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Posted under: Fashion Editorial Desk

How Issa Rae's 'Insecure' Makes Political Commentary Through Wardrobe

Powerful black fashion statements on the influential and relatable HBO series.

Since its 2016 inception, HBO's Insecure has garnered a heavy following thanks to its strikingly empathetic script. The eventful lives of characters, like, Issa, Molly, Lawrence and others, have become talking points in our homes, and even on our social media feeds and timelines. We see ourselves, be it entirely or in small ways, reflected throughout the show's juicy scenarios and overall stellar storytelling.

Now, after a successful run of its second season, Insecure has been hitting us heavy with content. In addition to providing us with topics on relationships, lifestyle, sex and professional endeavors, we can also add "how to make powerful statements with fashion" to the mix. 

It wasn't until this season of the show that some of us take into account how wardrobe can aide in character development. If effectively done, wardrobe can even be a character entirely on its own. 

HBO
HBO

What's most revered about the political statements made through fashion in Insecure season two is the blatant lack of subtlety. Paralleling the state of our political climate, the show holds no reservation to put messages out solidifying positions in cases where black people are often vilified and murdered. One particular example is Issa's top that plainly reads "FBI KILLED FRED HAMPTON," a nod to the 1969 killing of one of the Black Panther Party's well-known leaders, which was later ruled a justifiable homicide. 

HBO
HBO

Another example is Molly's "TRAYVON" hoodie, commemorating the life of the Florida teen who was murdered on his way home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Yvonne Orji took to her Twitter to inform fans of the show that they can purchase the same hoodie on the We Are Liberated website

For a major network like HBO to give black activism a huge platform like this is, in and of itself, a huge deal. Thinking back to times of extreme censorship of black voices, even at the height of criminalization and the disvalue of black bodies, we've truly come a long way. The wardrobe showcased in Insecure''s second season took a nosedive right into general African-American pop culture. Issa's "The Last Poets" shirt (a hot ticket item) pays homage to some of the first influencers of hip-hop. 

HBO
HBO

The collective of black creatives named themselves after South African poet Bra Willie, and carried out a mission to increase consciousness throughout the African diaspora. The list of emcees who came after that have led masses of inspired listeners of their own, contributing to the overall message of black prosperity. Imagine wearing such a powerful emblem of Black history so fashionably for millions of viewers to see.

HBO
HBO

In the iconic opening statement, as Issa is on date after date, sifting through a sea of potential (or lack thereof), she sports this (hella dope) NIGGAS sweatshirt because, well, men play quite the motif this season for Issa. Her "ho-tation" doesn't go as smoothly as she had intended. Aside from this, while she acknowledges her own flaws and areas which require improvement, it is fundamental knowledge that men come with a heap of problems of their own. 

These were only a few of the season's black power pieces, most of which are available for purchase. Beyond being a style overhaul, character clothing on Insecure have won us all over by being for the culture. Hella lit.

What were some of your favorite statement pieces this season?


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Alfonso believes writing helps him reach his max potential. It is his most creative vein and strongest voice. It's what helps him become anyone he wants to be, and it's the easiest way for him to understand others as well as the world around him. From growing up underprivileged in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to graduating with a BA in Film & New Media Studies under a full-tuition scholarship, Alfonso's greatest skill is knowing how to maneuver in both worlds comfortably. Visit FonzFranc.com.