It started with an out-of-the-blue email.
Global luxury brand Moncler — known for its big, puffy down jackets and sportswear — got in touch with premium South African surf brand Mami Wata for its 2 Moncler 1952 Genius range. “African surf culture is a fresh idea globally. We think they liked that and our approach to design,” explains the brand’s founder Sal Masekela (the late legendary Hugh Masekela’s son).
This is the first time Moncler has collaborated with a brand from Africa and the fact that it is on our shores … we are simply bursting with pride.
Now in its third year, Moncler’s Genius project champions designers who echo their principles and has become a juggernaut for the Milan-based brand. Founded in 1952, Moncler has evolved into an icon rooted in youth culture and Moncler designer Sergio Zambon says the “spirit of this collaboration is energetic and youthful”.
Mami Wata literally means “Mama Water” or “Mother Ocean” in West African pidgin English, a nod to the African water spirit who appears in the shape of a mermaid. The brand’s mischievous, fun shorts, tees, sweats and caps are part of a bigger mission — to be a creative force for good in Africa. “The power of African surf culture is redefining the identity of global surf culture in its entirety,” says Masekela. All their products are manufactured in Africa, creating jobs, building skills and supporting the African surf-therapy organisation Waves for Change.
This exciting endeavour shows that the geographical borders that once held back talent are no more — and that South African changemakers are a force to be reckoned with.
Masekela says of the collaboration: “It’s very exciting. They’re working with some of the best fashion and streetwear designers in the world. And now us! It’s a real honour to have been chosen to be a part of Moncler Genius — it’s a global celebration of design, fashion and creativity.”
We expect to see a wave of success follow Mami Wata — and rightly so.
• The Mami Wata X Moncler selected range will be sold in 200 Moncler stores globally, as well as in some of the world’s top department stores and boutiques.