Ankara fabric is on the rise. Owo shares a little about how she was introduced to and inspired by it. Yup! It’s a guest post!
Contributed by: Owo
I’ve been going to dressmakers and tailors for as long as I could remember. I used to dread going as a child because I know my mother would pull up a chair and chat with the tailor for hours, about any and everything. I wondered how people could possibly talk for 3 hours straight?! Yet after we’d spent time there, we’d always leave with a brand new outfit made with the either the Aso oke, Adire, or Ankara wax print (Dutch-made) fabric.
This would happen every single week.
Recently we’ve seen the large popularization of the Ankara wax print fabric in popular culture. From celebrities to fashion editors to social media; you see these bold prints everywhere on everyone. I am Nigerian, and it’s been interesting witnessing this ‘trend’. One, because most people are unaware that is is not a trend. It is actually a cultural lifestyle. The history of most African fabrics date back to 9th century West Africa (801 to 900.) The textiles are usually bought and worn for festivities, ceremonies, and events as an act of solidarity and commemoration.
I purposely began adopting African fabrics into my personal style about five years ago. I realized that being an artist/songwriter/model gave me the platform to showcase the beauty, boldness, and flavor these fabrics offer when worn in any style. I particularly gravitate toward 70’s inspired style (and secretly wish I was born in that era haha.) And, I began mixing the African prints with iconic 70’s style four years ago; creating the the “OWO pänt.”
African prints fabrics not only represent ‘fashion trend’, they represent the boldness, resilience, talent, rhythm, and beauty of a people who continue to thrive and shine no matter the circumstance.