And while there was no rule banning folks from turning up to theaters in basic jeans and tees, countless filmgoers opted to step up their fashion game with sartorial tributes to African style, black power, and the fictional nation Wakanda.
Along with the standard cosplay — masks, costumes, comic book merch — that accompanies the launch of every superhero film, influences spanning the African continent reigned supreme. On the beauty front, there were pleny of braids, Bantu knots, head wraps, and face paint, while outfits featured Ndebele beaded jewelry, kente cloth, and other traditional tribal prints in vibrant colors, kufi hats, and dashikis.
Many fans also took the opportunity to make political style statements with their interpretations of the Black Panther title. Huey P. Newton-inspired berets, all-black ensembles with a touch of Killmonger swagger, and black power poses dominated the cinema scene.
Of course, nothing says commitment like a nod to that other African royal, Prince Akeem from the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, to which — fun fact — the Black Panther cast gave an homage in 2017 with a themed costume party in honor of Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s birthdays. These guys truly are exalted rulers of this land and masters of all they survey.
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