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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN Films - Fresh Dressed
Aired September 3, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:05] (MUSIC PLAYING)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready? Well, let me tell you something. This home boy and this home girl on the spot. Let me ask you something, what's your name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dino.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Money-making Manhattan:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Royce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Money-making Manhattan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all look kind of fresh. Tell me something about your fashion. What are you wearing, what are your shoes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are a pair of Adidas with fat laces. That's the way we sport them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about your fashion overall?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fresh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Word? Word? Let me ask you something, what about your fashion, what about your look? How do you describe them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call them, you know, Levi's thread in the way. I got kangol one, that gazelle. A pair of white on white for fresh legs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you rock your hat, man. How do you rock?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sport it fresh, Holmes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Word. Word.
(CHANTING) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being fresh is more important than having money. The entire time I grew up it was like I only want money so that I could be fresh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fashion is a whole other thing. When you're young, there's, like, a sense of wanting to express yourself. An importance in individuality. It's a free format.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to be practical. So, it's not just about of you being -- it's also about a lifestyle. It's people who are free, who are exploited that green activity to a kind of free format of words, ryhme, language, music, or visual file.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hip hop culture. It had a boldness to it. You wanted everybody to know that you were down with this movement. You know, fresh to dress like a million bucks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, we were big dreamers. All of us. Hip hop was based on that dream of getting at and coming up out to get all in. The light at the end of the tunnel was always the pot of gold, the clothes, the fashion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said to me your clothes are your wings. So, you know, if you want to fly, these dudes want to be flying. So, you're going to put on some nice. You washed it and by doing that with a style that the street guys have, once we put it on, it's a whole different story. You know what I'm saying. We put on your clothes and we take it to the next level.
NAS: The animal kingdom, the human being world is a parallel crazy. You know, peacocks, the way they flare up to attract their mate. In certain animals, you know, it changes up their whole appearance. It's all about their flare and what you look like or how does it mediate off you.
And certain African chiefs were really attaches or really like out there with their whole their garb like kings and how they will paint it in Great Britain. And look like the outfits they're wearing. It looks like kings. So, wardrobe is always been a thing, you know.
TODD BOYD, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PROFESSOR: If you go to the history of the African-American culture, particularly throughout the 20th century, style, fashion, clothes were always a very prominent part of people's identity. It allows one to sort of represent, define their own presentation to the world, so to speak.
[22:05:00] Even for people who maybe didn't have money. Their own unique way of wearing something came to be a way for people to be distinct, to be identified in a crowd to stand out.
And I think, over time, if you think about the role indigenous play in the African-American culture going to church the opportunity to dress up. It was expected that one would be dressed a certain way that you would, you know, look your best.
ALYASHA OWERKA MOORE, PHAT FARM CO-FOUNDER: The term "Sunday best" came from the time in slavery when in order for slave owners to be considered good Christians, they had to make sure that their slaves had at least one good outfit. So that they could go to church on Sunday, even though mostly were practicing other African indigenous religion.
BOYD: Certainly, you did put your best on when you went to church on Sunday morning.
ALLEN LEON TALLEY, VOGUE MAGAZINE FORMER EDITOR: Well, you go to church with old fashioned, mainly with the music because the gospel choir was always the thing to watch. This is at a very point back to of how you see styles in the religious environment of the church.
BOYD: If you talk about African-American, the music specially, jazz, blues, hip hop, any sort of jazz on music, R&B, is always a unique clothing style, unique approach to fashion go with that.
TALLEY: In terms of how hip hop and urban hip hop in fashion and music have fused together to be a cultural influence. I think one has to look back and start with someone like Little Richard.
Little Richard, to me was an extravagant outlandish black version on Liberace without the pink hood. Little Richard was and still is an iconic symbol of freedom.
Music can make you feel free and watching the performer. And what he said to his lyrics can make you feel free. It gives you a sense of your freedom.
