Spotlight: 17 African and Black-Owned Premium Streetwear Brands to Kno – ADJOAA
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Spotlight: 17 African and Black-Owned Premium Streetwear Brands to Know

Beyond clothes, fashion is an effective platform to promote identity, creativity, and cultural expression. African and Black-owned fashion companies have been revolutionising the market in recent years by presenting a staggering range of looks, narratives, and perspectives. These businesses are not only present in the global fashion landscape but are spearheading it with inventiveness, tenacity, and a strong sense of place, from the streets of Lagos to the ateliers of Paris.

This spotlight delves into the distinctive aesthetics and motivational stories of the luxury streetwear brands making waves and influencing fashion globally; from established to emerging labels such as Motherlan to Corteiz and Urban Zulu. Come with us to explore the vibrant world of these avant-garde labels that are changing the face of fashion with their cutting-edge styles and cultural commentary.

(Motherlan for bubblegumclub/Photography by Tyler Mitchell)


Motherlan is a Nigerian creative collaborative established in 2018 by a group of like-minded skateboarders fascinated by art, fashion, and footwear. The group was founded in Lagos and later moved to London, where it established itself as a creative force by collaborating with international companies like AwakeNY and Dr. Martens. Thanks to the creative freedom provided by the UK capital, fresh talents like photographer Fin Flint and musicians Trill Tega, Zac CV, Co-Pilot, and Dior have joined founding members Slawn, Leo (Soldier), Oneydi, and Paolo. Motherlan started the year with a bang, with the release of "Cypher," a music video that captured the group's contagious creative spirit during a spontaneous freestyle session.

(A Corteiz drop/NSS Magazine)


Corteiz was introduced in 2017 by the mysterious British-Nigerian businessman Clint 419. Recognised for its unique Alcatraz emblem, which defies convention, the brand business has gained recognition for its £30 t-shirts, £120 joggers, and £125 cargos. Because of its unique guerrilla marketing strategies, Corteiz stands out in the streetwear scene and creates an unmatched buzz and allure. 

The brand's emblem has increased over the last five years, appearing on the clothing of UK rappers Dave, Stormzy, slowthai, and Central Cee. Corteiz’s popularity goes beyond the music industry, as evidenced by the endorsements of well-known figures like Drake and Pharrell.Corteiz keeps reaffirming its dominance in the fashion industry with its clever marketing and rebellious personality.

(Urban Zulu Clothing Location Photoshoots/Urban Zulu clothing)


Established by Papy Kaluw, Urban Zulu reflects the concept of "Urban Heaven," fusing spiritual inspiration with the aesthetic appeal and natural texture of the environment. The brand stands out for its ability to strike a balance between practicality and higher values of love and harmony. It further distinguishes itself with its signature styles and unique designs;  combining African designs and cultural features in its aesthetics that are inspired by the streets of Johannesburg and the African continent.The clothing and accessory brand specialises in both ready-to-wear and custom pieces and proudly utilises locally sourced fabrics. 

Urban Zulu is a movement that honours African culture, the arts and promotes unity beyond the catwalk. With fashionable and useful clothes, Kaluw has positioned his brand as a spokesperson for urban and culturally aware Africans.

(Casablanca S/S 22 Campaign/ Casablanca)


Established in 2018 by Charaf Tajer, Casablanca is a contemporary interpretation of the classic après-sport look, incorporating Neapolitan tailoring methods into statement pieces with a tennis theme. Casablanca's pieces, which are inspired by Tajer's rich dual heritage as French and Moroccan, display ease and anticipation, perfect for the beautiful hours after the day's exertions but before nightfall. Tajer, formerly of the discothèque Le Pompon and the Parisian street-couture label Pigalle, saw Casablanca as a symbol of classic grace. Tajer, who once dreamed of being a jet-setting gentleman, now creates a society that redefines extravagance with notes of silk, terry cloth, and cashmere, creating a fantasy of perfect luxury.
(Co-Founder Cherrellone IN (KotD)/ Kids of the Diaspora)

Kids of the Diaspora (KotD)

Kids of the Diaspora (KotD) is a movement brand that skillfully combines fair fashion, music, and the arts to spread the idea that "We are one – no matter where we are from." The label was established four years ago by the Viennese sisters Cherrelle and Leni Charles. It functions as a platform and creative agency for people who feel marginalised in society, providing a symbolic home for everyone who connects with its message. With its inventive designs and cultural initiatives, the company reflects the spirit of the diaspora, finding a home "between the places" and bringing like-minded individuals together globally.

