Rhythm, color, curiosity and rawness. Take a cursory glance over the Afropunk Festival mission statement and from those four words alone it’s easy enough to gauge a sartorial insight into those who patron the yearly event.
Since its inception back in 2005, Afropunk has mushroomed from a one-off music festival in New York into an indispensable component of contemporary African-American culture: its significance acutely amplified in 2016 thanks to the modern political and social climate.
Despite being ostensibly incompatible, fashion and music festivals have become inextricably linked in recent years, with the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury now viewed by celebrities as a window for posturing on par with any fashion week. Yet while Afropunk is not exempt from its share of paparazzo, the festival’s core values of anti-homophobia, sexism, ageism and, of course, racism, sets it apart from its peers in that such freedom for self-expression is tempered by rich values and tolerance, rather than empty vanity. Or, as organizers themselves put it: “In a world where it can feel unsafe to have black skin, the amazement from onlookers made you remember the beauty in your carefree blackness.”
With the likes of Grace Jones, Young Fathers, Goldlink and SZA all slated to perform, Afropunk London was primed to TU. And one doesn’t TU fully if one isn’t wearing one’s best garms.
Check our shots of the best street style from the weekend in the gallery above, and then let us know in the comments who you think had more steeze. London or New York?