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How Black Culture/Designs Influences Fashion Trends in Today's Generation

Mar 17, 2023 02:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

Photo by RODNAE Productions

For many years, Black culture has played an essential part in the evolution of fashion and beauty worldwide. It has grown in popularity for various reasons, including the advent of globalization and the internet and the desire of young people of African origin to connect with their heritage and learn more about their past. Black cultures and African fashion have significantly affected the fashion industry, from contemporary nail patterns to beautiful shoes and unusual prints. The world must recognize and appreciate the main developments we have introduced recently.

Black fashion's distinct, bright, and expressive style has had a long-lasting effect on the fashion industry, creating new trends and redefining how we view fashion. Black clothes and designs have significantly impacted the fashion industry, from streetwear to high couture.

Dapper Dan. Image Source:

Black culture has had a tremendous impact on fashion, especially streetwear. Streetwear is a fashion trend that began in Black urban neighborhoods in the 1980s and now spreads globally. It is distinguished by its easygoing, informal, and comfortable look, which includes aspects of hip-hop and skateboarding cultures. Rap and hip-hop genres expanded throughout these neighborhoods, displaying a proud honor to the world and offering a method for black youngsters to express themselves. Dapper Dan was the first to integrate high fashion aspects into the hip-hop movement, and his effect on high fashion began with Black culture.


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Black people's natural hairstyles have also greatly affected fashion trends. African women have been wearing their hair in braids, twists, and afros for decades to honor their history and accept their natural beauty. Natural hairstyles are growing trendy among individuals of all races nowadays, with many celebrities and models sporting afros, braids, and other natural forms. Braids are another stylish African American hairdo in recent years. Braids have long been utilized in African culture to indicate social rank, tribe, and other aspects of identification.

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 Air Jordan I (1985), Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sneakers have long been associated with fashion, comfort, and self-expression. Sneakers have also served as a means for Black Americans to show their cultural identity and commemorate their past. African American influence on the sneaker industry has been significant. It continues to shape sneaker culture, from iconic brands like Nike and Adidas to local boutique brands. They quickly realized there was a demand in the community for the styles their favorite stars wore. The sneaker style we know today was born at that time.

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Men posing in dashikis. Photo by Luis Quintero

Printed clothing has been a popular design trend for decades, and African American influence has played an essential part in developing this style. From bright patterns to cultural themes, African American fashion has made an indelible mark on the fashion industry, inspiring designers and fans alike. The dashiki is one of the most well-known instances of African American influence on printed apparel. The dashiki is a brightly colored, loose-fitting blouse that originated in West Africa and became popular during the Civil Rights Movement. Black Americans first wore dashikis to embrace their cultural background and exhibit their pride in their identity. The dashiki's colorful designs and vibrant colors have become a standard in African American fashion and adapted into modern-day streetwear and high fashion.

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The growing inclusion in fashion results from decades of work that have fostered racial diversity and designers' acceptance and positive attitudes in the fashion world. Despite not constantly receiving the respect it deserves, we feel it is past time for Black culture to be recognized for what it brings to practically everyone. From inventing nail art to being the driving force behind sneaker culture, the Black community has made enormous strides for fashion fans of all races and cultures. Before you wear oversized apparel or sport a new pair of Air Jordans, consider the significant challenges African Americans overcame to popularize these design trends, which are inextricably linked to black culture and history.

 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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