Afropunk attendees stole show
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Remembering 2018: Festival attendees stole the show at Afropunk

Afropunk attendees stole show

Tahjana McCoy of London

Occupation: Fashion and travel blogger

Instagram: @tahjana_mccoy

“My nickname is Black Panther, but I dressed in pink and went for the Pink Panther look. I wanted to go for a cluelessly kind of look too. I dyed this wig myself.”

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Darryl McPherson of New York

Occupation: Aspiring filmmaker

Instagram: @_thejournee_

“My look was inspired by last year’s Afropunk. Seeing all of these beautiful people. They gave me the inspiration. I ordered the durag but I placed the diamonds on it myself. It took me two days to finish.”

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Darius Goldsmith of Ohio

Occupation: Model and stylist

“I just wanted to play on traditional festival wear like tie-dye and fringe, and make it work for me. My style is very gender-neutral and androgynous so I wanted to play off those elements.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Kai Paii of New York

Occupation: Entreprenuer

Instagram: @kaipaii

“WXYZ jewelry is the company I’m representing. I kind of wanted to go with a solid color today. I was thinking it’s bold but I don’t have to be over the top.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Denzell Jones of Philadelphia

Occupation: Customer service

“This is my first time attending Afropunk. I was just in a place in my life where I was feeling really liberated and self-love, so I felt like this was the perfect festival to celebrate all of those things. I think that with time and age you gain wisdom, and you gain confidence and you go through [things]. So you gain a perspective for yourself.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Troy Landry of Louisiana

Occupation: Artist, creative director and hair designer

Instagram: @theheirstyles

“I actually was trying to contradict my previous looks. I always do horns but I was getting a lot of negative feedback of people thinking it was demonic. I just really thought of it as dark and majestic, so I decided to combat that with the halo.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Moss Levenson of New York (left)

River Levenson of New York

Hero Levenson of New York

Rachel Webster of New York (back)

Moss: “I like a good music festival and this is one of the few where it’s like, this is my neighborhood and it represents the neighborhood well.”

Hero: “I like this festival because of [the] outfits. I think they’re awesome! My mom helped me with my outfit today.”

Moss: “The kids saw people dressed up while we were at our neighborhood deli earlier today, and they were like, ‘Oh, we have to step our game up.’”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Shanique Johnson of New York

Occupation: Artist, designer and model; works for Afropunk

Instagram: @iamshanique

“I’m working the festival, and we have to wear dark colors. So I was like, I have to slay black apparel. I had to pop it out with my hair and makeup.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Thaddeus Coats of New York

Occupation: Graphic designer and model

Instagram: @hippypotter

“My look is black royalty and heavy metal reflective. The first thing I bought were the shoes from Buffalo Exchange. [My outfit] says that I’m very powerful as a black man.”



 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Megan Griffin of New York

Occupation: Cocktail waitress and communications coordinator

Instagram: @im_megang_bueno

“I’m wearing WXYZ jewelry. I just wore this dress because I feel like it hasn’t worn out yet. I wanted to be comfortable today and to stay cool. And we’re always about crowns because we’re all queens.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Malique Payne

Emme Irys Payne

Elisa Gomera of New York 

Occupations: Office manager/photographer and educational assistant/photographer 

Instagram: @bleekaluchi, @lisagee12 

Malique Payne: “Emme picked out her outfit herself. We purchased a few outfits last minute on Etsy by a local artist by the name of Ethnic Brooklyn and we just went with it. We wanted to have something African-inspired.”

Gomera: “We support our local seamstress that we have in Harlem. He has an African shop so we constantly go to him. Then the rest is vintage pieces that we put together.”



 

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Afropunk attendees stole show

Jessica Jackson of New York

Jahmai Harvey of Massachusetts

Occupations: Writer and model/photographer

Instagram: @_jees @iron_zion, @iron_zion

Jackson: “Afropunk means acceptance. I feel beautiful here whether I’m dressed up or not. I’m just all-around happy. It’s everything positive here.”

Harvey: “So many of us are outsiders. We’re awkward. We’re ostracized. We come from places where we’re not like the normal people, so to come to a place where you feel that love and you feel and you see so many beautiful people, there’s representation, and you feel a part of something bigger.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Vincent Marc of Philadelphia (left)

Occupation: Photographer/ Coffee shop supervisor

Malcolm Kyle of Philadelphia

Instagram: @marcmystyle, @0rtist

Marc: “I was supposed to have a Persian-inspired look with the high waist and everything kind of tailored. I was going to have a beret for a Black Panther effect, but I ditched it at the last minute because I wore it yesterday. It took a lot to bleach this hair.”

