Music has always had an incredible influence on fashion, with trends that have filtered into our everyday wardrobes. One of the musical genres that has had one of the greatest impacts on fashion, especially over the last few decades, is hip hop. Emerging from the Bronx in New York City, hip hop culture has well and truly gone global, inspiring designers and fashion brands to bring street style to the runways.
In this article, we’ll explore the main influencers of hip hop fashion and the trends you need to watch out for.
Hip hop fashion influencers
While hip hop has been influenced by street fashion and individuals from across the US and beyond, there are some key people who have really brought it to the mainstream. Here are the top 3:
Back in 1998, American rapper P. Diddy launched his clothing line Sean John. With a style that blended haute couture with street fashion, it was just six years later in 2004 when the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded the Sean John brand the Menswear Designer award. This made P. Diddy the first African American to receive this award.
The brand expanded over the years, with P. Diddy adding a perfume line in 2008 called “I Am King”. It’s also had marketing partnerships with the NBA and was one of the first hip hop brands to go fully fashion mainstream.
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny the impact that Kanye West has had on fashion. One of the best-selling music artists of all time, Ye has been involved in fashion since early on in his music career, launching his own clothing line in 2006 and his first sneaker collaboration in 2007.
His Yeezy clothing line, first made in collaboration with Adidas took Kanye West to new heights; and he’s continued to impact the fashion world with his own personal style.
Pharrell has been another key player in hip hop’s influence on fashion. It was back in 2005 that he first partnered with Nico to create Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear. He’s since designed sneakers in collaboration and Adidas, and in 2023 it was announced by Louis Vuitton that he has been appointed their Creative Director.
Top fashion trends
Want to bring the influence of hip hop to your wardrobe? Below are some of the top fashion trends, from stacked denim jeans to tracksuits inspired by the genre.
Who can forget Missy Elliot’s velour, or the track suits worn by Jay-Z? While tracksuits were certainly popular from the 80s to 2000s, they’re making a comeback with the rise of Y2K nostalgic fashion — and even Juicy Couture is coming back in style.
In the 1980s, hip hop artists were often seen sporting bucket hats including from the Kangol brand. Associated with LL Cool Jand Run-D.M.C, Kangol hats were a fashion trend that seem to return every few years.
Hip hop style has long been associated with oversized clothes. The baggy silhouette popularised in the early 2000s shifted the way that fashion thought about tailoring and how people dress and has continued to impact the trends that come up today.
Blending streetwear with luxury brands
One of the key impacts of hip hop on fashion was the blending of streetwear with luxury brands. In the years that runway and high fashion ignored streetwear, some of the biggest celebrities and musicians brought it to their looks, and even created their own designer brands in the process.
For as long as there is a Hip hop scene within the music industry, there will be a style influenced by it. Although it may differ and evolve throughout time, the concept of the style will remain the same.
What will be the next style trend to evolve from Hip Hop?