This year ‘s dress code is taking a different stride down the catwalk in the hip-hop world. Today’s fashion focuses less on trends and more on individual style.
The worlds of fashion and hip hop first collided in the 1980s when designers such as Tommy Hilfiger reached out to hip-hop stars and artists to began a love triangle with brand names. Also during that time, the rap group Run DMC released, their known single "My ADIDAS."
As the years progressed, music stars focused on releasing albums, as well as discovering their own clothing lines. Becoming fashion designers for them meant less focus on runway fashion and more on the fashion of musical artists.
In 1992, Russell Simmons, a major hip-hop pioneer, began Phat Farm-men’s sportswear, cologne, deodorant, sneakers, outerwear, hats, undergarments, women’s sportswear and children’s sportswear.
Another hip-hop artist to start a fashionable trend was Sean Combs, better known as "P. Diddy." Combs, who is credited with releasing some of the greatest music that individuals listen to, accomplished his goal of bringing hip-hop entertainment and fashion together with his men’s line, Sean John. After Sean John made it big, Combs’ fame and fortune brought a major shift in the world of fashion.
Hip-hop moguls today are creating patterns in the industry. A decade ago, hip-hop artists consistently were decked out in Timberland footwear or Tommy Hilfiger apparel, rapping about these brands in their lyrics. Now, it’s about shutting out attending fashion shows and pushing for their own.
After P. Diddy launched his line in 1998, more performers starting jumping on the bandwagon with producing their own lines such as Master P., Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Outkast and Jennifer Lopez. They began developing apparel outfits that target the youth. The release of rapper, LL Cool J’s album, The Good Life, launched the FUBU line. LL Cool J wore a red baseball cap with the FUBU logo. At that time FUBU targeted most of the young males interested in the hip-hop culture. In 1999, Damon Dash founded the known Rocawear line, which includes men’s, women’s and children’s sportswear. Many individuals who interest themselves in the hip-hop world moved away from their individual styles, and picked up the celebrity trends.
Now in 2004, fashion has taken another route. The loose, oversized clothing, basketball jerseys, doo-rags, baggy jeans and long gold chains accented with crosses are out of style. Through videos shown on both MTV and BET, suburban America has caught on to the hip-hop trend. Urban fashion has never been an easy market to break into, however, with celebrities and music stars now bringing their own styles to the market, the process has become a lot easier. It’s all about mixing and matching to create a stylish look.
From Usher’s blazer paired with blue jeans, and tennis shoes to Jay-Z’s button down collar shirts paired with blue jeans and a pair of dress shoes, this is the style that most males are into.
"It’s a great ensemble that is portrayed on television that I admired alot so I decided to spice up my wardrobe a little bit," said Jovan Thomas, a junior public health major.
"This style brings a new level of maturity to the world," said Chad Bailey, a senior arts major. "This stylish fad has become the most versatile dress wear."
Another rap group, Dem Franchise Boyz, released the single, "White Tees," for the crowds that are more relaxed and prefer the more comfortable wear.
"I wear t-shirts all the time because only a ‘G’ can wear shirts with no labels," said Marchean Crenshaw, a sophomore business management major.
"I have always worn white t-shirts because they are comfortable and I like that style of dress, " said Brandon Carrierie, a junior business management major.
Experimenting with colors is more flattering this year, but in a strong way. The trends that are now on fire send positive messages about women and set a great image. From shoes to shirts, women will surely be dressed to kill with the fashion world. The stylish shoe fetish that is surrounding all shoe departments are the stiletto heels that are mostly seen in female music videos such as Beyonce’s "Crazy In Love," Ashanti’s "Foolish" and Monica’s "You Should Have Known Better."
"I like wearing stilettos because they are very comfortable and I like Beyonce’s style," said Ronika Dunnaway, a junior criminal justice major.
Many music artists wear stilettos with fitted jeans and sexual camis that accent the body. "Silk blouses and jeans are very stylish yet comfortable to me. I see most of the stars wearing these items, which forced me to go shopping," said Aislyn Lipford, a junior mass communications major.
Aside from the high heels, many music artists are flocking more to colorful pumps or peep-toe high heels that really elongate the legs. On the red carpets these pumps are seen paired with mini denim pleated skirts and fur caplets that are greatly equivalent to Beyonce’s fur wrap worn on the video, "Crazy In Love."
On the sporty side of the new female wardrobe are more textured jackets like tweed accented with jeweled brooches that send a more positive and sophisticated message to many males. These jackets can be paired with long dark denims or even nice dress slacks.
"I like these jackets because I like the sophisticated look alot. I hate wearing the same thing over and over again, " Donnaway said.
Sexy thigh high or knee length boots are also standing out for the fall season. Boots in the past were accented with a big sturdier heel and round toes. These shoes are now pointier, slimmer, and higher, displaying even more sex appeal.
"In the past I was never into the stiletto boot because I did not think they were that appealing but now seeing them on celebrities, I make my way to the stores to shop, shop shop," said Danielle King, a junior business management major.
This delicious confection of a shoe can be paired with both floppy and pencil skirts and the new and improved cropped pants. "This ensemble is very appealing and cropped pants are very sexy and many celebrities are seen in this style on a regular day," said Maigan Francis, a junior mass communication major.
Sultry sisters are also going more into pastels and prints, blending daring styles with unwavering confidence, and psychedelic strap purses that swing freely from the arms.
The stylish fad over the years has progressed from rags to riches. The hip-hop moguls have truly pushed the urban clothing market up the success path.