Worn by celebrities like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg and many more, most people think that the Dashiki is just a trend but No! Dashiki is much more than a trend it’s a culture. It is a form of visual art that expresses and tells the story of Africa ancestral lines. Now let’s explore the story behind the iconic Dashiki.
The name dashiki comes from the word “danshiki” or “dan ciki” meaning “shirt” in Yoruba and Hausa, respectively, languages spoken in West Africa, specifically Nigeria.
Sometime in 1967, Jason Benning coined the modern term “dashiki” and began to produce the dashiki-style shirt along with Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith under the brand ‘New Breed Clothing Ltd’ based just out of Harlem, New York.
As a unisex attire, many men and women wore the dashiki during Black History Month, Kwanzaa, and other Afrocentric cultural events and ever since then, the dashiki shirt continues to be worn by African-Americans embracing their African heritage and promoting Black pride.
The dashiki shirt is worn globally, from Europe to Asia and the Americas to across Africa. From an oversized shirt to a full-length dress, the dashiki comes in a number of styles. However, many fashion designers are creating more flattering and stunning outfits with the dashiki which comes in multiple vibrant colours.
The dashiki has a deep cultural connection with the African continent and it is a joint declaration of pride for our roots. Ironically, it should be noted that a majority of dashiki-style shirts that are sold on the market today are primarily made in Asia.
We now have stylish teens and youths incorporating the Dashiki into their prom dresses. Celebrities, fashion designers, fashion bloggers and public figures from different ethnics are also rocking this colourful garment in both casual and professional appearances.
So if you think the Dashiki is just a “shirt”, “a trend” or a new “it-item”. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Photo Credits: http://www.instagram.com/dashikipride; Google Images