Hip Hop's Influence in Fashion

During the 1980's Run DMC had a huge impact on making shell toe Adidas a trend, the MC who was a fan of the shoe spiked sales in the company and in return was offered a one million dollar deal. This was the start of Hip-Hop getting major endorsements from large corporations. Not only did shell toe Adidas spark a trend in the culture of the world, it fed Hip-Hop's style which continued to evolve and thus came forward thick gold jewelry, Kangol bucket hats and large eyeglasses.

While Hip-Hop continued to grow in the fashion world, Russell Simmons kept his eyes on rappers clothing purchases. He noticed their gravitation towards labels like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. The mogul made a way to capitalize off of the trend, Simmons made history by creating the first Hip-Hop owned clothing line "Phat Pharm" prompting rappers like Diddy, Nelly and 50 Cent to follow in his footsteps. ​By the 1990's Hip-Hop was booming with fashion influence and had kids all around the world and inside inner cities dressing to fit the descriptions of their favorite Hip-Hop artist. The increase in popularity prompted designers like Karl Lagerfeld to add a hint of Hip-Hop's culture to his high end fashion collections. In 1991 Channel introduced piles of gold jewelry on their models while promoting their latest fashion designs.


Moving into the early 2000's artist bank accounts grew larger and their fashion went from retailers like Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren to more high end retailers like Burberry, Gucci and Chanel. During this era a terminology was created, and that terminology was "Ghetto Fabulous." This term was used as an expression for showcasing an urban artist's high end lifestyle.​​​​ The Mid-2000s became the throwback Jersey Era and a lot of artists wore an item that made them stand out, that popular item for rapper Nelly in the early 2000's were throwback Jersey's, grills and sweat bands. To this day grills continue to be a popular commodity within the fashion world and is a symbol that has stuck with Hip-Hop's culture to this day ​​​​​​​​​​​​

Camron made pink mink's an emblem of Hip-Hop Culture, when the rapper was spotted making an appearance outside of the Baby Phat runway show, dressed in a furry $5,000 dollar pink mink and a flip phone in hand. During 2004 tall white T's broke out onto the Hip-hop Scene and we can thank Dem Franchize Boyz for that. YEP in my white tee became one of the most popular played songs and fashion trends in Hip-Hop history. While it also had the symbolic reference of drug dealing on corners and gave cops reasons to target people with tall white t's, we can't deny the songs heavy rotation and fashionable influence in America's culture.


9. 2010- began a new era which consisted of Skinny jeans and tighter fitted clothing. In 2010 the Jerk Boyz made skinny jeans and skater clothing cool on a large scale in Hip-Hop and had many of the new comers finding a home in fitted clothing. Fast forwarding to 2014 when rapper and influencer Young Thug broke out into Hip-Hop. Not only did the rapper have a unique sound and approach to music, but he reintroduced a new approach to fashion in the Hip-Hop industry. When first breaking into the scene with bizarre fashion sense many began to bash the rapper saying that he was feminizing hip-hop by his choice of attire. Now and days it seems as though many have embraced his unique sense of style and actually commends him on heightening fashion and its boundaries for Hip-Hop Artist.

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