BOYD: Considering all that African-Americans have experienced, in American society over time in spite of that, you know, the sense that if you look good, you feel good is something that I think speaks to why fashion and style has been so significant over the course of time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is The Bronx in New York. One and a half million people live in this borough, equal to the population of Houston, or Washington, or San Diego. It's the home of the New York Yankees, the Bronx, and the Grand Concourse. It is also become the arson capital of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The street is where everything happened. It's where you can go and you think out a piece of who you are.
LORINE PADILLA, BRONX RESIDENT AND FORMER GANG MEMBER: The '70s on the South Bronx, everything was burning. I particular live in the building while I was the only tenant, my parents were the only tenants in a building that held over 50 apartments. We had no heat. No had hot water. They were killings of the yin yang, police brutality was worse than it is now. That's where gangs began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They try to take over one of my division and are...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American made it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't quite make it and we killed too with a gas. They tried to burn out my...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In going man, we run, we fight, whatever we do, our boys are, you know, get hurt, whatever we pick them up and we keep going. That's it. And we get home, man, whatever colors we've got or whatever, you know, we just take them and we throw them on the pole. I see which one of their members is bad enough to climb up there to try to get them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was extremely important on how you dressed. So, you must, at all times, have black jeans at the time that we leave. And motorcycle jackets and on top of motorcycle jackets were denim jackets, cut sleeves is what they called them.
[22:15:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our conquered in and our stalls are conquered in a music and chances for us jammers in that mix.
POPMASTER FABEL, ZULU ORIGINAL B-BOY MEMBER: The part of customizing hip hop for the most part got that from the so-called gangs or street families without a doubt. I actually cut each of these letters out myself, put it on.
And you have, of course, was these are the top and bottom rockers and the savage patch. And all these punch (ph) holes and dude add that I put on, these laces and these beads, this mink fur, this all had it on, and this was the classic outlaw look back then for the street gangs.
PADILLA: This is handmade. He made this with carve.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PADILLA: There are features here with carve high that he made the patches, you saw them on yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PADILLA: This all began with the movie, "Easy Rider". A lot of people won't admit it but it is the truth. You know, people saw that. That gave you the sense of outlook.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the guy if he dress like warrior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Warrior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, and I hear you talking your war lords and your war council. So, who's the NM?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The establishment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enemy around The Bronx now at this very moment is the police. Yes, this is a warrior painting. Yes, it is. And we're here to defend our brothers and sisters against people like them. They're very racist, man. Have you gone to communicate man, have you gone to strike so you're to strike back.
PADILLA: When The Bronx was burning gangs were rumbling, and they were rumbling hard. One of the guys from the Ghetto brothers who was a peace maker named Black Benjie, he went out there to make peace and another club, member of another club jumped out and said, peace my ass, peace shit.
They hit him with a bat and they just continue to hit him until they killed him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cornell Benjamin also in the streets as the Black Benjie was ambassador for the Ghetto brothers. He was beaten to death when he had to intervene between two other gangs. Instead of retaliating, the Ghetto brothers convene to peace meeting of all the gangs in the South Bronx at the boys club on Hoe Avenue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though we are called as rumor gangs we'd never look for trouble, man. I've got to understand if they beat up Benjie but killing him is another thing. You took away one of our brother's lives, man. The thing is we're not a gang anymore.
PADILLA: They made a truce. And the truce worked for a while. And so, the whole mentality changed along with the atmosphere. Instead of the wars that we used to have, you know, club to club, it was that battle you. People would battle with their mouth right there on the spot. You have to spit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of these crews test to fly style of like putting the name of their crew on their sweat shirt now. You know, it wasn't on the Lee jacket but now they were refined. They were clean. Some of the beats were now settled who are at the dance floor, in the train yards, on the microphone, on the turntables.
