Get to Know the Roots of African Fashion Style

Get to Know the Roots of African Fashion Style

Back in 1993, Folorunsho Alakija of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, went to the United States to attend an Expo Exhibition on African culture. Although she tried, competing with her western counterparts proved to be a difficulty.

Today, however, the fashion industry is embracing the style from Africa, taking inspiration as to how Africans choose colors into their clothing. It’s also high time the trend sets its sight not only on African style entirely but on Nigerian men fashion as well. Its high-time the fashion world starts appreciating the local African threads and colors.

Here are some of the known textiles not limited to Nigerian men fashion, but also a fashion experience the world could be missing out on.

1. Adire

Adire takes its roots from the Yoruba tribe in Southwestern Nigeria. It is a resist-dyed cloth that is usually sporting an indigo-dyed shade with various patterns depending on one’s choosing. In recent years, the Adire has been incorporated with other hues and can be tailored to most occasions.

A sure head-turner for Nigerian men fashion, the adire can be saddled into your casual blazer, or as a coat to fend off the breeze.

2. Ukara

A more eccentric assortment, the Ukara also hails from the Igbo tribe but aims to stand out with the use of the Nsibidi – a collection of symbols through pictograms from indigenous tribes in Africa. The Ukara is presented in green, blue, and red hues, like the Adire.

The use of Nsibidi and the Ukara has recently been in the spotlight in the fashion industry, with the critical acclaimed received by Marvel’s Black Panther. This motif can go on most of your fashion choices.

 3. Aso oke

Translated to “top cloth,” the Aso oke originated from the Yoruba indigenous group, who fashioned this woven cloth, which is traditionally used for more formal festivities. The design, ranging from light-colored stripes or indigo shades, can complement whatever choice of color you want to pair it with.

Contemporary times saw the usage of the Aso oke as a feature for formal events. It can be sewn and designed to make an elegant top or a suit for different occasions.

4. Akwete

The akwete cloth is a one-of-a-kind material handwoven not only for one’s everyday wear but also to design purses and gowns. The Akwete style features a more folk designed than most fabrics, and it also signifies royalty or high classes in their society.

The Akwete can be used as everyday garment and can go even beyond its use, as a suit, or a jacket, depending on the call of your own fashion choices.

There are more textiles available that are proudly woven and extensively crafted by African tribes and designers.

Incorporating these styles into your own is easy. All it takes is to explore how they choose their colors and use their traditional fabrics in their clothing. It is noticeable that Africans love bright and bold colors. The truth is that each color and pattern has a meaning and specific purpose for them. Bold-colored threads signify politics and religious beliefs while white symbolizes purity.

If you want to wear African-inspired clothing, consider these facts mentioned above and grasp how they choose colors and fabrics into their clothes.


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