The stories behind the iconic celebrities, brands, and images that defined hip-hop style.
On a hot summer night in August of 1973 DJ Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy, put on a “back to school jam” in the recreation room of their apartment block at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the West Bronx. The rest is history. The birth of hip hop rippled out across the globe, influencing music and fashion for generations.
Early hip hop style focused on customization—from spray-painted jean jackets and sweatshirts to creased jeans and fat laced sneakers. Before Louis Vuitton had apparel, Dapper Dan designed his own luxury sportwear in addition to one-of-a-kind looks with the logos of MCM, Gucci, and Fendi. Hip hop’s eclectic style eventually evolved into its own apparel brands, from Cross Colours to FUBU to Sean John, Roc-A-Wear, Baby Phat, Billionaire Boys Club, and BAPE. Sections on individual designers run alongside thematic chapters on stylists, record labels, pink, hairstyles, nameplates, hoops, nails, and sneakers.
Each chapter on hip hop style is illustrated with photographs of performers, entrepreneurs, and iconic pieces. New research from journalists who witnessed the developments firsthand and oral histories from celebrities and designers make Fresh Fly Fabulous the definitive source for hip hop style.
About the Author
Elizabeth Way serves as associate curator at The Museum at FIT and author of Black Designers in American Fashion.Elena Romero serves as assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a correspondent for CUNY-TV's magazine show LATINAS. Slick Rick is an iconic rapper, producer, and trendsetter whose hip hop classic with Doug E. Fresh "La Di Da Di" (1986) helped establish hip hop’s love affair with fashion.