The brand's clean white showroom in Vienna's ninth district features its simple streetwear, which includes T-shirts, hoodies, and socks. This area also serves as the centre of the brand's various endeavours. Leni, who manages the visual design and execution, and Cherrelle, composes the label texts and serves as a casting director.. Thanks to their efforts, they have amassed a global following and network of supporters. Notable people who have worn their clothing include influencer Christl Clear, rapper Nazar, and musician Joy Denalane.

(FREE THE YOUTH Ghanaian Collective Interview/HYPEBEAST)


A group of young creatives led by Jonathan Coffie, Kelly Foli, Winfred Mensah, and Richard Kweku Ormano. FREE THE YOUTH was founded with the goal of uplifting African and Ghanaian youth via street-style fashion and culture with Ghanaian influences.FREE THE YOUTH was established in 2013 in the sleepy neighbourhood of Tema, east of Accra, the capital of Ghana. The founders' shared passion for fashion, art, and the internet allowed them to share photos of their distinctive looks online under the hashtag #FreeTheYouth, transforming their sense of style into a potent statement about community and creative freedom.

Shace Winifred Mensah, one of the collective's visionary founders, passed away tragically. Her strong-willed attitude had been essential. Free The Youth persisted in expanding despite this setback, using Facebook and Tumblr as outlets to promote their colourful, message-driven style. The collective's ties to hip-hop and music, especially the Tema underground scene, artists such as La Même Gang, Kofi Mole, Kwesi Arthur, and B4Bonah adopted FREE THE YOUTH as their uniform, which helped them achieve popularity.

Currently, FREE THE YOUTH is a multifaceted organisation that includes an NGO, a fashion brand, and a creative agency. All of these branches collaborate to advance a youth-focused, art-based movement. The goal was to produce streetwear that gave cool outfits cultural significance and encouraged people to view situations more optimistically. The philosophy of FREE THE YOUTH, which is based on genuine friendship, trust, love, and a desire to stand out, has contributed to the development of a burgeoning community that includes both young Ghanaians and celebrities who can relate to their experience. The brand has come a long way from their modest Tema beginnings to become a symbol of artistic freedom and cultural influence.


Daily Paper

Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei, and Abderrahmane Trabsini—three childhood friends—founded Daily Paper, an Amsterdam-based fashion and lifestyle company, in 2012. Driven by a common enthusiasm for music, art, fashion, and culture.Daily Paper began as a personal blog in 2008 and has since grown into a well-known brand. The brand's core was blended with the founders' African ancestry, who are of Moroccan, Ghanaian, and Somali descent. With its modern designs and vibrant ethnic diversity, the brand has become one of the fashion companies in Europe with the quickest rate of growth. They offer classic styles in menswear, womenswear, accessories, and seasonal capsules, with two collections per year. 

Daily Paper has established itself as a leader in the fashion market with its distinctive blending of modern European style and African history, which reflects a dynamic creation that is recognised worldwide.

(Iza wears an exclusive look from Meninos Rei in the semi-final of The Voice Brasil/Alô Alô Bahia)

Meninos Rei

Céu and Júnior Rocha, siblings from Salvador, Bahia, launched the vibrant fashion brand Meninos Rei in 2016. Meninos Rei pays tribute to African culture by fusing real African textiles into their contemporary Afro-urban designs, which are firmly rooted in their ancestry. The goal of the brand is to authentically, represent representatively, and uniquely celebrate their ancestors' culture. Originally focused on men's fashion, Meninos Rei, which translates to "King Boys," offers unique outfits with colourful and playful prints that make those who wear them stand out.  

