What is Afro-Sapien? It’s a movement…or so it says on the website. Here is an excerpt from their About Page.
Afro-Sapien consists of a group of individuals that pay homage. Illustrate and reflect on the significant achievements, contributions and successes that have been made by individuals of African descent, including but not limited to African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Asian as well as all other nationalities who appreciate and participate in an “Afro-Influenced” culture.
If you have already checked out their website I know what you are thinking. There is not much there. It must be quite a new company with big plans. On the about page there is mention of hats and hoodies but all I can find are two t-shirts. I guess they are in the works.
Anyway, I am here to review the tee that was sent over by Afro Sapien. The t-shirt is good quality heavy cotton. It feels like it is durable. The tee we were sent and both of the tees in the store are logo tees. As you know, I am not that interested in logo tees but I do like the design here. For a logo it is quite complex and includes the face of a black man or woman that is reminiscent of the 70s. The A in the logo is for the Afro Sapien and uses the ubiquitous Candice font by the look of it. It is the font of choice when you want to give something a retro vibe. I think I have used it a few times myself although I have a feeling I lost it over the years through hard drive failure or new OS or something like that. I do find it interesting that they have male and female versions of their logo. The vector faces alone would make nice tees, that is if you don’t mind have the face of some unnamed stranger on your chest. On the other hand I think that they are supposed to be representing the everyman.
To be honest, I don’t really get the concept. I don’t get a lot of concepts so that in itself is not all that surprising. When I look at something I ask myself, “what does it mean to me?” In this case, a picture of a black man has no meaning for me and I’m not sure I would wear something with a picture of an everyman on its chest. Even if that everyman was very close to my own culture. Basically I wouldn’t wear something like this and I don’t really know anyone in my circle of friends or acquaintances who would. That said, the tees are primarily aimed at the “African-American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Asian” market, none of which I have any real ties to. Not that I am a monoculturist or anything like that. I myself have a celt-asian child. (I wonder has that combination ever been catered to.)
OK, so my verdict? The tees are nice enough and if you happen to be a part of the target culture you may even want to wear them. I think the market is limited. There is a message on the back of the tees too, as you can see above. It is underneath another fairly big logo which to me normally translates as a fairly big reason not to buy the t-shirt. But this is their logo tee so it doesn’t count.
The messages on the tees like “engage your mind” and “life, love and liberation,” are supposed to inspire people to starting “conversation among the generations, across nationalities and across borders” but I think you would have better luck starting a conversation with an “I love lamp” t-shirt. The messages, so far anyway, are too generic and the tees seem to be geared toward one particular culture making them exclusionary rather than inclusive. That’s my two cents. The concept and the website need a bit of fine-tuning.