5 African Fashionistas Taking Streetwear to New Levels
Streetwear continues to intertwine itself into the very fabric of culture in the states and continues to grow in the African diaspora. Fashion, style, and clothing are forms of self-expression and an extension of self. Clothes are used as a nonverbal form of communication that can be influenced by your upbringing, location, tastes, and so much more.
With the ascent that streetwear is on and the rise of African culture in the western world, we decided to take a look at some women that are killing the game and becoming hypebabes in a world of hypebeasts.
Influencer and actress Sandra Lambeck (Ghanaian), serves versatility–from sneakers, heels, hoodies, to oversized tees, and more. Sandra simply doesn’t miss. She embodies streetwear with a twist. As many women can relate to her journey of finding her self confidence while being in the public eye, she has used her strengths and passions to create her own fashion show as part of Berlin’s Fashion Week.
Aptly self-titled, The African Unicorn, Cynthia Nyongesa (Kenyan) uses vibrant colors as her muse. Energetic in her approach, Cynthia uses colored walls as her backdrop to showcase her talents in fashion, photography, and design. Cynthia has also showcased her skills with the likes of CNN, Buzzfeed, Essence Magazine, and more.
Talented, ambitious, creative, driven are just a few words to describe Tizita Balemlay (Ethiopian), better known as “@ThePlugsDaughterr” on Instagram. Starting her brand and then creating a warehouse/studio to help others start their brand is impressive. Tizita provides an edge to streetwear, similar to the edge that women like Rihanna and Yemi Alade provide in their respective lanes. Tizita’s work is so identifiable, that fast fashion brands like Fashion Nova and Prettylittlethings have allegedly attempted to copy her work.
A self-professed serial networker, Claire Ateku (Kenyan), brings a serene yet impactful vibe to streetwear. Balancing a laidback sense of style alongside street fashion, Claire can deliver captivating looks. Using her skills to connect the dots throughout the diaspora, she has been featured by brands such as MIZIZI, Popcaven, and Amplify Africa.
Model, podcaster, and influencer, Jess Chibueze (Nigerian), has a radiance about herself juxtaposed against her harder streetwear looks. Her style is a mix of femininity, androgyny, sprinkled with a slight edge, a giant dab of accessories, all soaked in Nigerian influences. Whether it’s being tapped for Nike collaborations or just walking through the streets of Lagos, you feel her vibrations of life and living it to the fullest.
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I stan international brands who find ways to celebrate our country and the talented people from it. 🇳🇬 ⠀ Nigerian-born, Lagos/Berlin/Paris sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh partnered with @horiznstudios and @beatsbydre to develop a limited edition series of luggage and travel pieces, and customized Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones inspired by Lagos, Nigeria. ⠀ I remember when I was younger, I used to pray for the day I could finally invest in fire travel gear. Baba God has done it for your babe. 🙌🏾 ⠀ 📸 l @xamanijnr ⠀ #letsgofurther #LetsGoLagos #EmekaOgboh #BeatsStudio3Wireless #HoriznTogether #HoriznLagos #HoriznStudios
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You really don’t know what you’ll be doing in the next one year or five. Shoot, you don’t even know what’s in store for you within the next 24 hours! ⠀ If ANYONE would have told me a year ago that I’d be doing even half of the things I’ve done in Nigeria since I came back last year, I would have called that person a damn liar. ⠀ For someone who’s a control freak like myself, moving to Nigeria without any concrete expectations was verrrrrry anti-me. I worry a lot about things I can’t control, I’m hypercritical of myself, and contrary to popular belief, I’m not as carefree black girl as my persona allows me to seem. But I challenged myself, reduced expectations, and moved to Nigeria with an open mind and bro! Not saying this country is fire, but I’ve had some of the most life fire experiences from this country. ⠀ You couldn’t pay me a rack to host anything in America, now we collecting stacks to MC events with over 1000 people? I don’t really know what’s going on, but it’s lit still.🏆 ⠀ I had so much fun MC’ing @streetsouk yesterday. Shoutout to @iretidee99 who gave her peers a platform to showcase their creative enterprises. It’s not easy, but shawdy exceeded everyone’s expectations. 🙌🏾 ⠀ Shoutout to @firstbanknigeria & @eventfulnigeria for putting their money where their mouth is by investing in the youth with this initiative. And even shout to Lagos IRS, lol. Yes for once, shoutout to the goverment. #firstbankxstreetsouk #firstbankissavybe #streetsouk ⠀ 📸 | @kvngeddieklicks
As fashion continues to evolve, the hope is that these women’s voices in the space will rise. Paving a path knowingly or unknowingly of what African inspired streetwear and fashion, in general, can look like. As their Instagram pages are only a glimpse into this space, it only speaks to the possibilities of what’s to come.