100% Mambo Backpack

The 100% Mambo Backpack was produced by Mambo in Australia in the 1990’s.

Mambo was founded by Dare Jennings and Andrew Rich in Sydney, Australia in 1984, initially producing t-shirt and fabric prints for a variety of commercial clients. Mambo was established as a side business to their existing independent record label, Phantom Records. The graphics were initially created by in-house artists such as musician Jodi Phillis, and by freelance artist, Richard Allan.

Mambo clothing was often available in surf and skate shops in the mid to late 1980’s in the UK. As skateboarders wore a lot of surfer-inspired clothing, Mambo board shorts in loud Hawaiian inspired patterns were mainly worn by skateboarders.

With Richard Allan’s arrival at Mambo, other Australian and overseas artists joined the company, including Reg Mombassa, Robert Williams and Ben Frost.

In 1994, the first Mambo ‘Loud Shirt’ was released. The design was influenced by Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ shirt which contain vibrant, colorful and eye-catching designs. It was called ‘Blue Hawaii’ by Martin Plaza. This shirt became one of Mambo’s best-sellers and started the Mambo ‘Loud Shirt’ style.

Mambo opened its first store in 1995 located in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, it was called the ‘Mambo Friendship Store’. Stores opened in other Australian cities and in the UK, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. By 2001, Mambo had opened 25 independent retail stores.

Mambo produces a large variety of clothing products and accessories, including men’s and woman’s clothing, towels, surfboards, skateboards, bags, wallets, eyewear, shoes and more.

Mambo is still in operation to this day, currently owned by the 60-year-old family-run brand Caprice Australia, acquired in 2019.

The 100% Mambo Backpack measures 18” x 16” and contains 2 main compartments accessed from the top via zippers. A smaller compartment is found at the front of the bag accessible via a zip above the print. A carry handle is found at the top with 2 adjustable shoulder straps located at the rear.

The word ‘Mambo’ is found embroidered at the front, with the words ‘100% Mambo’ found embroidered at the rear, both in white stitching. A side compartment is found on the right hand side of the bag accessible via a zip. A mesh storage pocket is located on the left hand side.

Found throughout the 100% Mambo Backpack is a print of a collection of surfboards. An illustration of the Phantom appears on one of these surfboards, as can be seen below. The same print is repeated throughout the bag, with the Phantom appearing in 4 different sections.