From the Streets to the Runway
There are so many facets to the culture of hip hop. One of the most influential components of the culture is it’s fashion. From baggy jeans to fitted caps, hip hop has had gone through a plethora of trends. The one thing that has remained consistent is the importance of sneakers throughout the different fashion trends. Jordan brand has usually sat in the throne seat as king of sneaker brands for the longest, but other brands have had a hand at the title as well.
In previous years, sneakers were usually meant for sports like basketball. As time progressed, sneakers transported from the court to the concrete. It made its way from gym lockers across the country to every adolescent’s closet. Sneakers were no longer just for crossing over your friends on the black top, but to impress them with your outfits as well.
What is interesting is that in recent years hip hop culture has taken a front seat in pop culture. Subsequently, it’s fashion has followed suit with sneakers tailoring the fit. Many luxury brands have begun to affiliate themselves with streetwear, mainly through the development of sneakers.
Some of those same kids that fell in love with their sneakers grew to become musical artist (rappers, singers, and producers) in the ever expanding hip hop universe. As their influence grew, these artists decided that they wanted to make an impact on the fashion world. These were the “Kanye’s” and “Pharrell’s” of the world.
Artists such as Kanye West, are not just hip hop producers turned rapper. He has also earned the title “fashion designer” in some circles. His initial claim to fame were his coveted yeezy’s. These are a shoe that have become so iconic that they have become synonymous with sneakers and high fashion in general.
Gucci was one of the first luxury brands to get into the sneaker game. Back in the 1980’s, it came out with it’s first sneaker, the Gucci New Ace. The shoe was a low top with the brand’s iconic red and green stripes on its heel with “Gucci” printed on the tongue. Gucci, for over 20 years, would be the only luxury brand to take this step in fashion.
Years later, Brands such as Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga would begin to produce sneakers through their brand also. Popular sneakers by these brands are the LV Archlite and the Balenciaga Triple S.