Last November when pictures of friends showing off their supermalt cocktails at the Supermalt Art Exhibition started popping up all over our Instagram feed and Facebook walls, we knew something big had changed at Supermalt HQ. Growing up, the fizzy non-alcoholic malt beverage, popular in many African and Caribbean households in the UK, was a regular in our weekly shopping trolley- my mum always trying to convince me that it was a better alternative to the naughtier sugar drinks. It was also a mainstay of university house parties and weekend picnics, but you bought it because it tasted good, is good for you and isn’t too sweet, but not because it was necessarily cool.
Now though, recognising the need to support and champion the hand that feeds it, they’re hosting art exhibitions, events during London Fashion Week, and sharing customised memes all over their social media joking about what happens when someone takes your supermalt. After missing their art exhibition, we went down to check what the hype was all about at their Supermalt Fashion Showcase at Blackall Studio’s in East London during London Fashion Week.
Supermalt brought together local African influenced and retro Caribbean designers including Kiwi and Yam, Afrination, Gravalot, Nomadic People and Soboye to showcase their collections. I spent the night bumping into old friends including furniture designer Yinka Ilori, fashion designer Annegret Affolderbach, founder of Choolips and celeb stylist Charlie Van Purpz, who were pleased at how well Supermalt is turning from family drink to cool-kids beverage.
According to Kuku Sobodu, Account Manager at Three Halves Communications, Supermalt identified that their customers are passionate about music, art and fashion, and plan to continue to use these three pillars to gather and celebrate their community in the future.
It's not uncommon for brands to use these creative elements to bring their products to life. Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Williams made Adidas Originals a surprise red carpet favourite at the Grammy’s earlier this year with their custom made outfits, while the Adidas x Rita Ora collaboration on a limited edition Spring/Summer 15 collection brought Adidas Originals Instagram account four times more followers than the Adidas company account.
As Supermalt continue to hold onto and embrace the creativity of the Afro-Caribbean community connected to it, it will be interesting to see how the brand continues to stay relevant in todays brand led competitive environment and remain the leading malt beverage. Maybe we’ll even start seeing African names on Supermalt beverages.
Our insiders tell us that they have an exciting calendar of upcoming events but until then, check out the Fashion Showcase event footage below for the full low down on designers, music and fun pics. If you were there and spot yourself in the video, leave your name on the comment box below and we'll give you a shout out on our twitter page @styledbyafrica.
Written by Alae Ismail, Co-Founder of Styled By Africa
Images by Three Halves Communications