Twelve months ago a global African surf brand did not exist, but this all changed with the launch of Mami Wata.
The Cape Town based company, which produces premium African surf clothing and accessories, is still in its start-up phase of development, but has fast established a local and global presence, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, both in its home country and abroad.
Since launch a few short months ago, the Mami Wata range is already stocked in a number of prestigious global and local retail and design outlets. It is one of a select few South African brands to be included as part of Le BVH Marais exhibition in Paris (Le BHV is an iconic Parisian department store, known for its stylish curation of products). The brand has also been selected to be sold on premium e-commerce business platform from New York, Oxosi, as well as in the General Admission store in Los Angeles.
Closer to home, the Mami Wata range has been selected to be shown and sold in the newly opened Southern GUILD Concept store at the V&A Waterfront, which showcases the best in Africa’s design, as well as the Old Biscuit Mill and Lifestyle Surf Shop.
Mami Wata’s launch video, Woza- The African Surf Film – was awarded a bronze at the Cannes Festival of Creativity and “Best Cinematography” at the Patagonia Film Festival. It has also been selected to run at the Berlin Surf Film festival and Ombak Bali Surf Film Festival.
The five-minute short film was shot over seven days in Durban, South Africa and Ponto DoOuri, Mozambique, and tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the water spirit, Mami Wata.
Mami Wata was formed when three friends, Nick Dutton, Andy Davis and Peet Pienaar saw an opportunity, to take what they know and love (surfing) and share it with the world.
“South Africa enjoys an established reputation in the international surfing community, having set the benchmark for modern surf brands through companies like Gotcha and Instinct in the late 70s and 80s.”
“Today, there are a few local surf brands, but not one global African surf brand.”
“Nothing on the level of Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA or Vans, all of which own the surf apparel space in Africa. The look and feel of these brands have become generic and international/western,” explains Nick Dutton, Co-Founder and CEO of Mami Wata.
“Surfing is growing throughout the African continent, not just in South Africa, but also Namibia, Mozambqiue, Sierra Leone, Ghana and more. We wanted to create something that was quintessentially African, and which celebrated the surf breaks and iconic surf lifestyle of the continent,” he continued.
All three founders bring an exciting element to the brand, which has resulted in its fast tracked momentum.
Nick Dutton is a published novelist and has spent the past twenty years in advertising. Andy Davis has been a journalist, magazine editor, filmmaker, publisher and entrepreneur, and currently publishes Zigzag surf magazine. Peet Pienaar is a renowned artist and designer, has designed for New York Times, MTV, Corn me Des Garcon, Diesel, Camper, FIFA, IBM and Nando’s, and created Afro magazine as a research ride into African design. He is also the designer behind Bos Ice Tea, with designs, posters and artworks in 12 international museum collections.
“We’re passionate about Africa, surf and design. Africa’s got some of the world’s best waves, yet there aren’t any brands telling that story. Africa is the new frontier, not just of surf exploration. The continent has fostered many indigenous surfing cultures and this is a great story to tell. We want to take our locally made and designed surf gear and apparel to the world,” ends Dutton.
All products and accessories are available worldwide via the Mami Wata website.