The Emergence of Hip-Hop

The 1990’s was an interesting, but confusing time for the fashion industry. There were many misconceptions because of the recessionary years of the earlier part of the decade, so people were caught up in the luxury of consumerism and consumption. However, the most influential part of the decade was the fast pace of the music industry.

Genres such as rap, garage, R’N’B and reggae thrived and reached out to new audiences. However, hip-hop music became increasingly popular as the 1990’s surpassed, especially in England’s capital, as it was full of young, fashionable people. Popular hip-hop artists included Run DMC, MC Hammer and Big Daddy Kane.

This music targeted a specific demographical audience and hip-hop music in particular had a generic subculture that surrounded it. When hip-hop went mainstream across Europe and America in 1995, clothing such as baseball jackets, bomber jackets, baggy jeans and tracksuits became popularised casual wear for men and women that enjoyed the musical genre.

We see elements of the hip-hop genre in not only the music industry today, but the fashion industry too.  High street stores such as Topshop and Zara have begun to sell baseball and bomber jackets in order to ‘relive’ the hip-hop era, whilst baggy, ‘boyfriend’ style jeans have been appearing on catwalks from designers such as Junya Watanabe (Ready to Wear S/S14) and Balmain (Ready To Wear S/S14) for several years. This kicked back, relaxed aesthetic has become a stereotypical feature of hip-hop music and the type of fashion that runs alongside it.  Furthermore, baseball hats are worn today by various black American rappers such as Azealia Banks and Kanye West to promote their original style alongside their music, this is mirrored from the 1990’s when artists such as 2Pac and Eminem would wear baseball hats to coincide and be associated with the hip-hop genre. 

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