Mega retailer J.Crew has unleashed it’s latest swimwear collaboration with Ethiopian designer Yodit Eklund. Eklund is the founder and owner of the swimwear line Bantu Wax®, which is said to be inspired by the unique surfing culture of West Africa. Eklund often uses traditional style African wax prints and art to create vivid patterns and textiles. The Bantu brand prides itself on their use of all local African vendors and artists to create and manufacture the vibrant swimwear. I never thought I’d see the day were you could purchase African wax print inspired anything from a brand such as J. Crew, which has built it's iconism on being for the 'preppy All-American' variety. However, it’s exciting to see the brand take on expansion into new more culturally aesthetic territory. Eklund hopes that with the notoriety of collaborating with J. Crew, consumers will not only become aware of the African surf culture, but also see African beaches as being desirable destinations for travel and exploration.
The collection ranges from $76-89 dollars per suit. To view more or purchase, visit jcrew.com.
Photographs courtesy of Oroma Elewa for Bantu 2014.