The story of Mambo Surf De Luxe
In case you missed it, iconic Australian brand Mambo has returned to its roots with the launch of Mambo Surf De Luxe. Fusing old and new, the brand will celebrate iconic heritage items such as Reg Mombassa and welcome a new era of talent including Nathan Seahan and Chloe Kovska.
Australians around the world remember the brand; that’s why we wanted to take a little trip down memory lane. Going back to the OGs, Mambo was born in the 80s and quickly became a symbol of Australian culture, with the art, surf culture, humor and music synonymous with the brand.
Known for its provocative art, larrikin humor, social commentary and fundraising for charitable causes, the brand’s art and ethos quickly moved from indie scenes and pub brews to the Olympics and became part of integral to mainstream Australian culture.
You may not hear of Mambo anymore, but this integral Australian fashion brand has a fascinating history dating back to 1984. To give you a little idea, here’s a little timeline to give you an idea of the epic of this evolution. been.
If nothing else, consider this an intro should Mambo ever show up in your local pub. For example, did you know that the brand designed the official Australian team uniforms for the 2000 Olympics? Do it now.
Mambo was founded under a Cinzano parasol in the beer garden of the Cauliflower Hotel in Redfern, armed only with a mission, beer and a few cubes of cheese.
Reg Mombassa, a former member of the famous Sydney rock band Mental As Anything, joined the Mambo team in 1986.
The release of the iconic “Farting Dog” t-shirt.
Mambo sponsored the Ramones’ Australasian tour. The band’s meager selection of gig merchandise includes Mambo-designed drawstring shorts…an odd choice for punk rockers.
An exhibition of original artwork by Mambo artists, “Freeze Art Lovers”, took place at the Ray Hughes Gallery in Sydney. Police arrived shortly after the bar opened to break up the crowd three times larger than the gallery’s capacity.
In 1994, Mambo published his 120-page history book filled with graphics and typos, “Art Irritates Life.” According to a reviewer, he knew even less about society after reading the book than before.
In 1995, Mambo created the “Chirac” t-shirt to protest against the French government’s resumption of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. $40,000 was donated to Greenpeace from sales.
In 1998, Mambo unveiled her “Pauline Hanson Redneck” t-shirt with $15 from each shirt donated to the National Aboriginal and Islander State Development Association (NAISDA), raising $110,000.
Mambo received a phone call from the Australian Monarchist League, which demanded the company stop selling its new ‘Queen of Australia’ shirt, saying it was ‘extremely offensive to the Majesty of our Queen and Sovereign’. The caller is put on hold for twenty minutes before hanging up.
The year 2000 was a big year for Mambo – the design of the official Australian team uniforms for the Sydney Olympics.
Mambo released the “What, sorry me?” t-shirt in 2003 in response to Prime Minister John Howard’s stubborn refusal to apologize to the Stolen Generations.
Mambo started the Abuse of Power Party. His policies included; the closure of Australian detention centers and the expansion of the Australian national anthem to include references to hog shooting, dwarf throwing and jelly wrestling. The party recruited 5000 members during the annual City to Surf.
Mambo sends a letter to the Pope, inviting him to join as brand ambassador during his planned visit to Australia.
Mambo collaborated with The Chaser in 2008. Their first t-shirt, “Hat In A Cat”, – identified by The Chaser as “Dr Sue Us” – sold well… and attracted a cease and desist letter. abstention from Dr. Seuss’ lawyers.
Mambo was named “one of the most influential brands” by UK publication Cult Streetwear in 2010.
Mambo celebrated its legendary 30 years of existence by presenting “30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence” – an exhibition presented in Melbourne.
Mambo Surf De Luxe returns to its roots with the throwback we’ve all been waiting for. Unisex styles and limited edition Loud shirts. Mambo Surf De Luxe is available exclusively through their website.
Once again, there to support the little guy, the brand is also delighted to support artists, musicians and charities through various initiatives throughout the year. In 2022, they are also committing to go beyond best practices, pledging to support and work for a fully sustainable and eco-friendly product.
You can check out Mambo Surf De Luxe HERE.