PADILLA: To hear the scratching, to hear the music and to dance. A music that we had never heard of. A music that describes us. Describes our struggles. You couldn't help have to come form for lack of a word to the trend that was coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which was?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the colors in hip hop came from graffiti. Whatever the pants were paint, what colors were available we're painting. Those became the cool colors. You did your own thing, you know. You could paint your own design at the back of your jean jackets. You know, jean jackets were the first canvass for hip hop.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in awe. I lost my mind the first time I went to the theater to hear these rappers and to hear these battles between Busy B and Huma De (ph), Grandmaster Caz. You know, up to that point you had to use your imagination or whoever got to take the kind of telling of how it was. SWIZZ BEATZ, PRODUCER: I remember back in the park, you had them back
and you have terrorist and you want -- you had them respected to jamming to me. There was this natural party at the park. We didn't really know hip hop was getting that big.
You know, and even back then, it was all about fashion and even the outfits of Maureen Moe would wear. It was outrageous at that time but it was like, oh, he's a superstar, oh, he's a rapper. So, that's what dating. So, he had a pass to wear all of those crazy jackets and cowboy boots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back in the days, if you find any old Coldcrush flyers you would see that those cats used to dressed up. They would get suited for a lot of the events. I mean, Armani suits. You know, gators and mink coats dripping to the floor.
However, though, because of hip hop being a new form of music and something that the U.K. did too, basically, everybody that was accustomed to wearing, you know, suits on stage just thought of, you know, dominate it down to just keeping it straight B-boy.
[22:20:00] The majority of hip hop art is really just dressed B-boy style where you got on the lead and you got on the kumos (ph), and a BBD tank top, you know, with your gazelles and kangol. It was all part of the hip hop fashion.
CARL BANKS, FORMER NFL PLAYER & G-III SPORTS PRESIDENT: Hip hop fashion was kind of derived through the music. And it was kind of a - we're not going to follow the rules mentality both in rap music and in fashion.
APRIL WALKER, WALKER WEAR FOUNDER & DESIGNER: I remember in terms of making a statement and just really influencing me, I see in Randy Z (ph) on the stage. With the hat, their shelters, their love of pants and bellybutton line, you will all sweat for school just for success meant something else. And here where they're breaking all the rules and winning. And I just remember that change in my life in the sense of everything that I've been taught was a farce to me from that point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we went on stage is just what is that you've wear, that's what you know, that's what all our fans love. So, just in this way let them me, oh, he's just like me.
MOORE: Being in New York with, you know, so many people walking pass each other on the street every day you get a chance to this like a runway. You know what I mean, like all the streets were like runways for different colors and brands.
There was always all sorts of different flavors in the head. There wasn't one definitive sort of style.
GUY WOOD: A guy from Brooklyn would have on Clarks, shark skins gazelle glasses with no lens in it and a kangol crease like I don't know what. That was a Brooklyn guy. He didn't have to say anything. You knew he was from Brooklyn. A guy from Harlem would have one let's say he had on a sweat shirt. And whatever brand the sweat suit it was from, he would have the sneaker to match. Same with The Bronx. The Bronx was a mix of Harlem and Brooklyn together. Queens, Queens had their own flow too.
WALKER: I used to a town to Apollo, amateur night at Apollo. You could be in that venue and you know that person is from Harlem, that person is from Queens. He know, you would just know by the way of a dress.
CHRISTOPHER 'KID' REID, HIP HOP ARTIST: And we were fresh. And we were dipped. No money. No money in the pocket. Might have had 50 cent between us.
DAMON DASH, ROC-A-FELLA FORMER MANAGER: The insecurity of not having anything is the only time that you can showcase that you do. Like if you go home you got roaches and every 10 people living in an apartment.
You know, the only way that you can kind of show that you have anything and feel some kind of status is, you know, what you have on your body. What you have on your body is a reflection of how economically doing.
You know, as a young man, if you can got fresh, crispy gear, then you get money. If you're dirty, you're not getting money. Every one prefers to be clean. Every one prefers to have, you know, different variations of clothing. So, it's just the status that we're base on insecurity.
JAMEL SHARAZZ, PHOTOGRAPHER: Right now, we're standing on the iconic Delancey and Orchard Street. A historic location at media boys was shot back in the 1970's.
