The 1990s and 2000s in Ghana was an exciting time for fashion. It was a time when the fusion of traditional and modern styles created a streetwear culture that was vibrant, expressive, and truly Ghanaian. Today, as I think about those amazing years, I can’t help but dive back into the memories of iconic brands like MKOGH, PKOG, and Blazin Gear that defined the streetwear fashion landscape.
Mawuli Okudjato Ghana (MKOGH) was more than just a fashion brand; it was a movement. In the 90s, this label was synonymous with street style in Ghana. It was edgy, bold, and also African. From graphic tees with powerful Adinkra symbols to kente-inspired caps, MKOGH was all about celebrating Ghana’s rich cultural heritage but in a way that connected with young people.
What set MKOGH apart was its commitment to promoting authenticity. The brand made many different styles of clothing but still catered to fresh pieces for young people. The brand emphasised that Ghanaian youth didn’t have to purchase Western styles to be fashionable. They could be proudly African while being on-trend. MKOGH’s pieces were statement-makers, speaking volumes about cultural pride and individuality.
I remember my pink MKOG scrunched top I bought at their store while it was on sale and wore it till it could be worn no more. Brands like MKOG really inspired me into starting my own brand. They showed me that the ready-to-wear model was something the country needed.
PKOG brought a different flavour to the streetwear scene. This brand was all about casual, everyday wear with a Ghanaian twist. Think comfy, stylish T-shirts Ghana flag colours in designs and patterns, or polo shirts with fun graphics and popular phrases that young people could relate to. PKOG’s ethos was rooted in the idea that fashion could be relatable and wearable by anyone.
PKOG also took streetwear to B2B. At the height of the brand’s popularity they were producing sportswear for schools and other institutions. A lot of schools in Ghana trusted them because the brand was already on the lips of the students and so it was definitely a value add. I remember receiving a PKOG T-shirt from my faculty in university when I was in my first year. Unlike the boxy t-shirts the school was used to giving this was a stylish feminine cut tee that was very flattering to wear. Indirectly PKOG showed me that scaling was possible in the Ghanaian fashion industry and learnt a lot from how they approached the business.
Blazin Gear was the true definition of the urban streetwear movement. It celebrated the hip-hop and street culture that was taking the world by storm in the 90s. This brand offered a mix of graphic hoodies, t-shirts and accessories that resonated with the emerging hip-hop generation in Ghana.
Blazin Gear’s influence extended beyond clothing; it was a cultural phenomenon. It played a crucial role when Ghana was climbing its peak in international football. Blazin Gear took advantage of the euphoria that Ghanaians had when the country hosted the African Cup of Nations as well as when Ghana played in the World Cup for the first time. The brand’s famous red, gold, green and black colours sat perfectly when anyone wanted an outfit that said, “I am a proud Ghanaian”. In true streetwear style, Blazin Gear didn’t just make clothing. They had some pretty interesting accessories as well and I remember owning one of their keychains.
The Legacy of 90s and 2000s Ghanaian Streetwear
Looking back at these fun brands from the ’90s and 2000s, it’s clear that they were more than just clothing labels. They were symbols of a generation that was finding its voice, celebrating its roots, and embracing global influences. These brands challenged norms and reshaped fashion in Ghana, proving that local brands were not only reserved for the older generation. I remember very clearly that after the streetwear boom in Ghana many people around me begun to understand my vision of setting up a ready-to-wear brand that was pocket friendly.
Today, most of these streetwear brands have either stopped operations or have moved on to other aspects of fashion. Ghana, like most countries, was hit by heavy competition from cheap Chinese products that saw the streetwear movement die out. There are some new brands that emerged over the years like Free The Youth, Tribe Of God and 2 Cedi.