Hip hop, since 1980s, was able to influence fashion and attitude among its followers. One of the successful descendants of hip hop was the emergence of urban wear or clothing. For the past years, personal style and clothes speak about the person wearing it. It has become more than clothes but more of an attitude and culture.
Twas the 80s
It was 80s when the world witnessed hip hop and its fashion. The early half of the decade was ruled with tracksuits, bomber jackets, sneakers with oversized shoelaces, large eyeglasses, name belts and multiple rings for accessories. Jewelries for men are usually in heavy gold chains while it is large gold earrings for women.
In the late 80s, MC Hammer style was one of the biggest fashion influences during this time. Remember his blousy pants? Most of the clothes and accessories during this time are largely influenced by the African culture. Different hip hop artists were wearing and promoting such designs.
90s: Entering the New Decade
It was more of a continuation the 80s fashion. But new fashion trends still emerged during this period like bright colored baseball caps, oversized shirts for women, pants, starter jackets, and sneakers. Eventually, brands and designers were already showing their hip hop designs.
High fashion was not excluded from the urban influence. Isaac Mizrahi, a known high fashion designer and now creative director for Liz Claiborne, was among those who showed hip hop and urban influence in their fashion lines. This just showed that urban clothing could cross cultural and socio-economic barriers.
Soon enough, another change in urban fashion happened. Many were wearing silk shirts, double breasted suits and alligator skin shoes as an influence of classic gangster movies. Clothing brands like Tommy Hilfiger who were selling sportswear also became popular. Other brands became associated with great urban and hip hop clothing like FUBU, Reebok, Adidas, Ecko, Rocawear and a lot more.
Before men and women were sharing their passion for loose and baggy clothes. During the 90s, women urban fashion was becoming more feminine and body hugging. Urban clothing brands were now focusing on women and how to accentuate their femininity with hip hop touch.
The New Millennium
Nowadays, urban clothing has fully crossed barriers. It has become popular not only in the United States but also in different countries. Rappers and hip hop artists are not the only people who are wearing urban clothing. Even successful businessmen and influential people are seen sporting casual urban look. Currently, urban designs are retracing its roots, since most current fashion are trends since the 80s and 90s.
Urban outfit has become accessible since numerous brands have emerged. Not only can it be bought in ground stores, but online stores are providing consumers choices which cost lower. Common critique on urban and hip hop fashion and accessories is that it could be very expensive. There are hip hop artists who are trying to don simple and not that expensive urban wear to make a statement against materialism.
Urban wear could have changed much over the years, but one thing remains: showing yourself and identity through clothing. Expensive accessories and clothes is not what urban wear is, it is about attitude.