Wearing a Jersey is more than just showing love to favourite team or club. It can also show your culture and way of life. Getting to know more fashion brands, we discovered a Sportswear brand, Mizizi.
Mizizi meaning “roots” in Swahili, was founded in 2015 by Paakow Essandoh. Inspired by the African culture, he are promoting the African pride with his Sportswear brand.
The Mizizi brand is exhibiting many African countries as well as some other American countries in their wears. Expanding into soccer, basketball and hockey jerseys. According to Paakow Essandoh : “Mizizi is a Celebration of identity.”
In an interview with Vogue, he speaks about his inspiration and also gives credits to his team, Temi Thomas, Rebecca’s Antwi, Kwesi Yanful, Ken Obeng, and Mizizi Mama for the success so far.
Here is an extract from the interview ;
On the inspiration behind the brand
Going from Texas to Florida was a complete culture shock to me. In Texas, there’s a lot of Africans—in Florida, there’s not so much. It was really hard for me to connect with the different groups of Black people out there.
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in a really whitewashed city, and I completely shunned my African culture. The fact that I’m able to reconnect with it now, and show off where I’m from, it’s empowering.
On Mizizi being more than just a jersey brand
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.
On the brand design and aesthetics choices
I play sports, but I can’t say that I was ever good at them. The [sport] aesthetic was a way to connect American culture with African culture in a more modern way. We had an Africa jersey that had all the flags on it to be inclusive for everybody. And not just African flags—it had Caribbean flags on it too. When I was doing my research, I figured out that each of those countries have the biggest enclaves of populations within the United States. It seemed like the best way to approach the [U.S.] market would be to reach these base communities.
See more photos from the brand below :
Photo Credits : MIZIZI
Get the whole interview on Vogue