Hip-hop fashion panel in Jamaica

Hip-hop’s influence over the fashion industry is to be explored today, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Central Library in Jamaica.

During the free Black History Month panel discussion and fashion show, guests will have the opportunity to meet authors Elena Romero and Sowmya Krishnamurthy, as well as fashion producer Jackie Love, founder of the J. Love Fashion School of Etiquette.

The library is located at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. and one may call (718) 990-0778 to learn more about the event, which was curated by Ralph McDaniels, the hip-hop coordinator for Queens Public Library.

“Hip-hop fashion started in the early ’80s,” Love said. “The fashion industry didn’t allow urban fashion to be in Fashion Week and we had to make our own fashion shows. Ralph McDaniels did Phat Fashion at a ballroom in Manhattan … and it was huge. He created a platform for urban designers to pave their way.”

McDaniels told the Chronicle that the first Phat Fashion show was held in 1993 at The Supper Club.

“Many of the hip-hop/urban designers were not allowed to participate in Fashion Week,” McDaniels said — which made no sense. “People in the industry would come up with reasons with why they couldn’t get involved. Phat Farm [by Russell Simmons] was able to get in, but that was because they paid to get in, which was not fair, so I created my own space.”

Early designers who were selling but not getting opportunities but were highlighted at Phat Fashion Shows included FUBU and Tommy Hilfiger, said McDaniels, who co-created and co-hosted “Video Music Box,” a hip-hop TV show, which was founded in 1983.

Eventually the shows became more popular than the industry events and guests and models included Mary J. Blige and Tyson Beckford.

“Those were where all the cool clothes were that they actually wore,” McDaniels said. “They went to our shows instead of the tents. Eventually, the tents opened up and other designers started to present those clothes.”

Two weeks ago, McDaniels, who grew up in Queens Village, said he went to a fashion show that featured drill rappers.

“This is where it is right now,” he said. “That is great. I still think that hip-hop has that staying power and futuristic ideals about it and that is where the new designers and creators are going to come from.”

Other early urban fashion houses and designers that had models walk the runway were Cross Colours, April Walker, Karl Kani and Dapper Dan. They opened the doors for others in the industry in the 2000s like Pelle Pelle, Baby Phat, Ecko Unlimited and Avirex, Love told the Chronicle.

“During the panel, I’m going to talk about the industry and I want the youth to know what is going on today,” she said. “I’m going to talk about in detail how to get into the business.”

McDaniels said he is excited about the fashion show produced by Love and to have Romero and Krishnamurthy on the panel.

Romero has a book out called “Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style” and she is also the assistant chair and assistant professor of marketing communications at the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Krishnamurthy is a music journalist with a book out called “Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion.”

“It’s about how hip-hop changed the fashion world,” McDaniels said. “They are both going to be talking about hip-hop’s past, present and future.”

Directly after the panel is the fashion show with music by DJ Stokes.

Designers include Amirah Holmes (Qumara Boutique) of Brooklyn, Luckner Dompierre (Highly Humble) of Westchester County, Hope Blake Wade (Rockland Fashion Week) of Rockland County, Gwendoline Kamara (Lady Black Boutique) of the Bronx, and Shontyce Morrison (I Wear Me) and William Salmon (Bills Boutique) of Queens. Holmes, 12, is to open the show.

The adult models include Keanna Bryant of the Bronx, Taisa Lucas and Sergio Delavicci of Brooklyn, Eustace Collens Jr. of Long Island, Daniel Leid of Westchester and K’Nicia King of Connecticut.

The kid models include Linda Derry and Julian Tramantano of Queens, Kamiyah Smith of Brooklyn, Sariah Thomas of the Bronx, Tynesia Kinloch of Harlem and Pierce Krebs of Westchester.

This post was originally published on this site