There a documentary of photography way back in I started taking some of my very first photographs right here in this block here.
It's interpreted around the world as just being fly, being unique, being special. You know, for many, they just see it as a strong style. What I see is pride and integrity. In your vision they took great pride in the way they dress the way they carry themselves.
I wanted the world to see something unlike they were seeing before that despite people's conditions they still able to maintain a great degree of integrity and has shown by the way people dress. And the pride they take in having clean sneakers on. Have a fresh gear on that was color coordinated. That made them in their vision feel good and it helped to resonate. And as far as people locally they would dress that way.
[22:25:00] SIMON MISRAHI, LOWER EAST SIDE MERCHANT: You couldn't get a discount anywhere. Anywhere except on the Lower East Side.
JACK MENASHE, LOWER EAST SIDE MERCHANT: This was like one big department store but stretch down seven to eight blocks. MIRASHI: The one thing that they had that they could show off to the world was their clothing. So, it was very important they may not have the best department, they may not have best car, but they have the best clothing. And it was very important for them because when they put that suit or that leather jacket on, or the mink jacket or whatever it was, they were king.
RALPH MCDANIELS, VIDEO MUSIC BOX CREATOR & HOST: For a lot of people who, you know, make rollup in the projects or whatever they want to stand out, you know, so they wear loud colors. I think the colors in hip hop came from graffiti. Whatever kinds of paint what colors were available or painting those became the cool colors. You did your own thing. You know, you could paint your own design at the back of your jean jackets. You know, jean jackets were the first canvas for hip hop.
CHRISTOPHER 'PLAY' MARTIN, HIP HOP ARTIST: What was really, really popular was doing names on the side of your jeans and that's what I was doing a lot of. People paid me to put their names on the side of their jeans.
MARC ECKO, ECKO UNLIMITED CO-FOUNDER: You know, I remember coming across a black beat magazine with an LL Cool Jay on the cover. And inside, there was an article about his sweat shirt that he was wearing, which was like an air brush portrait of himself, like as a B- boy. And it was painted by a guy named King Fade from the Shirt Kings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the shirt Fade gave at Shirt Kings motor riley. When LL Cool Jay who's a major, major, major star he know what a shirt in every photo shoot you could imagine. It took what we were doing in South Side to make it Queens all around the world. It made the world notice who we were.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Shirt Kings were about were drawing things that we saw, you know, in our community. You basically remix them, you turn them into a joke. Of course, this became our reality, you know. So, we put Mickey on crap
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When times are bad, a lot of people tend to gravitate towards art. Art takes your mind to another place. You know, Shirt Kings, it allowed me to not become something else.
NAS: Shirt Kings Dapper Dan took your whatever -- what we would thinking in our imaginations they put it into reality. The dark I'm wearing here, you know, this our stuff, Dapper Dan was putting together on your shoe. Dapper Dan was putting together on your baseball cap, you know, that LV wa son your baseball ca, in your pouch that hang from your neck. You know, Dapper Dan would use that with Louis Vuitton what people who couldn't afford it would go to Dap instead of Luis. You know what I'm saying, you might walk in Luis Vuitton and you look down that especially in 1980's. So, you go you feel at home and he's going to change to your knees in 10k.
WILLIE ESCO MONTANEZ, ESCO CLOTHING FOUNDER: I believe that European fashion style with Dapper Dan. And people wanting to aspire to wear this luxury brands. They were unattainable at that time. They just figure out a way to make it hang up. What Dan do was basically do what we did music. You know, we sampled songs, Luther and made them -- made their own. He figured out a way to do it in clothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, let me tell them a story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty years ago, this whole block was full of Rolls Royce's cars you never even heard off to come see this man, the car. He was the first to take the designer clothes, Gucci, Luis Vuitton that made it suit to star buyers. He took the leverage and did it made pants. Anybody who comes would go thousand dollar pants. I can't believe it. I never bought a pants. I'm not going to afford a thousand dollar pants, but he's the first man who did this.
