“The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion” is a Netflix documentary that highlights the iconic fashion looks of Hip Hop. Ultimately, these Hip Hop looks became a source of inspiration for the fashion industry. However, this association also sparked the influx of the appropriation of Black culture. This influence in the fashion space highlighted the struggle Black artists had with being seen as “urban” in luxury fashion; a struggle many artists still face.
The 90’s merge of high fashion and Hip Hop culture not only started the influence of Black culture in fashion, but also became the foundation of street style and Women’s Fashion that can still be seen today.
“The Remix successfully unpacks the tragedy that unfolded when Hip Hop enters the fashion space.”
One of the main women highlighted when it comes to Women’s Fashion in Hip Hop is Misa Hylton. Hylton was the image architect behind Jodeci, Lil Kim, and Mary j Blige. These three artists were the bases of the shift in fashion during the 90’s. R&B men were dressed in silks, with loose silhouettes creating a romantic touch. However, when Misa styled Jodeci, she completly changed the standards for R&B men by giving these men the same look as rappers. Over sized denim and beanies created a hard exterior, as well as the “bad boy” fantasy.
One of Misa’s greatest successes was Lil Kim. Misa was the stylist behind the music video for “Crush on You”, which featured the iconic purple jumpsuit, and the cover of “Hard Core”. Misa inspired an entire revolution of fashion in Hip Hop alongside Dapper Dan, “Cross Color” and more. The question now becomes: Why are so many people just finding out about Misa Hylton and her impact on Hip Hop?
The Remix documentary successfully unpacks the tragedy that unfolded when Hip Hop enters the fashion space.
“Black artists, like Misa, had no space in the Luxury Fashion Industry.”
When looking back into the relationship between 90’s Hip hop and luxury fashion, the beginning stages of the appropriation of Black culture can be found. Luxury fashion saw the Hip Hop scene as being too urban. They didn’t value the “urban” dollar and the artists involved.
This is where Black fashion artists, like Dapper Dan, stepped in. Dapper Dan is famous for copying the logo of popular luxury houses on fabric and creating Hip Hop looks. “Logomania” was a trend created by him. Having the logo trend combined with the monochrome looks in the “Crush on You” video opened the door for Hip Hop’s access into high fashion.
Lil Kim paved the way for luxury fashion on a Black female rapper. She was able to get a fashion cover shoot and go to fashion shows, which was something unheard of during that time. Shortly after, publications started to gain access to luxury showrooms and the Black dollar began to have value. However, high fashion erased Misa’s legacy by not offering her the styling job along with Lil Kim. Black artists, like Misa, had no space in the luxury fashion industry.
The relationship luxury fashion has with Black culture is historically based on the principle of taking the Black dollar without giving resources to fuel the Black artist. Eventually, high fashion started to see the “urban” dollar and artist as something that could bring in more money. The shift on runway started to have Black representation in the models and the mimicking of Hip Hop looks began.
“It also sadly sparked the appropriation of black culture without appreciation”
“The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion” revealed how the correlation between these two industries sparked a new era of fashion. It also sadly sparked the appropriation of black culture without appreciation. This documentary also sheds a light on women whose legacy was erased during this historic shift. This documentary is a must-watch for everyone who wants to learn about 90’s fashion and the impact it has in the music industry. You can find the documentary currently streaming on Netflix.