When you think of Beyoncé’s entire Lemonade album, Simone Biles setting the record for most gold medals won by a female gymnast in the history of the World Championships, or Maria Borges walking the Victoria’s Secret runway in her natural hair, that is #BlackGirlMagic. Since CaShaw Thomson began to use the hashtag #BlackGirlsAreMagic in 2013 as a way to speak about the positive achievements of black women.
In the same sense, these women we highlight embody something unique that is often difficult to define, but can be found in how they portray themselves, the things they do, and of course, all the interesting ways they dress themselves.
We became familiar with Erykah Achebe through her mirror selfies which basically served as an informal exhibition of her audacious sense of style and preference for maximalism. She describes herself as a “vintage connoisseur at heart”, and according to Vogue, she also enjoys infusing her Nigerian roots into a Western fashion sensibility.
When Velma and her brother Papa became ubiquitous on Tumblr for their striking photographs and eccentric personal style, one thing was obvious; they were headed for fame. Velma is known as one half of 2ManySiblings, a widely popular curatorial platform for contemporary African style, art and culture. The two also founded Thrift Social Nairobi, which serves as an opportunity to spotlight and connect creatives in Nairobi.
We’d like to believe that Oroma needs no introduction. With years of work centered around creating platforms like Pop Africana magazine and A Brunch Of Girls, she’s grown to become a well-known and celebrated figure. She’s also a visual artist who recently delved into performance art. For us, the cherry on the cake is her quirky dress sense… if not for anything else, that’s one reason why we stalk her ‘gram.
So at 19, Tony Gum (pronounced ‘goom’) started a Black Coca-Cola series where she photographed herself depicting the typical African woman in reimagined Coke adverts. It went viral, and the rest as they say is history. Tony has so far exhibited several bodies of work at international art fairs, and was also voted as ‘the coolest girl in Cape Town’ by British Vogue in 2015.
If you think slender women are the epitome of style, Hayet Rida will prove you wrong. In a bold and audacious manner, she takes on everything from floral dresses to corsets. Though she’s previously battled with weight, Hayet has now refocused her energy on building her confidence, and encouraging women like her to follow suit.
Honestly, Asiyami’s entire Instagram feed is everyone’s #goals, and her 130k followers serve as proof. But really, her creative expressions are not in anyway tied to a quest for fame. While working as photographer, stylist and art director, and also often moonlighting as a lifestyle and travel blogger, her visual stories serve as an opportunity to create, share and uplift others through different mediums.
For a long time, we knew her as ‘I Go By Frankie’. That was when she still worked as a stylist at Asos. Since then, the Cameroonian native has undergone a mild transformation; getting married and having a kid. Her recent endevours now includes everything from mummy duties to serving as the Founder of two businesses; SHE Unleashed and BigHair_NoCare.