When Hip Hop Meets the Runway

Photo: Humberto Vidal /

Music and fashion have always had a symbiotic relationship, and in only a generation, hip hop has transcended all musical genres to be the definitive one both in America, its birthplace, to every corner of the world. What began as an inclusive movement has only expanded upon this motif, incorporating the traditions and style aesthetics of several cultures to produce one that is singular and has single-handedly left an indelible stamp on the fashion industry, including the world of high fashion, which was once closed off to only the upper echelons of society.

What was once considered an underground movement for those on the outskirts and the counterculture of mainstream society, hip hop has grown over the years from baggy, casual wear to high fashion and accessories that celebrate the streets in innovative new ways.

Enter high-end fashion.

Enter a fashion revolution. 

Hip hop has revolutionized the shoe industry on all fronts

As hip hop elevated its status in the music world and on towards fashion, mainstream labels steadily gravitated towards the flashy, avant-garde stylings of hip hop’s biggest stars. Seemingly overnight, hip hop and brands like Versace, Prada, and Balenciaga have become mainstay shout-outs in some of the biggest songs of the last thirty years.

Ultimately, fashion is a story in and of itself, and hip hop has infiltrated the high fashion world that has raised the bar in fashion shows worldwide. The collaborations of rappers and creative directors at the biggest fashion houses has extended hip hop’s reach beyond its humble beginnings to cultures and societies like never before. As the high-fashion aesthetic incorporates the narratives of style internationally, hip hop now stands at the forefront as the transcultural expression of fashion.

Photo: catwalker /

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Written by Triston B.

Triston is an American jetset performance artist, writer, event organizer, and activist based in Europe. As a freelance journalist, he has covered both the underground and mainstream aspects of the arts, culture, music, entertainment, travel, fashion and Fashion Week in several cities, including New York, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Tokyo to name a few. He has been published in The Huffington Post, Trespass (London), Adaras Magazine (Miami) as well as featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, Turkish Huriyet and other on-line and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He recently released his memoir on life in Europe, 'Heaux Confessionals'. As a solo performer and with his band $kandal Du$t, he has toured in some of the world's most renowned clubs, simultaneously maintaining an underground renaissance, blurring the lines of all that is traditional and leaving his indelible, and ultimately unforgettable impression. There is no divide.

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