Hip Hop fashion
When I think back about the history of rap music, there is always a big link to style and fashion. I can remember, looking at album covers and magazines like (Word Up and Rap Attack) and remembering that I wanted to have the clothes that these guys had. Because of the era (and being young with no money), it was not very easy to have access to the clothing – which I guess also added to the appeal to hunting it down. The hunt for many was quite a ordeal and could be summed up in the follow steps and emotions:
- The exchange of money to the middleman (usually your friend that was going to NYC).
- The trust issue – did you really trust this person.
- The emotional stage – this was a lot of excitement (would the middleman actually buy something and would it be what you wanted!)
- There was then doubt – you knew the person was going to keep the best stuff for themselves, so there was a lot of anticipation of what you be getting.
- Then to add on to all of this, there was the transportation issue – if you lived in Canada, there was duty and there was only so much stuff you could bring over the border.
- And last but not least, you where all teenagers, so you needed to maintain your friendship while the transaction was in process or you could lose it all!
All this to say, it was not an easy task to get fresh gear…but people did it.
Some of more popular stuff that I liked when I was in middle/High school, where brands like: Troop, Triple Fat Goose, Air Jordan, Nike, sports team apparel (i.e. hats, jersey, jackets, etc), Kangol, Clarks and Dapper Dan clothing.
In this series, we will be releasing blogs that highlight a brand or style related to Hip Hop fashion. We hope it brings back memories, or introduces something new to you.
Part 1 – Kangol
- Kangol was founded in Britain, in the 1920s by Jacques Spreiregen.
- The word Kangol is a combination of the words K from knitting, ANG from angora and the OL from wool.
Over the years, many famous people have been photographed wearing a Kangol. But for me, it was the 1980’s Hip Hop and Jamaican Dancehall culture that made me take notice. I would suspect, that the Hip Hop culture, gave the company a good push into the main stream market. Perhaps not so much in the 80’s, but once Rap music became, to a degree, commercialized and more accepted by the general population, there was an increase in brand visibility.
Much like Dapper Dan’s street level marketing strategy (which might have been by design or just luck), Kangol was also benefiting from high profile neighborhood celebrities that where wearing the brand. You could find Rappers like LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Erik B and Rakim wearing a Kangol on their album covers. There where many styles, but the most popular was the Bucket hat and the Flat caps.