Kyle: “My look kind of came from his first look. Our friend designed our harnesses, so I found a piece to go with my second-day [outfit].”

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Laura Dee of New York

Rasu Jilani of New York

Instagram: @theelauradee, @rasupreme

Dee: “We’ve been coming to Afropunk ever since the very beginning. We’ve never missed one. [We continue to come] because of the diversity, the entertainment, of course, just beautiful people, and it’s become such a show.”

Jilani: “In the beginning it was punk, and punk by definition is anti-everything. I grew up punk. … [But Afropunk] looks different now. When we were here [13 years ago], we were out here mosh-pitting. Now, people are out here peacocking. [But] beyond the phenomenon of Afropunk, [I’m interested in knowing] how authentic are you in black life? How often are you decolonizing your mind, body and spirit every day and not just at Afropunk.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Kojo Ade of New York

Occupation: Cultural anthropologist

“I always dress like this. This was a gift that was brought to me from the country of Niger, West Africa.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Jordan Brooks of Philadelphia

Occupation: Sales

Instagram: @imjbrooks

“My look is all about a statement. Don’t look over there. Look at him. He’s making a moment. [Also], I’m naturally a blond, so I was like, let’s try pink today.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Jewel Jones of New York

Occupation: Model

Instagram: @_doublejaay

“I was going for a monochromatic look. Bright green and very vibrant to match my personality.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Jazmin Wilson of Minnesota

Occupation: Wardrobe Stylist

Instagram: @shaebyday

“I just went to coachella and I loved the outfits and everything, so I knew this was going to be another opportunity to dress up. It’s different because with the fashion you can tell that this is true authenticity. With Afropunk you can tell everyone comes with their own individual style. As for Coachella, I felt like people were trying to fit into a look. I’m a wardrobe stylist so this for me is very inspiring. I felt like my outfit was going to show out the most, but there’s so many ideas here. I can’t wait to come back next year to bring it even better.”

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Jahsiah Belle of Florida

Occupation: Fashion marketing student

Instagram: @jahsiahx

“I don’t even know what inspired my look. The skirt started it all. I bought it from a thrift store. I like to come to Afropunk to see everyone’s outfits. I love fashion.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Watson Mere of Florida

Occupation: Painter

Instagram: @artofmere_

“When we gather in celebration like this, our ancestors are celebrating as well because their descendants and children are gathered together and are taking away the European side of them that has been molded into their brain. They are able to express themselves in the way that they originally did in our African culture.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Gabsoul of New York

Occupation: DJ and Afropunk performer

Instagram: @gabsoul_

“Afropunk is like the black Woodstock, so to speak. It’s like a mecca. I’m from New York and this is a very unique festival with a core of black people.

“I’m wearing a brand called Uniquely Wired. I was going for freeness, obviously there’s a lot of crystals, so there’s energy flowing through me right now.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Akira Rush of New York

Occupation: Yoga instructor 

Instagram: @organicroyalty

“When Mother Nature gave birth to a unicorn. That’s what I’m going for. I made these earrings, this bouquet and I did my hair.

“I’ve been wanting to come here for five years. It’s the first time I’ve seen this much black excellence in one place. It’s exceptional.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Donovan Vega of New York

Occupation: MTA conductor

Instagram: @santovoodoo

“I’m Puerto Rican. This is a cultural mask that has Taíno and West African influence. The story goes, they used to wear this in the carnival in the 1700s in Spain to celebrate when they got rid of the Moors. When they came down to the islands, they started wearing it as a ... you to the Spaniards. I wanted to do this and put more of a contemporary touch on it.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

JaQuam Mitchell of Louisiana (left)

Kenneth O’Veil of Texas

Occupations: Fashion designers

Instagram: @mitchellbyjaquam, @the_malibu_ken

Mitchell: “My look is inspired by water. [I wanted] to be fluid.”

O’Veil: “I was inspired by Afrofuturism.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Viorel Tanase of New York

Occupation: Model

Instagram: @classin_

“My outfit was last minute but I kept it fashion. I found this crown on the floor and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put this on and act like I planned it.’

