Percussive beats, deep baselines inclusive of ecstatic and sometimes solemn vocals are the signature prints of the Amapiano sound. A subgenre of house music. Emerging from the heart of South Africa in 2012 and popularized by the duo MFR Souls.
Amapiano (Zulu for “The Pianos”) has filtered its deep cultural sounds, to also evolve into its representation in the fashion scenes. Particularly street fashion clothing. Meanwhile, it may be easier to differentiate the sounds and attribute them to a local, as noted by Jabulle Dlamini-Qwesha. However, to analyze the looks ascribed to any one genre of music can be challenging.
Firstly, traditional South African fashion is characterized by print patterns, blended with bright colors and adorned with animal skins. All representing the royal attitude and storytelling talent of the locals. However, as with any fashion trend, is heavily influenced by the individuals who dictate its beliefs. The same can be said about the Amapiano clothing culture.
Evolving from what originally was themed to be an underground sound movement to establishing global recognition. Along with a dedicated community and internet fan culture, the sound and style adopted by the revolution has furthermore earned it its place as one of the music genres that systematically expresses music, culture and evolution all at once.
The Amapiano fashion scene in South Africa has its roots deep in urban street fashion. Similar to how the Afro-pop fashion scene has a fusion of hip, pop, and African styles all blended into one. At its inception, urban street style was heavily influenced by Western cultures and being adopted by local communities in the African fashion space, the popularity of iconic and homegrown brands, including streetwear-heavy brands, has accelerated the amapiano movement!
The fearless expression of the existing pop culture in South Africa, has been geared by the innovation and collaborative efforts of notable creators which has majorly been between music creators and clothing artists. Consequently allowing a subtle expression of both minimal and immaculate styles. Ranging from old-school themed looks involving bucket hats, golfer shirts and chinos to brilliant looks characterized by acrylic dress pieces.
Young artists and music videos re-enacting minimal wardrobe changes. Disk-jockeys hosting meet and drink outdoor parties, shows the borderline expression between the conservative and experimental interpretations within amapiano fashion style. An indication that it possesses the possibility to expand into multiple spaces of fashion ideology within and beyond Africa.
In conclusion, with the movement achieving multiple milestones and possibly filtering into more aspects of the fashion scene in the coming decades. The ongoing zest possessed by young African creatives is certain to explode in multiple dimensions. Birthing new storylines deeply rooted in African history.