The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) has announced a new exhibit called "Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style," in celebration of Hip Hop's upcoming 50th birthday. The exhibit opens February 8 and runs through April 23, 2023.
Described as the "largest and most comprehensive exhibition to explore this revolutionary and influential style," it marks the first time MFIT will examine fashion exclusively through one musical genre. Over 100 garments and accessories capture the pivotal moments in Hip Hop fashion's evolution—from Kangol hats to custom Dapper Dan jackets to the Manolo Blahnik Okla Alta booties inspired by Timberland work boots. The exhibition is curated by Elena Romero, journalist and assistant professor of Marketing Communications at FIT, and Elizabeth Way, associate curator of costume at MFIT.
"It was important for The Museum at FIT to organize this exhibition, because Hip Hop—the most influential music genre of our era—has had such a profound impact on the world of fashion," Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, MFIT said. "Furthermore, Hip Hop fashion and music are cultural expressions of the African and Hispanic cultural diasporas, which MFIT seeks to amplify as part of our goal to expand the understanding of fashion."
Clothing items from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL COOL J, Chuck D, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, DJ Khaled, Lil Nas X and Cardi B is just a sliver of what visitors can expect. "Fresh, Fly and Fabulous" will also feature designs by 5001 Flavors, April Walker, Misa Hylton, Cross Colours, Karl Kani, Shirt King Phade of the Shirt Kings, FUBU, Rocawear, Wu Wear, Mecca USA, Baby Phat, Pelle Pelle and Sean John, as well as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Versace.
"The Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style" exhibition will be accompanied by a book of the same title (Rizzoli, 2023) with a foreword written by Slick Rick and a symposium on February 24 that will be free and open to the public. Find more information on the book here.