Fresh Dressed|A Look at Hip-Hop and Fashion

Originally published on MIChronicle.com.

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Hip-Hop music has long been a voice of social injustices, economic strife, and a cornerstone of fashion inspiration. The recently released documentary, Fresh Dressed, directed by Sacha Jenkins and produced by rapper Nas, takes us back in the day to where hip-hop started, and its evolution in the fashion world.  What is fresh, in relation to fashion?  Fresh is fly, in style, dope, and as we often say, “on point”.  Hip-hop artists would take fashion trends from different places, add their own flair, and make them popular by rocking them in their latest videos, advertisements, and performances, ultimately exposing the world to a new take on style.

The documentary spotlights popular trends and brands like graffiti denim, fat laces, Adidas, Puma, Cazal, and Kangol.  While the artists and fans influenced by the culture of hip-hop put their own flavor (what we would call swag today) on clothes from popular designers, they were not the targeted demographic.  From this, we can see the rise of urban clothing lines such as FUBU, Sean John, Rocawear, Cross Colours, and Karl Kani.   What these urban brands had in common is that they saw a need, and supplied it.  So much has changed from the late 1980s-1990s.  Oversized baggy clothes were fresh and fly to rock, now fast-forward to the present and everyone is wearing skinny jeans.

Fresh Dressed is a must see documentary for fashion and hip-hop aficionados, alike.  Its blend of animation and commentary from hip-hop artists, and others in the fashion and hip-hop industries, including big Daddy Kane, Diddy, Kid & Play, Swizz Beats, Andre Leon Talley, Marc Ecko, Carl Jones, Karl Kani, Damon Dash, Pusha T, Kanye West and many more, is entertaining and informative.  The trends in fashion and the messages in the music may have changed, but one thing that remains the same is hip-hop’s influence on fashion, and the fervent desire of those of us under that influence to get funky, fresh dressed every time we step out.

Check the documentary out for yourself on Netflix!