Thami Kwazi
Lifestyle Print Editor
1 minute read
21 Nov 2018
11:52 am

How ‘Black Panther’ made African aesthetics fashionable

Thami Kwazi

The character of Ramonda in the movie had one of the top trending hairstyles of the year: faux dreadlocks in white.

A model walks the runway in a MaXhosa design. Picture: Gallo Images

Movies have a pivotal influence on popular culture. Marvel comic writer Stan Lee affected the fashion and beauty world in ways he possibly didn’t fathom.

For decades through his creations and movies, he’s given men and women the opportunity to not conform to conservative aesthetic standards. He created characters that allowed diverse personalities to shine.

Most of his fictitious Marvel characters are outcasts who fail to fit into society until they physically transform into their superhero form.

Blockbuster flick Black Panther played a pivotal role in bringing the African aesthetic into vogue in 2018. Its characters have made African styles trend with designers and celebrities taking note of the continent.

Fashion

The Sotho Blanket worn by the Black Panther character W’Kabi, played by Daniel Kaluuya, has also become an international fashion statement.

And designer Laduma, creator of the label MaXhosa who specialises in traditional patterns and fabrics, made headlines when he sued and won a case against retailers Zara for stealing his traditional patterns.

Hairstyles

The character of Ramonda in Black Panther, played by Angela Bassett, had one of the top trending hairstyles of the year: faux dreadlocks in white.

White and grey hair has since become fashionable, with many celebrities following the trend by bleaching their hair, or wearing their natural grey.

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