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Celebrating 50 years of hip-hop style at FIT


“It was important for the FIT Museum to organize this exhibition because hip-hop – the most influential musical genre of our time – has had such a profound impact on the world of fashion,” said Dr Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator. to MFIT, said in a statement, “Furthermore, hip-hop fashion and music are cultural expressions of the African and Hispanic cultural diasporas, which MFIT seeks to amplify as part of our goal to broaden understanding of the fashion.”

Custom nails by Jenny Bui, 2023, Lent by Jenny Bui © The Museum at FIT

Eileen Costa

Jewelry box, Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty years of hip-hop style, Lent by Clemente Moreno AKA Kid Freeze, Jorge “POPMASTER FABEL” Pabon, Elena Romero, Shara McHayle of Hoop88Dreams, Claudia Gold and April Walker for Walker Wear. MFIT pieces, donated by Elena Romero and Rebecca Pietri © The Museum at FIT

Eileen Costa

The exhibition begins in the 70s and is divided into categories such as “Designer Dreams”, “High Fashion Does Hip-Hop”, “Hip-Hop in High Fashion”, as well as “Celebrity Style”, “Hip-Hop Glam ,” and “Sports Influence.” You’ll find pieces from Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and Dapper Dan and discover how black and brown youth changed not just the tracks but the culture with their music, their message, their fashion, their beauty and their activism. Can’t make it to the exhibition in New York? Pick up the Rizzoli book for an overview of the past 50 years of hip-hop style – and a glimpse into the future.

teen vogue Karissa Mitchell, fashion and beauty editor, toured the exhibit and spoke with several visitors, including Sola Olosunde, a freelance historian who focuses on 20th-century New York City and the black american history. “It was nice to see how hip-hop fashion has evolved over time and the influence my people have had on the world,” Olosunde said. “My personal style is heavily influenced by early hip-hop, so it felt good to see a space where that culture was showcased.”

Photographer and videographer André “Uncut” Gray also passed. “Such a deserving moment for many who have paved the way through the decades, shaping fashion as we know it today,” he said of his experience. “As a collector, many pieces have thrilled me to see them physically. It really is one for the books.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.