The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is celebrating 50 years of hip hop with a new exhibition.
Called Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style, MFIT will explore fashion exclusively through one musical genre for the first time.
Over 100 garments and accessories will be on display, capturing the pivotal moments in hip hop fashion’s evolution, including Kangol hats, custom Dapper Dan jackets and 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, whose previous exhibitions include Head to Toe (2021), Fabric in Fashion (2018), and Black Fashion Designers (2016).
“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,” noted 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.”
Looks worn by hip hop’s iconic artists such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Chuck D, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Khaled, Lil Nas X, and Cardi B, will also be featured, alongside designs from 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, and more.
Sections within the Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style exhibition include The Designer Dreams, High Fashion Does Hip Hop, Collaborations, and Hip Hop in High Fashion. The exhibition concludes with a Celebrity Style section that examines the personal and stage style of trendsetting artists and a Hip Hop Glam section that illustrates the worldwide impact of hip hop artists as red carpet fashion icons in the 21st century.
The Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style exhibition will be on display at The Museum at FIT from February 8 to April 23, 2023 and will be accompanied by a book of the same title, published by Rizzoli, with a foreword written by Slick Rick.
The museum is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.