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80s

Sportswear and tennis shoes were very popular during this time. Tracksuits and neon colored leather jackets were all the rage. High-top fades, the Jheri curl and asymmetric bobs were the most popular hairstyles. An outfit was not complete without a pair of shell-toe Adidas, popularized by rap pioneers RUN DMC. Accessories were the icing on the cake ranging from oversized sunglasses, called Gazelles, Kangol bucket hats, gold dookie chain necklaces and four-finger rings to name plates, name belts and large gold rings. Female rap duo Salt N Pepa popularized large doorknocker earrings and bamboo earrings for women.

90s

By the late 80s Black Nationalism had a large influence, thus changing the direction of hip-hop fashion. Red, green and black became very popular representations of a revolution and were often worn together. Kente cloth hats and shirts were also popularized. In the 90s Starter jackets also became a popular trend. On the east coast Timberland boots were a major trend. Timberland and Champion were popular brands on the east coast. Meanwhile the west coast was transformed by rap group N.W.A. and its Gangsta style that consisted of Dickies pants, a bandanna and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.

Present

Hip-hop fashion currently fuses couture fashion with street fashion changing the face of the fashion industry for good. You cannot turn on your television without seeing some type of hip-hop influenced clothing or hearing music that is inspired by it. Today hip-hop fashion is reaching several forefronts. It is gracing runways from New York City to Milan, Italy. There are several artists with fashion lines that are strictly urban based. Kimora Lee Simmons, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs, and Russell Simmons all have very successful hip-hop fashion empires.