American Apparel felt the need to become more cultural by adding an Afrikan line (hint the colonial K) all of a sudden. The spandex, Studio 54esuqe inspired line has added a collection of tribal inspired leggings, tube tops, dresses and bikini’s.

The blogsphere as well as consumers of American Apparel are giving the ultimate side-eye for their new approach. Questions are being raised about this issue as to why it’s controversial. Well for one, it raises many questions about the way we perceive fashion’s connection to our culture’s significance. It’s a touchy issue because socially we’re all put in a position to debate whether or not a form of cultural heritage is being modestly emulated or passed on to become a marketing tool to make big profits by targeting a specific group.

To see more of the Afika line please www.store.americanapparel.net/afrika.html.

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  • ceecee

    @ Chimere, seriously? animal prints? Why is Africa the only continent connected to animal prints? I can’t think of any African country whose national fabric is made from animal print.
    That’s why it’s outrageous, they’re reviving a jungle inspired back to Africa look that is unrepresentative of Africa.

  • Lauren R.D.

    I do not think Patrice or her colleagues at Clutch are being irrational at all. People fail to realize that there is more to wearing cultural clothes. There is a story behind the textiles of the fabric. That story represents lineage, cultural celebrations and the life of people who wear the particular type of clothing.
    I find it hilarious that American Apparel, who for the most part does not design clothes to fit the average Black woman’s body has come out with this new fashion line. So the question i ask Chimere ” Who is American Apparel trying to appeal to”?

    Great Job Patrice…love you always xoxoxo

  • I think Chimere means well in the idea of cross cultural exchange, celebrating/embracing differences, etc, etc. But I think, at best, Chimere’s comments are naive not just to the story behind the textiles in terms of lineage and the like as Lauren has pointed out, but of the production of clothing in general. To deem something as the “Afrika” collection or whatever American Apparel is calling it brings up all kinds of issues related to colonialism, sweat shops, Aparthied…Unfortunately, we as black people don’t always have the luxury of consumption without thinking about its impact on OUR community. Clutch does a wonderful job of inspiring discourse from all sides of the issue. Keep up the good work, guys!