and graphic imagery of these cultural events and adds a modern Vans twist, tying back to Vans’ heritage Checkerboard prints, which is known as an iconic pattern for the brand. Vans Authentic VR3 in Mami Wata Cream is the hero of the collection and follows Vans’ strict materials guidelines with one or a combination of regenerative, responsibly sourced, renewable, and recycled materials making up at least 30% of the product.
The juxtaposition of bold graphic details in contrast to a micro-Checkerboard, inspired by hand-woven fabrics popular throughout Africa, pays homage to the past while giving a vibrant nod to the future generations that will live and define African surf culture. The new apparel features a Mami Wata Pullover, short-sleeve tees, a woven shirt, board shorts, and a hat.
The Vans x Mami Wata Collection will be available in South Africa, in line with the global launch, beginning February 16, 2023, at Vans Surf retail locations and the Vans website.