Meninos Rei has established a name for itself via constant innovation and the production of striking, distinctive designs. The streetwear brand is now recognised in the fashion industry as a symbol of inventiveness and cultural pride, thanks to the Rocha siblings' commitment to their art and culture.

(Barcelona wears Top Manta, true clothing made by illegal people /The Urban Activist/ Lluis Tudela)

Top Manta

Top Manta is a powerful social movement that combats prejudice and stereotypes against African immigrants in Spain, not merely a clothing line. Established in 2015 by a group of African immigrants who had come to Spain in search of a better life but had faced many obstacles and unfavourable opinions, Top Manta aims to turn the derogatory name "manteros"—which is connected to street sellers—into an emblem of fortitude and dignity. 

The company uses screen printing techniques and works with regional artists and makers to create a variety of apparel items, such as t-shirts, sweaters, and tote bags. This partnership opposes the "othering" of immigrants in Spanish society and brings attention to their predicament.

(How GALXBOY Founder, Thatiso Dube Built A High End Streetwear Brand In South Africa - StartUp Magazine South Africa/Startup Magazine)


Galxboy is a vibrant streetwear brand based in Mzansi's urban centres, which are home to a rebellious and underground youth street culture. Thatiso Dube founded the company in 2008 to serve South Africa's "new age" youth, who are daring and unrestrained in their sense of style and fashion. Seeing a void in the market for a brand created by young people, Dube set out to build Galxboy with drive, tenacity, and cooperation. 

The label is distinguished by its avant-garde designs that highlight the contemporary goals of South African youth and represent an African design philosophy for the twenty-first century. The assortment of merchandise consists of t-shirts, bags, hats, sunglasses, and more, all of which capture the bold and daring aesthetic of Generation Z and Millennials. Galxboy consistently reimagines what it means to be African, young, wild, and free through its distinct style, leaving a lasting impression on the fashion industry and striking a deep chord with the youth it represents.



Finchitua is a streetwear brand established in Dubai that skillfully combines modern design with tribal Ethiopian themes.Founded in 2012 by Ethiopian designer Feiruza Mudessir. In addition to selling distinctive and daring apparel, the brand promotes regional Ethiopian artists by creating jobs that are sustainable and raise the standard of life for them. This helps to preserve traditional Habesha artwork. The Ethiopian phrase "finchit," which describes a female with a gap between her teeth and represents individuality and beauty, is where the brand name Finchitua originates.

Mudessir's designs are a striking fusion of contemporary style with traditional Ethiopian textiles, appealing to fashion-conscious people looking for a daring look. Finchitua creates unique designs, such as fashionable strapless tube dresses made from woven Habesha textiles with detailed tribal embroidery or creative uses of feminine elements like lace and asymmetrical cuts. Be it a formal dinner, a night on the town, or a high-stakes business conference, these designs are ideal for every event and will make you stand out when you wear a Finchitua original.

(Severe Nature/Getunruly)

Severe Nature

Severe Nature is a unisex street luxury brand that was founded in 2012 by Tobi Adeleye, Christopher Afolabi, and the late Michael Atobalele (Uzii). It represents the bold spirit of contemporary youth. This Nigerian-Canadian business is unique in that. It constantly experiments with fabrics and apparel, pushing the limits of streetwear and producing unconventional pieces. The philosophy of Severe Nature is all about embracing individuality and the audacious expression of one's special qualities, abilities, and aspirations while pushing personality, appearance, and nature to the limit.

With its bold and inclusive designs, Severe Nature fills a void in the market that was previously lacking local options, leaving a lasting impression on the Nigerian streetwear scene. Severe Nature is a brand that stands out for its ability to showcase the power of extreme self-expression. It also serves as an inspiration for a trend in the fashion industry that values originality and innovation.

