Nigerian-born, Maryland-based designer Ayo Omolewa shares the second part in 'The New Diaspora' streetwear collection.
AfriTribe is an emerging, Maryland-based clothing label that fuses streetwear with culture and tradition. Nigerian-born designer Ayo Omolewa says he founded the brand with the intent of bridging the gap between Africa and the Diaspora. Each of their pieces comes with a larger message that the label hopes will show the continent in a "different light."
Their latest project is a two-part collection entitled The New Diaspora, which Omolewa says was inspired by "a certain lack of options of showing ownership of being African by those living in the Diaspora, 'forgetting where you came from' in a sense," he told us over email. "I wanted to make products that gives the option to portray where we came from, but making it modern and giving it a streetwear look. There are more ways to portray African Culture than wax fabrics and animal print, and I wanted to show this side as well."
The label says they intended for the socks, hats, shirts and tank tops that make up their latest collection to have stories attached to them. There's the Naira Cap, for example, which they tell us was released on 4/19 to reclaim an otherwise stigmatized number (419) for Nigeria. The Finegal Tanktop was inspired by the Nigerian slang "finegal no pimple." The Chale tee is of course a nod to the Ghanaian expression of the same name. Their African Renaissance Sleveless tee portrays Senegal's African Renaissance Monument.