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Fresh Dressed: The Revolution Of Fashion Born On The Streets, a documentary that explores the evolution of hip-hop through the lens of urban fashion, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last weekend. Directed by Mass Appeal’s creative director Sacha Jenkins and co-produced by Nas, the film combines old-school video footage with insightful commentary from icons like Big Daddy Kane, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams. Jenkins takes the viewer on a journey through the history of hip-hop and fashion; from the ‘70s South Bronx B-boys’ custom outfits to ‘80s hip-hop tailor of Harlem Dapper Dan’s remixed clothing to the ‘90s mainstream rise of urban sportswear and its on-going influence on the modern day.

Though the documentary seems like a highlight reel of a vibrant street culture, Jenkins’ film is actually an in-depth look at the socio-political issues behind hip-hop’s aspirational relationship with fashion—what it means to look “fresh.” Since Fresh Dressed airs on CNN later this year, we’re having a throwback style moment to show our appreciation for the innovated turns urban style and music took from the ‘70s to the early ‘90s.

When the late ‘70s saw a decline of street gangs and the rise of B-boys in the South Bronx. Fat-laced Adidas, Kangol hats and Cazal shades were some of the staples, Jenkins notes, the look also took on a DIY aspect, “[The] guys doing graf, breakdancing or whatever, those guys took the same sort of self-stylized customization mentality that gangs put into their jackets, except they were rockin’ the sweatshirts with the iron-on letters.” After all, the fat laces on those fresh kicks were simply your standard laces stretched, starched and ironed out.

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Of course, we can’t talk about urban style without mentioning Dapper Dan’s influence in the ‘80s. Hip-hop’s fashion godfather remixed European luxury iconography the way South Bronx DJs sampled Kraftwerk, making him the first to bring high fashion into the context of street culture. Working out of his Harlem apartment, Dappy Dan created customized outfits with spray-painted designer logos and built a client list that included everyone from Harlem hustlers to the likes of Salt and Pepa, Run DMC, Mike Tyson, LL Cool J and Bobby Brown.

Though Dapper Dan’s outrageous looks didn’t translate into the more subdued and sportswear-heavy ‘90s, his reinterpretation of designer goods brought designer names into urban culture, which in turn, brought urban streetwear onto the runways. The ‘90s wasn’t all sportswear; it’s hard to forget all the flannel, the collage-like and multi-patterned COOGI sweaters, or the surge of women rocking menswear.

Let this unisex Orange Neomesh Duffel with Green Neomesh Sides & Blue Neomesh Handles $400 bring a little bit of that ‘90s sportswear into your life.

 

90Though if you’re feeling in the mood for Dapper Dan’s bolder styling, make a statement in this Leopard Duffel with Brown Leather Sides & Handles $580.

 

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But since we just love the culture of customizable, DIY looks, we think you should also try your hand at building your own infinitely remixable BAMIN bag.

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[Photo source: Sundance Film Festival, Dapper Dan]