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Nov 8, 2022
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FIT launches exhibit celebrating 50th anniversary of hip hop

Published
Nov 8, 2022

The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, with a new exhibition launching February 8. 

Puma by Rihanna Parachute jacket ensemble Spring 2017 - Puma


Dubbed 'Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style', the exhibition will explore this revolutionary and influential style with over 100 garments and accessories, and marks the first time that the museum examines fashion exclusively through one musical genre. 

Born in the Bronx in 1973, hip hop was the invention of Black and Brown youth who created an innovative style of music, dance, and visual art for their lifestyle. Fashion and style played a huge role in hip hop's appeal with items like the Adidas sneakers, tracksuits, and shearling coats popularized by Run DMC; the Karl Kani clothing worn by Tupac Shakur; and Aaliyah's iconic Tommy Hilfiger bandeau and jeans ensemble, as well as other designer looks worn by Lil' Kim, Cardi B, and Lil Nas X. 

The exhibit 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, among many others.

"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," said Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, MFIT. 

"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.”

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.

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