Back in the surfing industry heyday in the 80’s, when surf brands were growing rapidly, one new surf brand popped up and delivered something new that hadn’t been done before. Screen printing business owner from Sydney, Dare Jennings, got together a group of his favourite t-shirt artists and decided to move away from the stale ideas revolving around the surf industry, and create a gimmick; catchy t-shirt designs that were almost unique to each other design, and funny ideas.
They would be considered pieces of art as time came on. A distortion of what one would consider reality. Composite creatures with body parts placed in different areas, or landscapes where strange objects appeared or placed in the wrong places. The element of funny art was almost always a feature in the t-shirts, as can be found in their iconic t-shirts the farting dog, the dog humping a man’s leg, and their real wrestling real wrestler t-shirts.
Sometimes they even designed stylish urban clothing that stood out among other surf companies, only one brand Hot Tuna would equal or sometimes surpass the style element that other surf brands lacked.
Surrealist art it may be. But it’s modern surrealist surf art. Mambo took on a boring surf industry, who thought that making t-shirts that would sell is simply putting your name on it, and it will sell. Many of the popular urban t-shirts brands or surf brands don’t push the boundaries of t-shirt design, nor do they change their slogan.
If a Mambo addict would look back at the collection of cool t-shirts and clothing they had bought through the years, it would form some interesting art show around the house.
Unlike other surf designs Mambo’s graphics are unique. No other t-shirt brand can claim that their graphics have been commissioned to appear in arts galleries in Sydney, London and Bologna.
This year former musician and Mambo artist Reg Mombassa displayed his art as the icon on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the 2014 New Years countdown fireworks.
Also by the harbour for 3 weeks was found the Mambo pop-up store, where you could buy Mambo clothing and parephenalia. These days Mambo has become more affordable and can be found in some department stores, for a reasonable price.
So if you are looking for original well designed cool clothing be cool and visit the Mambo website to buy your own Mambo clothing, as modelled by famous people like actor Ryan Kwanten and Jessica Gomes.