Pop Style: Asfaw Tafari (Jamaica/Ft. Lauderdale)

Words and Photos by Jahneen

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Welcome back to LargeUpโ€™s street style series, Pop Style. Every other Friday, we talk sartorial shop with the most impeccably dressed men and women of the Caribbean and the diaspora, from familiar faces to everyday people pon di corner. Along the way we intend to show the world what weโ€™ve long held trueโ€”no oneโ€™s got style and swagger quite like the islands.

Asfaw Tafari
Spotted in: Swap Shop, Ft. Lauderdale
Occupation: Communications Director for Mascots International (Miami Carnival)
From: Jamaica via Ft. Lauderdaleย 

Whatโ€™s your inspiration behind the all-white monochrome look?ย 

It definitely goes back to my roots and culture. When you go to the islands, the vibrance of color is very dominant and, as a Jamaican, the use of color is important to me. All white means to be clean, and godly. You wonโ€™t catch me sitting down in dirt.

What does the mesh marina mean to you? ย 

The marina allows you to be kind of out there, while being reserved at the same time. It brings out the soft, and the badman in me. Itโ€™s an all-purpose piece. I can hang with my dupz and bag a girl all in one.

What kind of boots are you wearing? You look like youโ€™re ready to touch the road!ย 

These are some general tactical boots I got from the Army and Navy shop. When I wear these I feel like I can walk through anything. Your eyes, ears, hands, and feet are all ways to your senses, and should be protected. Plus, these are a really good base for putting outfits together.

As a youth, how do you feel about reggae and Jamaican culture being the inspiration behind several American streetwear brands’ recent releases?ย 

Honestly, itโ€™s about time. When you think of a Jamaican, you think of swag. Your confidence, the way you walk, the way you talk; original rude boy style. To see this crossover into the States is a nice homage. It feels good to come from a tiny island and to be so highly respected across the world. Jamaica deserves every bit of recognition.

I see that youโ€™re rocking a dread tail that looks like it comes straight out of the 90โ€™s! Whatโ€™s the significance behind the hairstyle?

Throughout history dreadlocks represented strength and consciousness. My hair is an extension of me and is the holder of my strength. I reference my hair to the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson made a vow to God to never cut his hair. When Delilah seduced Samson and cut off all his hair, he lost his strength and was captured. My hair is my strength.

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Check out Jahneen’s “Buffalo Soldiers” series spotlighting dreadlocks culture in America and her blog, Ghetto Youths USA.

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