Beyond Culture

A-Kay Blog Post

Limited by societal norms and religious restrictions, the Somali community (especially women) has turned into ‘dabster’ improvisers. I mean, you have got to make do with what you have.

Ironically these aforementioned limitations have sparked not only crazy genius creativity but emergence of an era in which this community has not only harmonized culture, religion and fashionable looks but also blended modernized traditional wear with explicit cultural elegance.

Somalis pride themselves in wearing pieces from older times: the guntina (Somali garb) and cultural pieces: the Dirac - also called Baati - one of the most crucial Somali attires. It comes in plain, elegant, ceremonial and fancy designs. Salted originally to be worn at home, the Dirac is currently worn to weddings and events. It is official wear when blended with a blazer and a scarf.

For a community with limited options and expandability, Somali’s have done sensationally with what is accepted within their limits. For instance, inspired by a muted palette they call “desert blossom” two designers of Somali origin; Idyl and Ayaan Mohallim are making air waves with their fashion brand Mataano. The brand is noted for its global sensibility and accent on ready- to-wear elegance.

Comments (5) To comment form

Abdirahman Ahmed Dekow
25th February 2017 Reply

Awesome article. Yearning for more

9th March 2017

Mashaa Allah 

Jamaldine omondi
25th February 2017 Reply

Lovely article

Shilton Diaz
25th February 2017 Reply

Great article, i greatly resonate; the Somali culture is dynamic yet in it's own roots; borrowed from what is within and blended it to finesse and become it's own trendsetter. Way to go; awesome??

Shilton Diaz
25th February 2017 Reply


1st March 2017

Here you go. We now have emojis. 

26th February 2017 Reply

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