Adut Akech

Street Style Icons: Influential Figures in Black Fashion


Feb. 15 2024, Published 9:48 p.m. ET

Hey there, fashion enthusiast! Ever walked down the street and thought, “Whoa, that person’s got style?” Then, you cannot deny the influence of black people on fashion. From formal wear and custom business casual pieces to streetwear, black people are disrupting and setting trends in the fashion world.

Business Insider noted that "As recently as 20 years ago, luxury fashion was synonymous with formalwear. Hollywood's elite arrived at awards shows donning Harry Winston diamonds and Dior gowns. Hip-hop artists, meanwhile, had been blurring the boundaries between luxury and streetwear for decades...Fast forward and streetwear has infiltrated every corner of the fashion world. Billie Eilish wore a Gucci tracksuit to a music event in 2020, Justin Bieber is regularly seen performing in gold chains and sneakers, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner launched a failed Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. vintage-inspired tee line in 2017."

With their dynamic fusion of culture, identity, and style, black creatives aren’t just wearing clothes; they’re making statements, redefining fashion norms, and turning sidewalks into personal runways.

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Black Street-Style Icons

Need some fashion inspiration to get you going with your personal wardrobe upgrade? Well, then you’re in for a treat as we look at three influential figures in Black fashion.

Adut Akech

Adut Akech, a South Sudanese-Australian model, defied the odds of a challenging childhood to carve her path in the fashion world. Born amidst a civil war and spending part of her early years in a Kenyan refugee camp, Adut embarked on her modeling journey at just 16 by joining Chadwick Models in Sydney.

Starting with local fashion shows in Australia, Adut's trajectory took a remarkable turn when she became an exclusive model for Saint Laurent. Her runway debut during the spring/summer 2017 fashion week began a prolific career with luxury brands such as Valentino, Versace, and Dior. Today she has become a sought-after figure in the fashion industry.

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Adut's presence extends beyond the runway; she's a familiar face in the pages of top fashion magazines, including multiple international editions of Vogue. In December 2019, her outstanding contributions earned her the "Model of the Year" title at the British Fashion Awards in London. When she's not strutting down runways, Adut channels her passion for fashion through captivating content shared on her Instagram platform.

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Coco Bassey

Coco Bassey is yet another influential figure in black fashion. While she may not be as widely recognized as other black style icons on our list, Coco embodies modern-day women's fashion. Based in New York, this fashion influencer has gained attention from Manu for her unique fashion style and flare. On her website and various digital platforms, she imparts fashion tips and sheds light on the challenges of balancing a corporate job with running a full-time fashion website.

Leaving a lucrative six-figure job to pursue her dreams, Coco is an inspiration for many and proof that following your dreams can be the most rewarding experience- if you are willing to take that leap of faith.

Beyond her website, Coco maintains a thriving YouTube channel, offering followers an insider's view of her world. With over 200K followers on Instagram, she actively engages with her audience, showcasing her distinctive style and lifestyle. Coco Bassey is carving her niche in the fashion realm, making waves and inspiring others along the way.

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Iconic Black Fashion Figures

The above fashion icons are just a drop in the sea of influential figures in Black fashion. From the trailblazing Adut Aketch to the trendsetting Law Roach and inspiring Coco Bassey, these Black creatives are taking over the fashion world in their own unique and stylish ways. Their stories prove that the impact of Black individuals on fashion goes beyond the garments, shaping a narrative of creativity and empowerment.

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