[22:29:57] DAPPER DAN, DESIGNER: The only way for us to make in this business, which I realized early on was when you've got raw goods that raw goods. If I have a role of fabric, that fabric is anything I wanted to be. Anything that designer didn't have I would embellish it for them. You know, I'll 'blackenized' (ph) it. You know, I made it so that it will look good on us.
I took a wear, they would never take it. Luis Vuitton was never making clothes like that at that time, you know. I didn't even realize the impact that it was having because I just want to save my community. I just want to save the black people. I won't be satisfied just with the neighborhood I was in, you know what I mean, take a respect from you.
PUSHA T, HIP HOP ARTIST: Back in the day, it was about high-end brand. If I wasn't the actual high end brand it was Dapper Dan.
BIG DADDY KANE, HIP HOP ARTIST: I got the seats done, the whole of park inside my car Dan black and Gucci.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of have make me a Shirley (ph) ones with the extra deep pockets just in case I needed to have guns in the back. But that's what, you know, you could do all those kinds of things and then cost 2 grand and I thought I was the man.
DAN: I was 24 hours for eight years. We might take a look three-hour break and for the rappers I would have the date down here. So, all they have to do is put them in -- rappers that have hostage all they have to do is put them jail and roll. And our policy was run to the jail.
Erik B Rakim, Big Daddy Cane, B Martin, Salt-N-Pepa, Guy, Ted O'Reilly. Hey, I remember that I still got the check for same hundred dollars that bounced.
What put the nail in the coffin is what is they're raiding. Raiding me broke. Part two was break out anything I do on your MTV. And you know your MTV gate burst to the graft game. You know, that was the day I covers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff came out with the Dapper Dan brand. He definitely cut off fee I think if he needs business. Dapper Dan was Tom Ford. Before Tom Ford, he should have been hired instead shut down. He really should have been hired as designer for what he knows elite brands clothes brands back then because he had the foresight to do back then, what they just started doing maybe 10 years or 5 years after him.
I mean, who would think of would show up in the hood and open up a truck with, you know, clothes. And tends them out to, you know, it was like the drug dealer, you know, giving you a free git. And then you're like, I want more.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My Adidas walk through concert doors and roam all over coliseum floors. I step on stage at lobby eight. All the people gauge and the poor got paid. And I out speakers I just speak. I woke my sneakers but I'm not a sneak.
My Adidas touch a sand of a foreign land with my cool hand, I call to a command. My Adidas indeed close S&P. We are making me team my Adidas and me. We get around together we're down forever and we won't be hot when we went that bad weather. My Adidas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most thing was sneakers, you know, because if you had some black sneakers, you just wear it was just a difficult time, you know.
A lot of stuff was always built of, you know, your shoe game. That's what is important; you built your outfit off your shoe game.
MAYOR, SNEAKER AFICIONADO: This is what I like to call a sneaker heaven. I can wear a brand new pair of sneakers every day for seven and a half years. That's a fact. When I was a kid, I ask my mother for a pair of sneakers one day. She bought me a sneaker called the Mark 5. Here's a mark 5 and I thought I was -- like I thought I was the hottest guy in the world because my name was on the show. My name is Mark. And I went back to the black. And they will ask me of the black because it was like $10 favorite shoe I want them crazy shoes and I got to strolling.
But it comes again crushed, when it comes to hip hop, when it comes to anything, they get fresh dress get your feet first.
JIM JONES, HIP HOP ARTIST: I remember I went to Catholic so you have to wear shoes every day. So, me and my friends seat we were fake spray ankles so that we could wear one sneaker and had a crush in there where one shoe, just to show with that we got to kneel with jaws. Yes, you see I got that jaw.
CHRISTOPHER 'KID' REID, HIP HOP ARTIST: Tuesday you get killed for too. There was one question you never wanted to hear when somebody you didn't know rolled up on you and that was, what's your size.
