Black fashion is one of the most leading influences of our culture and for Black History month how could we not reflect on the impact?
First and foremost, Hip-Hop’s major movement inspired the beginning development of street wear fashion itself dating back to the early 1980’s. These brands ultimately became the foundation for the modern fashion culture now dominating even the pop and high fashion world.
The trends of hip-hop’s popular rappers and influencers from decades ago have been recently seen on the major runways and pages of Vogue – yet given no credit for the inspiration they bestowed. For an example, we all saw when high fashion brand Rick Owens had the du-rag rocked as a part of their Paris fashion week looks.
And with that said, everyone knows exactly where these looks came from.
Now kicking off the new year, a few of these legendary brands – (who are also known as some of the first street wear brands) are now beginning to resurface again in new ads and dope collaborations. Karl Kani, Cross Colours, and Fubu are three authentic urban brands giving signs of a revamp this year and find out why, below!
Karl Kani was created around 1989 in Los Angeles by Brooklyn, New York bred designer Carl Williams – who was inspired to bring unique designs and luxury fabrics to hip-hop after adapting simple tailoring essentials through the purchasing of his own fabrics and visiting his local tailor to develop “fresh fits” for himself that nobody else would have. With an innovative mind for style and a love for hip hop, Carl would transform urban wear in an immense way.
His brand Karl Kani Infinity Corporation was named the most successful African-American owned firm worldwide in 1996 by Black Enterprise; also famously worn by the likes of Tupac and many others, the brand is now resurfacing in Urban Outfitters with pieces like the latest tee sold, below!
Cross Colours clothing brand was also launched in 1989 by Carl Jones with the objective of producing “clothes without prejudices”, later going on to help establish a fashion market based around black youth, also used to spread political and social justice messages that were meant to induce positive & inspiration slogans such as “Stop D Violence” and “Educate 2 Elevate”.
With a real passion for design, Jones studied fashion in college and worked for various fashion enterprises before starting his own. Overall, he excited a lifestyle to broadcast political and social messages that we see frequently done today, still. Known to be worn by stars like TLC – the brand is now sported by the likes of Cardi B and Bruno Mars, as seen on this year’s Grammy show.
FUBU, the youngest of the group was founded in 1992 by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carlton Brown who started their brand with a line of hats in Hollis (Queens), New York. With a financial investment made by South Korean brand Samsung in 1995, FUBU went on to later gross around $350 million in 1998, eventually becoming an urbanwear empire.
Soon after, the brand officially took its efforts overseas, growing its reach to other lines, while still raking in nine figures annually. Revamping to FB Legacy in 2010, eight years later, FUBU has recently re-emerged again with their big Puma collab, as seen below!
It’s exciting to see what has returned this year in Fashion – renowned inspired street style stepping back out to the limelight! Black excellence at its prime makes headway again in the fashion realm with brands who have certainly set a pace for how things are done today; a learned swag that has reached the entire globe.
If you are of the new millennial and love street wear but are unfamiliar with these brands or even where most streetwear style stems from, it’s time to catch up on some quick history!