African-inspired patterns took the Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear runways by storm. Collections by designers like Dries Van Noten, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenberg were full of vibrant color and zingy prints in off-the-moment silhouettes.

Months later, it’s now commonplace for magazine spreads and blogs to feature the eclectic patterns across their glossy pages and web browsers. It’s suddenly “trendy.”

Undoubtedly the bold textiles and designs deserve the spotlight. In fact, it’s been long overdue. Lines like Boxing Kitten and Nkwo are finally getting the shine they deserve.

But why did we have to wait for White pioneers in fashion to give us the ‘ok’?

These prints have long been a part of our history, so what gives? Years ago if you walked the streets cloaked in Kente cloth, you’d be dismissively labeled ‘afro-centric’ or ‘outdated.’

No matter what the next season’s trends, we hope folks will continue to embrace the radiant fabrics and the even more colorful culture that comes with them.

Shop African Designers at MyAsho.com!

Designs we’re digging…


Embellished Pom Pom Skirt by JbyLisa, $71

Kra Kra Dress by Bestow Elan, $62

Red Corsage Tank by Aimas, $43

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  • I think the silhouette is much better in my opinion. The mumu or long shirt with matching pants just never did it for me.

    I can appreciate it more now that it is in a form that will fit me well.

  • Its popularity stems from the change in silhouettes and application of the wax print cloth. What’s on the runways are not the same garments people were wearing during American PanAfrican movements (no shade – my family was up on it in the 90’s). I don’t think this is “white pioneers in fashion giving us the ok” so much as innovation (for lack of a better word) with traditional materials on the parts of both black and white designers.

    African cloth has always been in fashion somewhere at some point. It’s just having its moment in the high-fashion sun just as Native American/Chinese/Japanese/punk inspired clothing has in the past.

  • caribbelle

    Honestly with the way that black fashion bloggers have been proudly proclaiming our fashion and giving spotlight to everyday fashionistas/os I’m not surprised that African Inspired styles are hitting the runway.

    I’m glad that African inspired styles are getting their spotlight, but I’m still going to be conscious of who I purchase the clothing from. This may be a trend that finally hit the mainstream, but it isn’t for me; its a part of my life. I favor MyAsho, and I like to go to flea markets to purchase some fabric from some West African vendors to make a few pieces for myself.

  • -af.

    Oh please.

    To be honest, no one should be following a “trend” or become a slave to fashion. African inspired clothing for this season is only for this season. No one in the fashion industry should dictate when it’s acceptable to wear clothing that belongs to a culture.

    Stuff like this hits mainstream and women of color only wear it because it’s fashionable, but our people are rocking these prints 24/7, 365 days in other parts of the world. Why shouldn’t we?

  • jules

    Why does everyone hate on Boxing Kitten! I love Maya & her line. I’m surprised her pieces were not mentioned above. Anyway!
    I love that African prints are suddenly trendy. Let’s us pay homage. I’m delighted.

    • Coco and Creme

      Hi Jules!

      We love Maya/BK as well. She was mentioned in the article :)