It's sporty and edgy and we love it! Sure, music often influences fashion, but it's undeniable that Hip Hop has had a huge impact on fashion trends for decades.
Hip Hop emerged as a cultural music movement in New York City beginning in the 1970s influencing music, dance, art and ultimately had a huge impact on fashion. In these early days of hip hop, fashion was heavily influenced by street culture, including the styles of African-American and Latino communities within New York City. This period saw the rise of b-boy (breakdancer) and graffiti cultures, which laid the foundation for hip hop as fashion.
The 1980s and 1990s marked the "Golden Era" of hip hop, characterized by the emergence and success of influential musical artists and led to mainstream popularity of the genre. Fashion played a significant role during this period, with rappers like Run-D.M.C. popularizing the "b-boy" look, which included tracksuits, sneakers, and heavy gold jewelry. Brands like Adidas, Puma, and Nike gained immense popularity due to their associations with hip hop artists and their incorporation into hip hop fashion. Logos and designs from these brands became huge fashion statements, and the hip hop community helped solidify their position in streetwear culture. Seeing visual representations in music videos of the time played an important role in shaping these fashion trends for the mainstream audience.
In the 1990s groups like TLC had huge popularity with their meld of hip hop and R&B. TLC embraced the "Baggy" trend, wearing oversized clothing and made an impact on streetwear that rolled over into high fashion brands. They also popularized bright colors, a carry over from hip hop culture that could be seen all over the 90s runways. Oversized, sporty, bright & bold with African inspired prints- these were some of the main trends to conquer high fashion as a direct influence from Hip Hop culture.
In the 1990s the rise of gangsta rap emerged, primarily originating from the West Coast, particularly Los Angeles. Artists like N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg influenced hip hop fashion with their West Coast aesthetic. This style included baggy jeans or overalls, oversized T-shirts or flannels, bandanas, and cornrows. These artists often wore their favorite sports jerseys and starter jackets as fashion statements which became a staple in the streetwear fashion trends of the 90s. The emphasis on luxury items worn by specific rappers brought a distinct style into the mainstream mixing the vibe of wealth with more casual clothing.
What is your favorite style that was influenced by hip hop? SHOP our curated Hip Hop Drop inspired by 80s & 90s Hip Hop Fashion Trends! Thanks for reading!
Special Thanks and Shout Out to Zenon Dance Studio Downtown Minneapolis for offering us to outfit their Hip Hop Dancers! We had so much fun watching them perform in our favorite vintage pieces. Check out more about Zenon here to take classes or see dance performances.