On a hot summer night in August of 1973, DJ Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy, put on a “back to school jam” in the rec room of their apartment block at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the West Bronx. The rest is history. The birth of hip hop rippled out across the globe, influencing music and fashion for generations.
Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style draws on the experiences and memories of those who were there, from a foreword by Slick Rick, to interviews with Disco Fever club owner Sal Abbatiello and designers Dapper Dan and April Walker, to chapters from Vibe stylist Emil Wilbekin and former editor of The Source Kim Osorio. Topics cover the range of hip hop’s influential style over the past half century, tracing the evolution from early hip hop style, born of aspiration, individuality, and practicality to contemporary fashion steeped in luxury brands.
Hip hop style is a local story, told through spotlights on Times Square as an early fashion space, as well as an international phenomenon, shown in the prominence of hip hop fashion leaders on red carpets. Inventiveness, the art of the remix, and a diverse set of influences are consistent themes in sections that examine hip hop style from hair and nails to shoes and sneakers.
Fresh Fly Fabulous is the definitive source for hip hop style, brought to life by the groundbreaking photographers who captured it firsthand, including Janette Beckman, Jamel Shabazz, and Ernie Paniccioli.