Since the birth of jazz and introduction of hip-hop, black culture has played a HUGE role in the shaping of fashion.
Unfortunately, history has taught us that credit isn’t always given where it’s due as quoted in Moguldom documentary, Bleaching Black Culture.
The bleaching of black culture in the fashion realm is prevalent where styles have been borrowed or appropriated for a mainstream audience and all of a sudden it’s the “newest trend.”
Chunky Jewelry: from music artists, such as Big Daddy Kane and the collective Run DMC, were known to rock chunky jewelry over their sweat suits.
Graffiti Art: which is seen as the 4th element of hip-hop.
African Tribal Print: Self-explanatory
Bantu Knots: This hairstyle originated in West Africa and has been used as both a decorative and protective style since the 20th century.
Sneakers on the Runway: Created in 1984, but not released to the public until 2001, Air Jordan became the most popular sports brand ever. You may see them every day on the street, but as of lately the sneaker has made its way to red carpets.
Parachute Pants: MC Hammer Time…..
Mouth Grills: Huge part of fashion in the South. Rappers embraced the underground style in the ’80s and since then its become so mainstream.
Fashion is also a category in which Blacks have made their own unique contributions.
Historically, Black fashion has had a political undertone or essence of rebellion. From black leather and afros to the baggy garb of the gangsta hip-hop movement. Today, Black fashion continues to make a political statement within the Black Lives Matter movement. For example, the Black community can be seen wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts with hoodies.
All of this to say, as much as they say we don’t have any power. We have a pretty big influence over the fashion realm as well as the economy. The power of the black dollar is unbelievable.
Blackness isn’t only skin deep, and it’s not just hair or clothes or music that make us, us. It’s not as if Black people all have one rigid style we can claim to own; we just want it to be known that our influence is what makes fashion what it is today.
But the various ingredients of our unique Black identity are more important than words can even say.