10 Jul MIZIZI! The brand about connection, authenticity and representation
- Positioned as the official streetwear brand for the African Diaspora
- Connects through heritage and culture
- Inspiring pride
- More than just street wear, it’s an awareness.
The Mizizi Wakanda Jersey
MIZIZI, meaning “roots” in Swahili, is often described as the official streetwear brand that connects and inspires a new generation of the African Diaspora. Although five years old, the brand feels more relevant than ever as a sense of black pride is propelled along with a global wave of awareness ignited by the #blacklivesmatter movement.
The Mizizi African Deities Bomber Jacket
Founder, Paakow Essandoh conceived the line originally based on baseball jerseys. The motivation was twofold. While completing his studies in Florida, Paakow observed not only a lack of representation but also how other Africans experienced this other-worldness together. The brand came together when he figured he could use the sport aesthetic as a conduit to connect American with African Culture in a completely modern way.
With its first designs focusing on African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt, the range has since encompassed Latin American ones too. The range itself has also expanded to include hockey, soccer, and basketball jersey silhouettes, with all connecting strongly to the original, iconic jersey.
Aesthetically the brand does what only the spirit of Africa can. It recolonizes a western sartorial tradition with an energy and liveliness filled with rhythm, colour, heritage and pride. “Mizizi is a celebration of identity. It’s formed a giant community of different Diasporas all within one giant conglomerate of the Black diaspora. It’s a bridge through clothing,” said Essandoh.
This dynamic of togetherness is sincere, authentic and powerful, even having its very own zeitgeist moment with its “Wakanda” iteration from the “Black Panther” film. Meanwhile, as it fosters bonds within African communities in the States, “Mizizi’s street cred is wooing a global market and, as Africa stretches its moment in the sun, the brand is set to become iconic.