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How hip-hop influenced what we wear

Virgil Abloh and models walk the runway during Off-White Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France.
Virgil Abloh and models walk the runway during Off-White Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France.

In 2023, we celebrated 50 years of hip-hop. But the genre isn’t all rhymes on the radio. For decades, it’s also influenced culture through style.

Designers like Karl Kani and April Walker made popular styles that were later sported by stars like Tupac Shakur andSnoop Dogg. Fashion houses like Chanel and Versace became inspired by top artists, and brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren were highly sought out by people in the scene.

Sowmya Krishnamurthy is a music journalist. Her book “Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion” is the first anthology of the fashion industry and hip-hop’s influence on it. It’s available Oct. 10.We talk to her about hip-hop’s impact on fashion.

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Jorgelina Manna-Rea