J.Crew Uses African Surf Culture As Inspiration for New Swim Line

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.


  1. It's really dope that these two brands have collaborated. It gives a new groove to the J.Crew brand and I'm sure will open their market up a lot by finding ways to accommodate all audiences. Even cooler that the designer is African. Love when people take pride in their heritage when creating.

    1. Exactly! It would be really great if this is something they could keep doing, perhaps other collaborations with different designers from various countries to bring their own culture to the brand.

  2. I love the inspiration behind this collab! Wow, I'd never thought I'd see the day J.Crew incorporated African wax prints either. I hope this encourages J. Crew customers to learn more about the story & African culture behind this new line.

    xo, Krist | peachesbeachesandurbanistas.com