A Fresh, Fly & Fabulous Fashion Movement 50 Years of Hip-Hop Fashion

Tracee Dundas Fashion Editor @fashionablyyoursnola

The Grammy Awards is a music awards ceremony that recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists. The three-hour event is an incredible evening filled with A-list guest, showstopping performances and an array of amazing fashions. This year’s Grammy Awards paid tribute hip-hop; to a genre of music that many thought was a passing fad and would never be accepted by the powers that control the mainstream music industry. Same can be said for hip-hop fashions, both a cultural movement, 50 years in the making.

To understand hip-hop fashions, let’s first look at the origin of hip-hop music. Hip-hop is a culture and art movement that was created by African Americans, Latino Americans, and Caribbean Americans. It was born fifty years ago in the 1970s and 80s on the streets of New York, emerging in the Bronx with block parties where locals gathered to express themselves in the music, dance and fashion. It can be characterized by four key elements: rapping, turntablism, breakdancing, and graffiti. Other elements include historical knowledge of the movement, beatboxing, hip-hop language, and hip-hop fashion. Some of these are argued to be the “fifth element”.

The movement took on a life of its own and it was no surprise so did its fashion. As the music evolved and became global, so did its fashion style. During the 1980, hip-hop icons wore brightly colored name-brand tracksuits, leather bomber jackets, Chuck Taylor All-Stars sneakers, chains, and kangri. This became the fashion code of the industry with many high-end fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci recognizing the opportunity to capitalize on the fashion movement and adapted a new category for their brand that would appeal to this new music movement. Two movement that now dominate mainstream in both music and fashion.

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