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African Influences In Modern American Fashion

By Cheyenne Daniels

Fashion is a powerful way to spread a culture that is otherwise overlooked. Fashion can spread culture as easily as seeing someone walking down the street in an attention-grabbing outfit. It can also spread culture through social media. Seeing an outfit or garment on a celebrity at an awards show can make millions of people want it. The power of social media and influence has been able to spread African culture, among others, in interesting ways.

One major impact of African culture on American fashion is the importance they place on sustainability. Many African fashion brands value using locally-made materials and products from artisans in their own community. This initiative has influenced American brands because they are now placing more emphasis on sustainability.

It promotes the integrity and validity of the brand, as well as attracts customers.

Another influence of African culture is African accessories. On the social media app TikTok, many African teens were making videos featuring their traditional waist beads. Waist beads track all the way back to 15th century Ghana. It was a symbol of the femininity and strength of a country. Through these few videos, Americans were able to learn a little more about African culture and the importance of appreciating it.

With this knowledge, many Americans began creating variations of waist beads using gold chains or string in order to appreciate the culture while still respecting it.

Social media has shown to be a very powerful tool when spreading culture to others. It is very valuable when trying to grow an African fashion brand/company.

Photo credits:

Collage by Eyram Rafael

Images used: Akoma 1260, Afriek and Bukiakomolefe.


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