We’re so excited to usher in another amazing season of fashion starting with AFROPUNK which made its return to Brooklyn since 2019. Headliners included talented musicians like The Roots, Burna Boy, Lucky Daye, Freddie Gibbs, and more who helped usher in the joy, spirit, and decadence that the Black community continues to embody in the face of resilience. This event was held on September 10th and 11th and served a celebration of life, music, food, and culture within the Black community. Afropunk champions all things Black by hosting markets full of businesses, food truck vendors, curators, and NYC chefs.
What is Afropunk?
Afropunk is all about encouraging Black people to break conventional stereotypes of identity, race, and gender. The creators of Afropunk define it as:
“Afro: as in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog.”
“Punk: as in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog.”
Afropunk originated from the concept of unacknowledged Black people who were excluded from the white punk scene and European alternative lifestyles. The first festival started in 2005 and originally catered towards a punk audience, but has now evolved to encompass alternative R&B and soul. Over the years Afropunk has featured performers like Solange, Willow Smith, Algiers, and Princess Nokia. As a space that invites and celebrates artistic and creative expression, it can also serve to showcase innovative fashion, media, art, photography, and film. We’re very excited to see such a fantastic turnout for Afropunk's return to the masses and have been dying over these jaw-dropping looks below!
The Best Looks from Afropunk 2022
We thrive on accessories whether it’s sunglasses, headscarves, or hats. Accessories have always been a mainstay of Afropunk because truly anything goes. Folks turn up in head turning ensembles where we see a blend of culture, innovation, and personal style that can be a play on BDSM styles or an ode to heritage with dashiki fabrics.The idea is to go big and loud with statement accessories that don’t have to compliment your look so much as showcase individuality and imagination. We loved that despite a less than sunny day, Afropunk attendees still brought the attitude with larger than life shades in bold shapes while keeping dry from the rain.
Nothing adds flair to a look than face jewels and handy jewelry like statement necklaces and earrings to add just the right amount of pop to your wardrobe. In true Afropunk, adorning your face and body with decorative pieces and ornate objects is an ode to break conventional styles of dress. While clothes can be viewed as a way to dress your body, accents can be a way to showcase who you truly are from a mental, emotional, and spiritual perspective. These accents are used to compliment the natural hairstyle and bring attention to center facial features or body parts as an expression of one’s self.
Naturalistas on Parade
Bring on the hair. One thing about Afropunk, it’s going to serve looks on looks on looks when it comes to hair. We love to see natural hairstyles like locs, afros, braids, and gravity defying looks on full-display. Hair is such an intimate and personal experience for the Black community and there’s no better place to get creative and inventive with your natural hair than Afropunk. It’s not about aesthetics or conforming to societal standards of what’s “good hair” or “acceptable”, the hair should represent your own personal freedom. We see looks that are bold, braided, beaded, and giving inches on inches on inches.
The rain couldn't stop Brooklyn's most stylish festival-goers from showing up and showing out. Whether you've been to Afropunk or even just experienced it vicariously through social media, you know nothing else compares to the safe, inclusive atmosphere of Afropunk. This environment fosters unmatched creative freedom and self expression through the hairstyles and street style. And the rain just added an extra level of innovation - transparent trench coats, picnic blankets-turned-head coverings, and all the hats and accessories.
What are your favorite looks from Afropunk? Let us know below!
All photos by Karston Tannis / @skinnywashere for NaturallyCurly