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10 African Streetwear Brands You Need In Your Closet in 2018

In the fifth installment of our 2017 holiday gift guide, we feature our 10 favorite African streetwear brands.

This is our fifth gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the OkayAfrica Shop.

One of the best ways to express pride in your identity and culture is through clothing.

These featured brands will help you do just that, as they too want to foster a connection between Africa and the diaspora, renew pride and empower while looking fresh and effortless. These brands also had a strong 2017, coming with eye-catching collections that we couldn't ignore.

See our 2019 #BuyBlack Black Friday and holiday shopping guide here

Check out these African streetwear brands you need to rock in 2018 below.


1. Daily Paper

Daily Paper is an Amsterdam-based menswear label that's inspired by the founder's African background and passion for contemporary fashion. The brand is impacted by Africa's diverse cultures and focused on authenticity, as well as quality tailoring.

2. Pop Caven

Pop Caven represents today's contemporary Africa while simultaneously celebrating African culture and pop culture. The brand was born out of realizing the gap in the market for African inspired modern casual wear.

3. TELFAR

TELFAR is a consistent, forward thinking brand that continues to define gender fluid fashion. Telfar Clemens is the Liberian-American designer behind the brand who was a recent winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

4. super YAYA 100%

super Yaya 100% is an Abidjan-based streetwear label that has a cool take on expressing Afrofuturism through fashion. Along with the catchy screen print shirts, the brand tailors customizable, West Afircan-inspired outfits.

5. OkayAfrica Shop

Shameless plug time! Over at our shop, we recently dropped the FW17 edition of our AFRICAN AF collection, where we made cozy sweatshirt versions of our best-selling tees, along with the Fela Kuti capsule collection you should get into.

6. Riveriswild

Riveriswild is a lifestyle brand that acknowledges the chaos of life, respecting its unpredictability and honors our differences and connections along the way. The brand's F/W collection, A Marked Memory, was influenced by Wale Akinbiyi's (Riveriswild's creative director) fading memories of his formative years spent in Nigeria.

7. OHYESLORD

OHYESLORD is a Johannesburg-based streetwear brand that celebrates and is rooted in youthful, African free sprits. Founded by Hamilton Thindisa, the brand's name comes from the designer discovering his purpose. Learn more about the brand and where you can order here.

8. òL New York

òL New York is a forward-thinking brand that offers a range of clean looks that is malleable in any closet. òL stands for "outside lines," and the brand prides itself in its progressive and authentic designs for those who wish to look and feel good in what they wear.

9. WAFFLESNCREAM

WAFFLESNCREAM is Nigeria's first skateboard collective that also has a store that provides a fresh take on streetwear apparel. The community provides a rare space for young Nigerians to explore their creativity and to shape their own narrative.

10. DEAD.

DEAD. is a Pretoria-based lifestyle brand that's a culmination of the hyper-millennial generation. The brand produces well-made clothes with bright colors, unique prints and texture.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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