African Culture and Traditions Embraced by Fashion Industry

Photo Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons Urban fashion World adopts african cultures and fashion.
Photo Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons
Urban fashion World adopts african cultures and fashion.

By Angela Pender
Staff Writer

For years, African fashion has been used in the fashion industry and it continues to stun crowds and inspire everyday people to embrace the culture by wearing the symbolic African fabric.

Celebrities such as Solange, Alicia Keys and even Nick Cannon have been wearing the African head wraps as a fashion statement, while also acknowledging the culture behind them.

Along with celebrities, the cast of Black Panther also wore African print clothing to their movie premiere as a symbolic message, but when these public figures wear such powerful prints, do people understand its true meaning?

The African head wrap can also be called a head rag, headtie, head handkerchief or turban. This is the head wrap that Nick Cannon wears, originated from sub-Saharan Africa, and is often used to convey modesty, spirituality and prosperity.

The headwraps are a way for Africans to nonverbally communicate their social status.

When women wore head wraps, it either showed they were a widow, married, young or old, among other meanings. Also, they are a symbol for slavery.

According to an article on cornell.edu, “The simple head rag worn by millions of enslaved women and their descendants has served as a uniform of communal identity; but at its most elaborate, the African American woman’s headwrap has functioned as a ‘uniform of rebellion’ signifying absolute resistance to loss of self-definition.”

Today, these headwraps are still being worn with the same message, and it is starting to become a popular trend.

Both females and males wear them to not only show style, but also as a way to express where they come from and to show appreciation to their heritage.

The fashion community is starting to praise the African culture in terms of clothing and is starting to recognize the history around them.

Females wear head wraps, to school, to the mall and when they are just relaxing. They are also worn to make a statement while staying in style.

It is important to know the background information of other cultures clothing before wearing them so that you are aware of the messages, and to make sure you do not offend anyone worn improperly.

Email Angela at:
apender1@live.esu.edu

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