“It was important for the Museum at FIT to organize this exhibition, because hip-hop — the most influential music genre of our era — has had such a profound impact on the world of fashion,” Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator at 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 expand the understanding of fashion.”
The exhibition begins in the ’70s and is divided into categories including “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 by Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and Dapper Dan and discover how Black and brown youth changed not only the runways but also the culture with their music, message, fashion, beauty and activism. Can’t make it to the exhibition in New York? Snap up the Rizzoli book for a peek into the past 50 years of hip-hop style — and a glimpse of where it’s going in the future.
Teen Vogue senior fashion and beauty editor Karissa Mitchell visited the exhibition and spoke with several visitors including Sola Olosunde, an independent historian who focuses on 20th-century New York City and Black American history. “It was nice to see how hip-hop fashion has evolved over time and the influence my people have had over the world,” Olosunde said. “My personal style is heavily influenced by the early days of hip-hop, so it felt good to see a space where that culture was highlighted.”
Photographer and videographer André “Uncut” Gray also stopped by. “A moment so deserving to many who have paved the way through the decades, molding fashion as we know it today,” he said of his experience. “As a collector, many pieces thrilled me seeing them physically. This is truly one for the books.”