An Analysis Of The Impact Of African American Fashion Trends On American Domestic Fashion

A woman sitting on a bench

What a fantastic way to kick off an evening with friends when you can accessorize with a Nigerian fashion trend. This is definitely a classically stylish, refined and exclusive outfit. Prepare yourself to be the trendiest Nigerian of all! Be prepared to be the trendiest Nigerian on earth!

Nigeria is known for many things, among them beautiful women, amazing culture, vibrant music, and above all, beautiful African American and mixed-race citizens who have made this nation shine as a global leader in education, business and sports. Many Nigerians consider themselves as the model minority. They have come so far due to their hardworking and intelligent people. These people deserve the very best, which is why we are all enjoying Nigerian fashion trends such as Ankara. Ankara means “a woman’s ankle” in Swahili.

Nigerian Fashion Industry 

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With every new style and color, the Nigerian fashion industry is at the very edge of innovation and development. The best thing about these Nigerian styles is that they look like traditional Nigerian garments but are actually quite comfortable, trendy and elegant. They are also very appealing and eye catching, which is why many designers have tried their hand at making them. From T-shirts to tops and dresses, from head scarves to sandals, from wigs to chopsticks, from alkali to pendants, from belts to bracelets and more – there is certainly something for every fashion aficionado when it comes to Nigerian apparel trends.

Ankara is probably one of the hottest and most in vogue African attire styles for women today. A lot of credit should be given to savvy marketing campaigns, which have managed to transform this simple piece of material into a staple item for African women everywhere. Since the designs were originally intended for use as foot wear, vogue magazines made the switch and translated Ankara styles into a fashionable form suitable for every day wear. Ankara became so popular that within a year alone, it had gone from being sold just to school-going girls in Lagos to being seen at major Fashion Weeks all over the world. Now, it’s not uncommon to see teenagers and women at work during the day in Nigerian uniforms while attending parties and gatherings in upscale cities like London, Paris and New York.

Fashion Style Of Nigeria

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Another African fashion style that has enjoyed great popularity in Nigeria is the multi-coloured sari. Although the first types of coloured saris were used primarily for decorative purposes, many African women find this an ideal choice to accessorize their outfits. In fact, vogue publications in the US and Europe have done special features on this African ensemble and named it “glamorous”. However, while it can be considered glamorous, it is still a sign of traditional African culture and is not something you’d want to be photographed wearing without some sort of make-up and hair styling accessory. This is also true of Nigerian dresses, which are often quite bare as opposed to traditional African garb made up of elaborate embroidery and zari.

African Women’s Clothing Ideas

African women’s clothing can vary greatly depending upon their location and the necessities of life. In Lagos, for example, the more fashionable tops and dresses tend to include a combination of chiffon and polyester. The darker colored necklines are usually seen on the more fashionable tops. Shorts and pants in bright, vibrant colours are a common sight in Lagos, although they are typically kept tucked when going anywhere outside of the city. Colorful necklaces and bracelets with intricate designs are also a popular accessory for African women, especially those who attend business meetings or attend church regularly. Ankara bangles are another important feature of African fashion trends, as many women wear them not only to accessorize their outfits but to signify their status in their families, communities and at work.

Although these African fashion trends are fast catching on in the US and other western countries, many observers in Africa feel that these styles represent the true culture of their people. “I think what really makes these things different is that we African girls love to dress up, and so do our American and European friends,” says Nigerian fashion blogger Idolsine. “The designs are definitely traditional African”, adds Nigerian-American writer Chinah Akubashi. “But it’s like what you see in vogue magazines: big designers trying to put their own twist on traditional African designs”. While fashion trends in Lagos may be changing due to increasing international competition, the message still remains: enjoy your style!


Fashion design training in America allows African American and other African Americans to explore and showcase their own unique fashion styles in the hopes of gaining respect in the African American and multicultural communities. For those living in or near Africa, the influx of trendy Western influences can be exciting and invigorating. However, those who cannot travel to Africa are encouraged to follow the African fashion trends being developed by African American and other African cultural influencers online and through social media outlets like Twitter.

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