I dress very simple, but I really like my hair to pop. I want people to focus on my hair more than anything else.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Deja Singh of New York

Occupation: Student

Instagram: @superafrosaiyan

“Many people refer to me as a beam of sunlight like my energy. So I just wanted to make sure that I was that image.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Wanda Grant of Washington, D.C.

Chauncey Moore of Washington, D.C.

Moore: “I usually come with my son, and his friends who used to have a tent here called Very Black, but they’re not doing it this year. I’m wearing their button. This is the first cross, which was a perfect four … This is out of Ethiopia, Africa.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

David Webb of New York (left)

Errol Haase of New York 

Kimani Mitchell of New York

Instagram: @davidwebb84, @callmeerry

Occupations: Private baker, stylist/tailor and entrepreneur  

Webb: “My look is African royalty-themed. I actually took inspiration from Lil’ Kim in ’97 when she had the boob out, and since Errol likes to wear mesh and Kimani likes to wear pretty much see-through, I brought them together. It was a last-minute look. My pants were custom made. I saw these joggers, and I went to fabric store and made this. It’s all inspired by Lil’ Kim. That’s mother.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Soulflower Amn of Massachusetts (left)

Saraphym Wright of Massachusetts

Occupations: Artists

Instagram: @soulflower777, @saraphymmm

Amn: “It means everything to me having my daughter here. My joy comes from her joy, so I think her answer would be the same as mine. She wants to see reflections of herself in beauty, spirituality and culture. It empowers her.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Yaaserwaah Akuoku of New York

Occupation: Designer

Instagram: @haus_of_yba

“I design a piece every Afropunk and I focus on a new topic each time. This piece is actually inspired by my thoughts around just womanhood and overt sexiness because I feel, like, for a long time, even though things are changing, there was this stark distinction between women who are intelligent and classy and just quality and women who are comfortable in their sexuality. Growing up and becoming a woman myself, I feel like I don’t understand that because women are human beings, and we’re hormonal. And it’s natural and beautiful. It’s really sad when some women feel like they have to hide that side of them to be respectable women.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown)
Afropunk attendees stole show

Cynthia Wells of New York

Occupation: Works in child welfare

Instagram: @iamcwells

“I love wearing vintage pieces. I already owned this jumpsuit. I enjoy the fashion at Afropunk because you can see everything. It’s on a continuum and things you don’t see every day. People express themselves to the fullest.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Crystal Anderson of South Carolina

Occupation: Operations manager

Instagram: @beerbottles_chainsaws

“In this climate, Afropunk is the one time that black folks can do what they want to do and be appreciated, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do the most. A really beautiful designer, Emily Ridings, who won Parsons school of design contest this year, created this dress for me and shipped it from Kentucky. I saw something similar she created, so she made another one for me just for Afropunk. Afropunk is everything. It’s our Met Gala.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Corwin Joseph of New York

Occupation: Freelance model and makeup artist

Instagram: @corwinofthrones

“I am into kink, so I feel, like, in the spirit of Afropunk, this is always a festival for queer blackness and unapologetic blackness, and I shouldn’t feel the need to be hindered or feel some type of way.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Patrick Chen of New York

Shenzi Udell of New York

Occupations: Photographer/videographer and illustrator

Instagram: @purtypat, @silkymami

Udell: “Being from the Dominican Republic and seeing how detrimental racism is within the country, I just really wanted to grasp my Afro roots. I designed this pattern. My look was inspired by hibiscus flowers.”

Chen: “I was just trying to match her. She surprised me with tickets on Friday.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Britt Fillmore of Ohio

Occupation: Retail manager

Instagram: @brittrfillmore

“My look was inspired by body positivity. I love the fact that my body isn’t perfect, and it’s not ideal. But I just embrace it. I don’t really do anything to stress myself out about my body. I’m also about embracing, expressing yourself and showing off your personality.

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Amanda Cunningham of New Jersey (left)

Erin Mclin of New York

Occupations: Engineer and executive assistant

Instagram: @eccentric_beauty

Mclin: “Each year we have a theme for our outfits. This year, the theme of the festival is the People Resist. So, her [outfit] represents the past, the pain, the struggle and the blood and tears. Mine represents the future, which is the light and the clearness. We’re connected because you can’t have the future without the past.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
Afropunk attendees stole show

Ali Stewart of Florida

Occupation: Designer 

Instagram: @alithecreator

“This is my fourth time attending Afropunk. There’s great networking opportunities for creatives and I just love it. You get a lot of opportunities coming out here.”

 

 (Kailyn Brown )
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