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“We See You.” That’s the theme of the 2019 Afropunk music festival which started in Brooklyn in 2005 and has since expanded globally to Atlanta, Johannesburg, London, and Paris. “There is power in acknowledgment, a recognition and acceptance that begins with seeing,” Afropunk’s organizers explained in this year’s official press release. “Not at a glance, but with a meaningful gaze, a focus that carries the strength required to build a shared global future and a brave new world.”
In the 14 years since its inception, seeing and being seen has become a quintessential part of Afropunk with festival attendees turning out in over-the-top styles—think golden halo crowns, angel wings, and full-body jewelry—that are nothing short of thrilling. This year’s event was no exception. Held in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park on Saturday August 24 and Sunday August 25, the event’s lineup included FKA Twigs, Jill Scott, Rico Nasty, Tierra Whack (with a special guest appearance by Alicia Keys), Lianne La Havas, Kamasi Washington, Santigold, Gary Clark Jr., Ravyn Lenae, Leon Bridges and many, many more.
Signs throughout the park outlined Afropunk’s ground rules in no uncertain terms: “NO SEXISM. NO RACISM. NO ABLEISM. NO AGEISM. NO HOMOPHOBIA. NO FATPHOBIA. NO TRANSPHOBIA. NO HATEFULNESS. NO TRUMPISM.” Instead, “YES TO LOVE. YES TO BLACK. YES TO WOMEN. YES TO QUEER. YES TO FLUIDITY. YES TO IMMIGRANTS. YES TO FREEDOM.” And yes to a safe space for wearing whatever the hell you want. Ahead, some of Afropunk 2019’s best looks.