african artisans

10

Is Hip-Hop Culture Finally Re-Embracing African Culture?

Oct. 29, 2015

This has been the first year since the 70′s in which black mainstream celebrities have been openly embracing the fashion of their African cousins, actually starting trends of cultural behavior like the rise in sales and export of authentic dashiki and Anhkara print clothing and material.

Superstars like Chris Brown, Beyonce, and Lance Gross have all been seen recently sporting the modern urban version of the West African style on red carpets, in concerts and just out and about. Celebrity endorsements like these have caused the formerly unaware population of urban hipsters to seek out and inquire about the authentic versions of these replicas and has been an amazing business booster for the tailors and textile traders of the African continent who say they welcome the new attention.

Back in the 70′s everybody wore dashikis as they were closely associated with the hippy and black power crowds of that era but once the 80′s devastation with drugs, broken communities and the increasing promotion of derogatory entertainment, the styles of Africa became less prominent in black communities. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Nautica and others took over our fashion scene leaving us looking in the wrong direction for style.

Now in 2015 with the largest united black movement for change since the Civil Rights Movement, we are looking directly to Africa and our ancestors for a better direction. Realizing we have our own style and fashion without being sold new identities from European brands. We are realizing that when we represent Africa in our style and appearance we carry her on our backs with pride. It is becoming evident that the African continent needs our support and when we purchase directly from her we are empowering our homeland.

Programs like the Made In Africa Project vow to work in efforts to expose authentic African businesses and craftsmen to the unlimited buying power of the Diaspora. The online export portal offers inexpensive clothing, sculptures, leather goods and even some herbal holistic remedies but nothing sells better than the Dashiki style clothing says Buss, one of the lead tailors in Senegal. The past few weeks he has been hard at work sewing up custom orders including bulk wholesale orders for a U.S. based boutique named Diaspora Africa.  The boutique owner Shalair visited Dakar Senegal earlier in 2015 to collect authentic prints and fabrics to start her own online store business.

Many others are following suite in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and more. Bridging the gap between the diaspora and really hot back in the Motherland. Now we have taken the first steps in connecting and uniting our people. Its not just clothing, it’s culture!

Learn more and shop directly from African tailors and artisans at MadeInAfricaProject.com

Emma before her brilliant interview with the iconic Gloria Steinem for her feminist book club @oursharedshelf. Emma is wearing an @elleryland blouse. Ellery are compliant with all ethical and sustainable standards and practices. The trousers are from @edunwho are building long-term sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, community based initiatives and partnering with African artists and artisans. London based @rupertsanderson designed Emma’s shoes which are fully handcrafted in Italy with no harmful chemicals used in the production process. Jewellery by @shopsoko and @krysosandchandi were found on @zady.