CELEBRATING AFRICAN CULTURE IN FASHION
by Anonymous Sister
From jalabias in North Africa to habasha kemis in Ethiopia, guntinos in Somalia to the tobs in Sudan. To the beautifully printed Kangas in East Africa, to the Nigerian queens with their geles tied on their heads: with 54 countries in Africa and roughly 3000 tribes, let’s just say we’ve got enough diversity in our continent to last us well over 100 seasons of vogue.
With Summer coming to an end, the month of September is home to none other than fashion week. To be completely honest with you, the only reason I knew it was fashion week is because of the Nicki Minaj and Cardi B altercation blowing up my notifications ☕️but yeah fashion week, wooo!
While a lot of us living abroad don’t regularly wear our traditional clothes, more and more people are incorporating Western clothing and cultural clothes and I’m here for it! Not only does this allow us to share our beautiful culture(s) with the rest of the world, it also means that we can represent our roots on an everyday basis.
Although the cultural appropriation debate still remains, another thing worth celebrating is the fact that there are also other aspects of African heritage which have become widely prevalent in the world of fashion such as hairstyles, head wraps and jewellery. A bunch of public figures are helping to spread this such as Alicia keys with the head wraps and Gabrielle Union with the box braids. Fulani and ‘box’ braids have become really popular in today’s societies and even celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have even adopted the style, leading to a lot of controversy.
Anddd seeing as we’re already here, let’s take a hot second to shout out a few of our African queens that representing us in the fashion industry: Alek Wek, Adut Akech, Tash Ncube, Anok Yai, Blésnya Minher, Iman, Halima Aden (and many more!)
Also, shout out to Pyer Moss for his collection celebrating black culture!
Lastly, but definitely not least: 15th of September was WORLD AFRO DAY! More people are opting to rock their natural hair, relaxer sales are going down; a lot of progress is being made in terms of accepting Afro hair on a more wide-scale basis - things are definitely looking up! Let us know, what are your favourite ways of styling your natural hair?