(Skating in Lagos with the WAFFLESNCREAM crew/Carmenpolitan)


WAFFLESNCREAM, Nigeria's first skateboarding brand founded in 2012 by Jomi Marcus-Bello, is the nexus for extreme activities and skate culture in West Africa. The goal of the brand is to actively encourage young people who demonstrate talent and a passion for skating to develop and strengthen the skateboarding culture in Nigeria. In Lagos and other West African towns, WAFFLESNCREAM has established a loose skating organisation over the years, gathering footage, getting to know new skaters, and growing its active community in the process.

(Billionaire Boys Club x The Blueprint 3 "So Ambitious" Tee | Hypebeast)

Billionaire Boys Club

With a name full of irony and thought-provoking meaning, Billionaire Boys Club prioritises uniqueness and genuine self-expression over financial consequences. Established in 2003 by Pharrell Williams in collaboration with Nigo, this internationally renowned clothing and accessory company expertly marries luxury with streetwear.  Numerous aspects of fashion, music, design, and culture have been impacted by their works. 

Fundamentally, Billionaire Boys Club emphasises empathy, compassion, creativity, and curiosity to challenge its community to rethink wealth. Its motto, "Wealth is of the heart and mind, not the pocket," highlights the brand's dedication to celebrating individuality. Billionaire Boys Club is a 21st-century icon that has origins in music, Japanese streetwear, and international pop culture. It continues to drive and define modern fashion.


"RIVERISWILD is a Nigerian brand that embodies mystical blackness and the spirit of adventure in every item of apparel. The brand is committed to individuals who enjoy life's unpredictable journey and seek thrills, drawing inspiration from the raw and uncompromising power of wild rivers. We also celebrate the richness of black culture. Their styles are ideal for both urban travels and outdoor adventures; they combine current elegance with tough durability. Each piece is made with premium, eco-friendly materials to guarantee that you feel good about your decisions and how you appear. 

RIVERISWILD is the ideal clothing for gear that symbolises the bold, untamed spirit of the adventurer within, laced with a profound appreciation for mystical blackness, whether you're navigating a remote route or the concrete jungle."

(Nack apparel/bellaniaja style)

Nack Apparel

NACK Apparel was launched to promote African pride and innovation. In addition to providing clothing, the brand nurtures a community called the NACK Tribe. This Nigerian company creates distinctive products that capture the spirit of Nigerian culture by fusing modern design with African history. Their creations, range from elegant ensembles to streetwear, are made to celebrate individualism and self-expression. 

The NACK Tribe is a movement that celebrates unity, culture, and the richness of African identity rather than merely a group of customers. NACK Apparel is a global inspiration and connector because of its creative designs and community-focused projects.

(Subwae Studio’s SS23/GQ South Africa)


Subwae is a forward-thinking fashion brand that combines contemporary design with a commitment to sustainability. Founded in 2015, the brand has gained recognition in the streetwear industry by providing a wide selection of trendy clothing, such as T-shirts, shirts, and innovative trousers and accessories. Every piece is expertly constructed in terms of longevity and aesthetic appeal. Distinguished by its ethical production methods and its stylish designs, Subwaes commitment to sustainable fashion is also evident in its partnerships with regional artisans and the emphasis on the use of environmentally safe materials.

This spotlight on established and up and coming African and Black-owned streetwear labels highlights a colourful mosaic of ingenuity, tenacity, and cultural pride. Every company, from Motherlan's skate-inspired streetwear to Galxboy's modern designs and Casablanca's extravagant yet culturally rich pieces, has a distinct backstory that adds to the larger picture of modern fashion. Aside from upending fashion norms, these companies are clearing the path for a more varied and inclusive sector. Through the celebration of their past and innovative design, they are demonstrating the power of fashion as a medium for social transformation and cultural expression. 

Watch the space! Urban Zulu, River Is Wild and a few of the brands profiled will be launching soon on ADJOAA

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