From Che Guevara to the Black Panthers, it’s been an eternal symbol of revolution and counterculture. Now the beret is back as a symbol of black power, with activists and celebrities donning the soft-round hat for interviews and photoshoots.
As Black History Month began this (month), Ashley Banjo from the dance troupe Diversity gave his first interview after the group’s Black Lives Matter-inspired Britain’s Got Talent routine to British GQ in a tightly pulled beret. Adwoa Aboah wore one on the cover of British Vogue’s September issue, standing next to the footballer Marcus Rashford as part of the Activism Now special. And Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors was photographed in a beret for American GQ’s October issue.
According to fashion shopping platform Lyst searches for the hat are up by 41% week-on-week.
“The beret is iconic within the Black Panther movement and was worn as a sign of revolution,” explains Angelo Mitakos, the stylist who created Banjo’s look for the shoot. “We wanted to do justice to a powerful group of activists and by wearing the beret we felt there was a subtle nod.” In the photos, Banjo is wearing signet rings from Johnny Nelson featuring the faces of the civil rights activists Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King. “It felt only right that we gave a nod to the Black Panther movement for the change they have brought to the modern world,” he says.