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Oh so your feed is getting less saturated with pro blackness? Well we ‘bout to do a full 360 on yo ass! Read on….
Amarachi is a black-owned business and was born in 2011. We’ve always celebrated black fashion and creative expression and not much has changed! We pride ourselves in showcasing multicultural models and bringing black culture and styles to the fore. We love and stand true to our roots, but we’ve been pigeonholed into a box of ‘brands only black girls can wear’ which has challenged and limited our growth.
We’ve received DM’s from young white girls expressing their love for the brand often followed by reasons they couldn’t purchase. When an image of a white influencer wearing our earrings (which have been called ghetto many a time - check our comment section!) went viral in 2019, our brand was opened up to a whole new audience of customers, followers, and fans – which we are eternally grateful for. It was only after this viral moment, that Amarachi was no longer seen as ‘ghetto’, but as a fashionable and trendy brand that EVERYONE could pull off.
We love that Amarachi is being discovered and worn by fashionistas of all colours, but why did it take us being co-signed by a white influencer to take us from ghetto to trendy? We’ve been pushing the boundaries and creating fresh accessories from the jump.
As black women, how we style our hair and accessorise is an integral part of our self expression. We set trends. We create. We innovate. We’re not putting a blanket ban on anyone who’s not black from appreciating our culture, but we do want the origins, creators, and traditions of our styles to be acknowledged and understood, and appreciated by everyone.
When it comes to hair, cultural appropriation is nothing new, and so unapologetic you have to wonder if it’s PR stunt to get tongues wagging and build a hype. It usually goes like this: a celebrity - often a racially ambiguous Kardashian or Jenner - steps out wearing canerows, a du-rag, slicked down baby hairs (no baby hairs seen here ma’am, those hairs are full grown!), or claiming they invented wigs . They’re showered with praise for their cutting edge style and rewarded with positive magazine and social media coverage. Sorry not sorry, but black women like Lil Kim have been paving the way experimenting with theatrical, brightly coloured wigs and baby hairs since the 90s when they weren’t en vogue. And while it might not have been appreciated by many then, there are so many present day celebrities/influencers/artists who are clearly influenced by her iconic style.
It’s not just hair that’s ghetto until it’s fashion. Bamboo & hoop earrings (aka door knockers), gold jewellery, extravagant acrylic nail art – even streetwear – have all experienced a ‘gentrification’. These accessories have been widespread within beauty supply stores in black communities for the longest, but they’ve historically been viewed as garish and even labelled ‘ghetto gold’. These expressions of creativity were not accepted, let alone deemed stylish, until
they were seen on white people in white spaces – effectively giving the green light for ‘IG Baddies’ and racially ambiguous Fashion Nova models to wear without being perceived as unkempt, unclean, or untrustworthy by the media.
While the Kar-Jenners are taking from black culture in the name of fashion, the styles become whitewashed and detached from the culture that created them. Cultures and traditions that date back as far as 3500 BC, when African braiding styles were an expression of self as well as signifiers of social rank, marital status, age, and more. Nowadays, we wear braids and Bantu knots not only because they look great, but for practical reasons too. These low manipulation styles keep the ends of our kinky, coily hair tucked away are the key to the health of our hair. So when canerows become ‘boxer braids’, Fulani braids become ‘Bo Derek braids’, and Bantu knots become ‘mini buns’, we become frustrated. When we embrace our cultural styles or wear our hair how it naturally grows out of our head, we can be refused employment for not wearing straight hair, experience hair discrimination at work, and even be sent home from school.
From our Custom Name Door Knockers to Jordan-inspired ‘Ballers Bling Earrings’, innovative self-expression is at the heart of Amarachi and imitation inevitably comes with success. But taking from black culture or negatively labelling it as ghetto without understanding its rich history is never acceptable. We love that so many of you love our styles and we’re here to help you express yourselves to the fullest. What we create is for everyone to enjoy! We just ask that you be mindful and challenge the very idea of what ‘ghetto’ is. It’s not ‘ghetto until it’s fashion’ – it’s always been fashion. In the words of Missy Elliot, our “style can't be duplicated or recycled.”
With that said, now it’s time to get creative and express yourself!
SHOP NOW and tag us in the looks you create – we love to see it!