The evolution of styling in hip-hop mirrors the trajectory of the genre itself. In the beginning, there was not a specific title appointed to the person tasked with defining the visual language of an artist. Many critiqued rap as something that would not last for a significant period of time, therefore it was not always given its due diligence. As the genre gained popularity, so did the need to recognize the style architects behind the look of rap’s elite. Consider the work of Harlem couturier Dapper Dan: the man who created custom designer pieces for the likes of Salt-n-Pepa and Eric B and Rakim in the late 80s and recently partnered with Gucci to create a capsule collection reminiscent of his original designs. While Dapper Dan represents a period in the music industry where artists were creating work for the appreciation and respect of one another, two women in the 90s helped to usher in the next wave of transition. The styling work of June Ambrose and Misa Hylton solidified many of the biggest names in hip-hop as bona fide stars by crafting a strong identity that reflected the innovation in their music.

Follow Britnie on instagram here.