Since its inception in the 1970s, hip-hop has made a mark on culture. One of the main ways is through its impact on style, with hip-hop artists setting trends in clothing, hair, and accessories—all with a dash of swagger and braggadocio.
Who can forget the baggy jeans and oversized shirts from the 1980s and ’90s (or its revival by a new generation of artists in the mid-’00s)? Ever since that first back-to-school party held at the Bronx on Aug. 11, 1973, hip-hop has influenced our culture in ways that surpass melodies and lyricism—and its style has evolved beyond these early examples.
“We have all of these different influences coming into hip-hop fashion over the last 50 years, and it’s really just a huge range of fashion,” said Elizabeth Way, associate curator of costume with the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the co-curator of the institute’s “Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style” exhibit.
Over the decades, hip-hop has fused with luxury brands, as seen with Dapper Dan‘s custom creations and collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Gucci; remixed clothes and given birth to streetwear as we know it, as in the case of the trailblazing trendsetter April Walker; and allowed everyone a chance to be a part a hip-hop scene through affordable, ready-to-wear fashion lines, like Beyoncé and Tina Knowles’ House of Deréon.
“Because it’s such an impactful cultural force and the music becoming mainstream in popular culture in the 1990s, it’s really no surprise that the fashion [of hip-hop] was also going to go mainstream and have a huge impact,” Way said.
Stacker compiled a list of 26 style trends that originated or were popularized in hip-hop, citing Way’s own words while reviewing the history of hip-hop style trends from the ’70s to now.