Almost everywhere you look, you are bound to see style birthed from African minds, locally and in the diaspora. Style and fashion have evolved over time with African designers right at the helm of the evolution.
The acceptance of these styles are not restricted to people of color alone, it cuts across race, ethnicity, religion, occupation, and geographical location. One question that begs to be answered is, what exactly has made African style popular?
Several factors have been key and still play major roles in pushing African style beyond the limits of one race. Top three on our list is the internet, globalization, and a new found desire for Africans in the diaspora to connect with their roots. The first two need no explanation, the last, maybe a little bit. There is a sudden desire by people of African descent all over the world to know more about their roots. It’s like they feel a void that can only be filled by establishing a connection to their heritage. One way of doing that is getting identified with black fashion.
Culture has several factors, one of which is fashion. Black fashion has grown to become a trend, multiplying geometrically like a viral invasion. Black fashion and style have become diverse owing to ever-evolving creativity and influx of new talents into the industry.
For several decades, entertainment figures have contributed the most to the popularity of African style. They have become popular for starting trends which their fans pick up and popularize. A vivid example is Billie Holiday, who appeared on stage with a flower in her hair. Beyoncé is another classic example, adorning different African styles on stage and in her videos. From her braids to her afros and the touch of Creole sprinkled with a little of New Orleans.
The relationship between the black community and entertainers is evidently symbiotic, both feeding off each other and the result, African style, and fashion becoming ubiquitous.
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