Fashion & Beauty

Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style

On a hot summer night in August of 1973, DJ Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy, put on a “back to school jam” in the rec room of their apartment block at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the West Bronx. The rest is history. The birth of hip hop rippled out across the globe, influencing music and fashion for generations.

Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style draws on the experiences and memories of those who were there, from a foreword by Slick Rick, to interviews with Disco Fever club owner Sal Abbatiello and designers Dapper Dan and April Walker, to chapters from Vibe stylist Emil Wilbekin and former editor of The Source Kim Osorio. Topics cover the range of hip hop’s influential style over the past half century, tracing the evolution from early hip hop style, born of aspiration, individuality, and practicality to contemporary fashion steeped in luxury brands.

Hip hop style is a local story, told through spotlights on Times Square as an early fashion space, as well as an international phenomenon, shown in the prominence of hip hop fashion leaders on red carpets. Inventiveness, the art of the remix, and a diverse set of influences are consistent themes in sections that examine hip hop style from hair and nails to shoes and sneakers.

Fresh Fly Fabulous is the definitive source for hip hop style, brought to life by the groundbreaking photographers who captured it firsthand, including Janette Beckman, Jamel Shabazz, and Ernie Paniccioli.

About The Author

Elizabeth Way serves as associate curator at The Museum at FIT and author of Black Designers in American Fashion. Elena Romero serves as assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a correspondent for CUNY-TV's magazine show LATINAS. Slick Rick is an iconic rapper, producer, and trendsetter whose hip hop classic with Doug E. Fresh "La Di Da Di" (1986) helped establish hip hop’s love affair with fashion.

  • Publish Date: February 07, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $75.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-9931-9


"Slick Rick writes the foreword to this vibrant exploration of the birth, spread and evolution of hip-hop style — from rec rooms to red carpets — through images and analyses from stylists, designers and more." —NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"To mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, an exhibition at New York's Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology and an accompanying Rizzoli monograph unpack the stories of designers like Dapper Dan and behind iconic looks like Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" jackets, created by rapper Christopher "Play" Martin, exploring the creative relationship between music and fashion." —HARPER'S BAZAAR

Author Bookshelf: Elizabeth Way