Keeping it all the way 100… It’s no secret that we got the juice, the squeeze and the magic!…
African-American influence and culture is a part of so much that you see in fashion, that it almost makes you wonder where fashion would be if it weren’t for the hefty amount of our cultural impact placed into the industry. Think about it! What would fashion even look like if the world was never introduced to brands like, Cross Colours, FUBU, or for that matter, Yeezy Season? Would the cool and amazing trends, that we all see and know so well, have ever emerged?
Would there be another nation of people brave and creative enough to bring them out? With all of the vile occurrences happening around us as of late, leading the African-American community to wonder whether or not we are being exterminated as a people, EGL felt it necessary to react. If the idea is to erase us, you’d better believe we aren’t bowing out without leaving our side of the story on style! So, for this post, we are providing you with eight of the largest fashion trends, created by African-Americans that sent the world into a “gotta have it” frenzy.
Kicking things off with our number eight selection is a trend that emerged and immediately sparked like wildfire!
8. Beads and Braids
Placing beads at the very ends of braided hair is an African trend that was started ages ago. African-Americans quickly picked up on this craze and modernized it a bit by using beads of assorted colors and shapes. The trend was so dope that everyone couldn’t resist jumping in on it.
Even celebrities wanted to get in on the action! Stars ranging from jazz pianist, Patrice Rushen to television actress Bo Derek, stylishly rocked the look with pride, in turn making it a style staple of the 80’s.
Next up, was a super fun and creative trend that originated within the hip hop community. It allowed for fun expression of style and flexibility for customization.
A fad created in the streets, somehow made its way to the celebrity level and from there, quickly took off! Within no time at all, you’d see artists from LL Cool J to Vanilla Ice wearing the look in music videos, movies and television shows. It was everywhere! There was just no escaping it…
Number six on our list is a trend that still exists to this day and is one that we believe will probably never die out.
6. Backwards Hats
Recalled from the classic days of hip hop royalty, we remember seeing Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy sporting this look in music videos and at parties!
It didn’t take long for this cool trend to make its way around the globe! People from all ethnicities and backgrounds were soon doing it and it rapidly became a way of life for hat lovers, EVERYWHERE! If your hat wasn’t on backwards, then you weren’t wearing it right. #FACTS!
Number five on our list is a popular group of African-American designers who surprisingly influenced the fashion industry in a major way.
5. Cross Colors, FUBU and Karl Kani
These designers and design companies were initially frowned upon in fashion. The urban look and feel to their clothing was snubbed by bigger design houses, such as, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss. To them, the likes of Cross Colours, FUBU and Karl Kani, simply was NOT fashion! Well, they were wrong! Cross Colours, FUBU and Karl Kani opened the door to a new and fresh genre of style… High-end streetwear.
These designers took a different approach to fashion and created clothing for a newer generation and how they perceived style. It was relatable, it had edge, and it was affordable and easily obtainable. With all of these qualities at the forefront of creation, there was no way they would fail! And, lo and behold… These brands were a hit and became overnight success stories!
Our number four fashion item is the bandana!
In earlier days, these handkerchiefs were used by cowboys, pirates and railroad engineers, as sweat cloths and skin protectors from dirt and the sun. But, as time carried on, African-American trendsetters reintroduced the item into wardrobes, in turn reinventing its main purpose.
No longer just a utility item, bandanas soon evolved into the cool accessory for any outfit that was a must have piece for the wardrobe. We extended the color ways and sizes, making the style article even more versatile and multi-dimensional. Wearing a bandana was just as common as wearing a tee shirt. Your outfit just wasn’t complete without one.
Which brings us to our number three trend…
Everyone may have rocked a dreadlock or two if you didn’t have a comb handy. Without separation of the hair, the strands become tangled and start to “lock” up. With coarser, untamed hair, the likelihood of locking happening was a lot easier. Rastafarians embraced the term and gave it a bit more style by renaming it dreadlocks. African-Americans got wind of the flavor and finessed the treatment of the trend by cleanly sectioning hair into smaller sections and neatly twisting the hair until it locked up. After each section was dreaded, the hair was then styled!
This treatment was so cool that everyone wanted to try it out! As years progressed, you’d see people from all walks of life sporting them and no matter who it may have been, either way, it was fabulous and fashionable!
Our number two slot holder goes to a trend birthed by none other than one of the most creative entities of our generation, Kanye West.
2. Shutter Shades
This fad sent the world spinning out of control! If you didn’t own a pair, then, you’d better have a good excuse as to why. They were a sensation that emerged after the release of Ye’s Late Registration album sending the world into a “gotta have it” frenzy.
People ranging from celebrities to your favorite granny owned a pair and they were seen, everywhere! Didn’t matter where you were, or in what capacity you were there for: Proms, amusement parks, college campuses, clubs; you name it and shutter shades were in the building!
Finally, arriving to our number one choice, we selected a newer and more recent trend in style. EGL believes it to be one that will resonate for years and years to come due to its creator and how quickly it erupted in fashion.
1. Yeezy Season
The creative genius that is Kanye West has, yet again, made a huge impact on the style scene with his fashion brand, Yeezy Season.
The distressed yet modernized label, reminding many of a reformed version of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, breaking the internet with its live streaming fashion show and listening preview party. The brand fractured fashion barriers across the globe! Ye has made grunge cool again, revolutionizing the era into a chicer more polished version of it that the world can be proud of, once more!
Tell us how you feel about our top cultural fashion influence picks! And don’t forget to share! Now, remember… Sharing means caring!
Written By: CORINNE “MAVEN” CUTTINO