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Re-Imagining Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca

In the seventh episode of Re-Imagining: Movie Icons, The Africa Channel and Vanichi magazine re-imagined Humphrey Bogart into a modern African masculinity that is both cool and fierce at the same time.

The Humphrey Bogart Look

Casablanca was one of the memorable movies released in the Fashionable Forties when the effects of the World War didn’t dampen the style and glamour of Hollywood. In an era of spies, wars, and espionage, men of that era still managed to make an iconic statement with trench coats, dinner suits, tuxedos, silk ties, and handmade fedora hats.

This style was a welcome evolution of the big oversized cuts that characterized fashion in the 30’s: big suits, big pants, big prints, and big colors.

During the war, the strict regulations placed on men clothing set the pace for the fit and trimmed look of fashion in the forties. Also, wartime clothing had a big effect on men fashion in the forties. For example, the trench coat is known to have originated from the military clothing used in the Second World War.

Like their counterparts, women clothing was strictly regulated. This regulation led to the creation of standard clothing free from the excesses of fashion in the thirties. It also led to the creation of smart fitted dresses for women.

In that era, women trended with skirt suits, waist belts, nylon stockings, wrap dresses, pin up dresses, full skirts, evening jackets and of course pants.

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart takes on the role of Rick Blaine, a cynical brooding nightclub owner who must choose between his love for an old flame and helping her fugitive husband escape. Apart from Bogart’s stellar acting, Bogart is also remembered for his love for fitted trench coats, fedora hats, squared pocket handkerchiefs, white tuxedos, and tailor-made two-piece suit.

Humphrey Bogart’s look is charming and gentlemanly. And even decades later, this look is still a common fashion staple for most men with classic elegance.

The Model

Jaway Nyaforh was excited in creating a re-imagined look of Humphrey Bogart. In his words, “being from Africa, I always like to see how others try to interpret what Africa is all about”

For Jaway, African fashion is bold, colorful, sexy and fierce. The editors of Vanichi chose Jaway for his modern masculinity which the editor in chief describes as manly and cool without being condescending.

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Re-Imagining Humphrey Bogart

The re-imagined Humphrey Bogart is a fusion of demure manliness and vibrant African style.

The fashion creators of Vanichi dressed Jaway in a purple Ankara shirt designed by Obioma. The shirt was matched with a light brown trench coat and a nude fedora hat to recreate Bogart classic demure elegance.

For a twist, a scarf with vibrant pops of red, green and yellow was added to give a bold African style. This scarf accurately captured the assertiveness of a typical African male.

Coupled with the demureness of Bogart style, the re-imagined Humphrey Bogart is demure yet assertive, masculine yet cool, manly but not condescending.

All 10 episodes, plus a bonus overview, are currently available on The Africa and Demand Africa.