Hip hop x fashion

Music and fashion are inevitable. Hip-hop style has been with us since late 70s through 80s, 90s until 2000s and nowadays with rappers being commercial influencers through their music videos and choice of clothing reaching a wide audience, not only the hip hop fans. The evolution of hip hop fashion has been an amazing phenomenon.

In the early times of hip hop emergence, brands like Fila, Adidas, Nike, Puma and Reebok saw a boost by being popularised by b-boys.

Karl Kani, a 90s iconic brand, has successfully combined fashion and hip hop at a high scale by influencing the public while featuring popular rappers like Tupac in its advertisements.

One of the biggest trends thanks to hip hop is the sweatpants. In the 90s sports labels were the only ones selling sweats which were worn to the gym or by rappers whereas today everyone’s selling them from high street like Zara to high-end fashion brands like Balmain!

Today, we can see people as well as it-girls and other personas in the fashion industry wearing them on the streets, giving the sweats a new life by styling them with more elegant and smarter fashion pieces creating sporty chic looks.

The ‘preppy’ look did not exist in the 90s among the rappers. Kanye West said ‘Ralph Lauren was borin’ before I wore him’ in the song ‘Brand New’ ft. with Rhymefest. The preppy look adopted with labels like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren allowed rappers to embrace a more aspirational stand in the hip hop culture.

Nowadays, rappers have a totally different involvement with fashion than in the early days. Who would think back then that they could sit at the front rows at fashion weeks or even running their own fashion label fashion shows like Kanye West?


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  7. Scott, T. (2015). travisscott Pull up and skirt get in the ride. [image] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/6-fYZghUmh/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].
  8. Smith-Strickland, S. (2016). How Rappers Took Over Fashion | Highsnobiety. [online] Highsnobiety. Available at: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/01/15/hip-hop-fashion-history/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].
  9. Youtube, (2009). Rhymefest ft. Kanye West – Brand New. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cx51NbgYMA [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

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