POPMASTER FABEL, ORIGINAL B-BOY MEMBER: They would go like this. What size do you wear? And if you were live, you would say your size, why? Yes, your size? Why do you want to know? If were alive. If you were a chump and a sucker, you probably be quiet and probably get punched in the face and get feet.
MAYOR: They would beg you for your shoes and it wasn't a pretty sight.
REID: I actually did get Robinson Street one time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
REID: You did that. I was just leaving to Jooman (ph). And these guys got to drop on me. I don't know what I was thinking about going to Bronx by myself.
SUNG CHOI, CHOI FOUNDER: And the kid went up to Bronx was like they saw this. And they were force one that you don't see in Manhattan. Let's go get those. So, we go to Jooman cap to white and brown would go the first ones center.
MAYOR: After my mother gave my allowance I beg my grandfather for extra 20 shoe dye at Jooman or whatever the case may be. It was always there for me. Always. You always wanted to be seen and you wanted to air by I know that you're a guy that will be called swag. Now you got that flavor back in, you know, you dip, you're at one.
CHOI: It was like a competition just like everything else in the hood.
[22:39:53] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way the whole fat lace started was we used to take laces that came with the shoe like pro cuts or Converse. Stretched the (muted) out of them, starched them, with starch and iron them. It was like a ritual. It took like a half hour, right? To get your (muted) right.
And then the way you laced them in your shoes there's a whole different sort of science, you know. The manufacturers when they lace their laces, they go the other way. Under and up. Us, we go up and under. And that's a very clear way to tell who's hip, you know, in terms of like strip flavor on the hip hop tip
MAYOR: I was on the cover of Village Boys, five-page article based on sneakers. I would say the shoe collection is worth all to $.5 million.
NOAH CALLAHAN-BEVER, COMPLEX MAGAZINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: In the late '80s, growing in New York, you know, kids were indeed passionate. Hip hop obviously influenced everything that we did. But, you know, at that point it basically meant getting, you know, designer labels like Polo or something like that and wearing it in a particular way.
OLIVER 'POWER' GRANT: WE WEAR CO-FOUNDER: It wasn't just a regular black kid rocking pole. But we saw those things like new balance, members only. If it wasn't making the hood rocking that, it's because he saw them rocking it. And then, made it his own style embroidered in the hood. And then other folks emulated that. For us, that's kind of like a natural thing. KANYE WEST, ARTIST: I remember at the taste of Chicago, when I first
Reginald and he had all over print Polo with the camel pants with the white lace with the fedora and a lazareth chain, a gold chain, gold France. And I wasn't still like a song I start to my shirt and stuff. I remember just that moment moved me so much and I just had to like get my fresh up to a whole another level. I realized at that point it wasn't, you know, a suburb -- I wasn't in a suburb in high school anymore.
ALLEN LEON TALLEY, VOGUE MAGAZINE FORMER EDITOR: When I was in high school and I went to Brown and I had a sign pen, the first thing I would do is go to East on the run. You know, I would take my excitement buddy and go to Luis Vuitton or Gucci. You know, urban or young people are attracted to or addicted to fashion because it is expression of aspiration. But because you grow up in a world where fashion is so important. And a lot of people who are in hip hop have aspirations and aspirational instant; you go into that store and buy that brand.
RALPH MCDANIELS, VIDEO MUSIC BOX CREATOR & HOST: When you think of Versace or Ralph Lauren it seems like it's far away, it's a dream and somewhere where you would like to go. And those people could care less about you. You know, but, it seems like if I can grab that and wear that like I'm living a fantasy.
THIRSTIN HOWL III, LO LIFE CO-FOUNDER: Lo Life originated from Marcus Garvey, a village in Brownville and St. John's and Utica Place in Crown Heights, you know. The two separate boost and crews or getting fly cruise, you know, that came together and created a big brotherhood. You know that influenced the world of fashion and hip hop abroad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A booster is somebody who goes to any store any store but in this case expensive stores and steals. And then, you know, it might be $600 jean and you can but it $400 from them.
