I have to start off by saying that the latest Marvel comic turned film, Black Panther, lives up to all of the anticipation. I, admittedly, was just as excited about the fashion in the movie. Costume Designer, Ruth Carter, masterfully creates Afrofuturistic fashion that is regal, creative, forward thinking (yes, that was 3-D printing used to make Angela Basset’s accessories in the picture below) and draws upon rich and diverse traditions across the continent (like the hand dyeing, beadwork, African lace, and even ‘sacred geometry‘). I loved the details and the homage to tradition, as represented by the armor and the warrior red color worn by Okoye, my favorite character and a member of Wakanda’s all-female group of warriors.
Here are a few of my favorite looks from the film.
What did you wear to see Black Panther?
For the past year, my social media has become increasingly filled with posts about Black Panther and conversations describing what people planned to wear to see the film, just one representation of the shift in cultural identification and a reclaiming of historic roots across Black Americans.
Africa is and has always been a continent rich in natural resources, innovation, and creative potential and the fashion industry is no different. As you are searching for African prints and accessories to construct your look for the movie, perhaps you are also thinking of supporting African businesses and incorporating African inspired looks into your wardrobe on an ongoing basis. Here are a few brands to keep on your radar.
1. Zuvaa at Afrikrea
Afrikrea is an e-commerce site, founded by Kadry and Moulaye, that brings together a wide range of fashion, and other products, inspired by Africa. It is a great place to discover brands and designers from all around the world. The site also offers flexible payment options. I suggest doing some research on your own to find the origin of the products, however. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the site. These pieces are all made by Zuvaa.
2. MOYO by Bibi
Moyo by Bibi features luxury African inspired accessories, like the ones below, made by Kenyan artisans using traditional methods. The company, which launched in 2016, features a range of bold and vibrant accessories, including neck pieces and arm cuffs.
Loin Cloth & Ashes mixes tradition and new to create modern pieces. The company was founded in 2008 by Anissa Mpungwe, who among other accolades in the fashion industry, was the first Black woman to win the Elle Talent competition. Some of my favorite pieces from the collection are the shirt dresses, like the one featured below.
Last on the list, but not least, is Kifayath. Kifayath was founded by designer, Kifa Aoudou. As noted on their website, Kifayath “strives to showcase African talents”. The current collection features a line of pants suits, skirts, blouses, and trousers all made from 100% cotton batik in the pattern below. The ruffle skirt is my favorite, but I would wear every piece in the current collection.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found some new brands to explore! As always, thanks for stopping by!