While we await the highly anticipated Universal Hip Hop Museum coming to The Bronx in 2024, there’s another way we’ll get to satisfy our hip hop craving!
The Museum at FIT (MFIT) recently unveiled their newest exhibition Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style.
The largest and most comprehensive exhibition to explore hip hop, this exhibit celebrates the birth of the genre and its influence on fashion over the past five decades.
“Born in the Bronx in 1973, hip hop was the invention of Black and Brown youth who created an innovative style of music, dance, and visual art that spoke to their lifestyles. Within two decades, hip hop had spread beyond the borders of New York City to impact international culture,” reads a press release.
“Artists and fans have used fashion to embrace historic glamour, convey messages of Black pride and activism, and express their individuality and unapologetic style.”
Over 100 garments and accessories that capture the pivotal moments in hip hop fashion’s evolution will be on display for hip hop lovers to browse.
From iconic jackets to sought-after sneakers, visitors who stop by will get a close-up look at iconic fits worn by beloved hip hop artists such as Missy Elliott, LL Cool J, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Lil Nas X, Chuck D, Aaliyah, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Pieces designed by Dapper Dan, April Walker, Cross Colours, Karl Kani, Sean John, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Versace, among others, will also be on display.
The exhibit begins with an examination of the early club venues where hip hop styles were showcased and the media that utilized fashion as a vehicle to promote hip hop artists and ideas.
It concludes with a Celebrity Style section that examines the personal and stage style of trendsetting artists, as well as a HipHop Glam section that illustrates the worldwide impact of hip hop artists as red carpet fashion icons in the 21st century.
The exhibit focuses primarily (but not exclusively) on the evolution of hip hop style in NYC as well as its relationship with the fashion industry, and it marks the first time that the museum has examined fashion exclusively through one musical genre.
“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,” notes Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, MFIT.
“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,” Steele added.
So grab your Kangol hats and Timberland work boots and head to this exhibit before it closes.
The exhibit is free and open to the public, and is running now through April 23, 2023.