HOWL: A booster is anybody who shop lift.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were robbed and steal and then all. Even each other. There are lot of people where, you know, rob your whole house, man, for everything you had and just a Polo, they're not taking anything else.
I remember taking the train -- take the train to gold rush big open in 34th Street. Soon as the doors open, everybody rushing into the store, racing to get the stuff. People running into the street, carrying on these clothes, some clothes getting dropped. And you see super heroes coming out of nowhere trying to help, you know, protect the store and then you're going back to train station and run tracks and went to the next stop to get away, you know.
I knew about Lo life but I didn't know to what extent. And then I met Thirstin Howl III, you know, he came out with all the stuff and it was all Polo, and I was like, this is crazy. Where did you get this? I didn't even know Polo made this. HOWL III: It was an evolution of the fashion. It transcends it from
the life of the Benetton and eyes of the cost. We were really attracted to those things. Before we were touching the Polo.
[22:45:03] And the thing with the Polo was they didn't sell it the Ghettos or in your local, you know, stores in your neighborhood. And you had to go to the high-end stores on 5th Avenue, and all I saw. If you went in and you get some of that stuff and you came back in a hood, he was like, you're rich. You know we're living in the projects, man. I didn't have furniture in my house, man, but I had Polo everywhere, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you see is a classic case of Lo Life syndrome. This is my hair, the big Lo, symbol right here. A big Polo Ralph Lauren right here, you know what I'm saying. Another long symbol. Wow.
WEST: Thank you, Ralph. Thank you for that cream Polo sweatshirt with the creams Channel leather across the front that I wore in college. I've known everybody there. Thank you for allowing to on so many people. Thank you, Ralph.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were, like, free promotions for him.
Tommy Hilfiger would show up in the hood and open up a trunk with, you know, clothes. And tends them out to, you know, it was like the drug dealer, you know, giving you a free hit. Then you're like, well, what's why you're looking for it, you're buying it, you know, he was smart. You know, he knew what he was doing. You know, they knew exactly what they were doing. You know, they didn't pay Grand Poobah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't offer official deals to any of these artists. But I mean, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, they made a lot of money of these guys.
HOWL III: Being a promotion, walking around in a club, we were influenced in the rappers in the golden era. You know, them seeing us in the club 50 guys wearing the same shirt. What the rappers were doing they were copy in it and they would do it in a videos and then, that was, you know, going around the world. They would influence in the world through that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stores were afraid to this concert. They really were. They really didn't want this customer in these stores. You know, these stores was highly treated, you know, white, suburban and very traditional.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ELENA ROMERO, FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY PROFESSOR: With the explosion of hip hop music in the 1990s, hip hop starts moving into becoming mainstream which means television, through music videos, through music television. We've had Ralph McDaniels well before MTV documenting our stories, bringing them into our home every day after school at 3.30. That's what we watch and that when we started seeing it. And then we had concerts. We had television shows like "The Fresh
Prince of Bel-Air," and in living color that now starting showing the looks that we're not just designer brands that we were used to seeing our lifestyle to the rich and famous. But now we're seeing brands that we can relate to. So, there was a number of things that kind of catapulted. This look to become mainstream.
The music came to put a light on us where we being dressed in the hood. But without hip hop there was no light looking in the hood to see what have been done there (ph). You know, why was that, 'yo' (ph) what these folks in the hood, nobody cared about that. They only care about that by the time when he was here. And what did that do? That birth to street way of culture.
ROMERO: In the first time we started seeing that urban really had some dollars behind there was through Cross Couples. Here was a brand that was actually started in California by a black fashion executive who actually came out of the surf business. Who realized that there was something on because he would come to New York all the time and go on the subway and visit spike Lee store in Brooklyn. And he was seeing how young men were wearing their clothes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was doing business with a store called merry-go- round enterprises. I started talking there about who their customers were, who they sold to. It was mainly what the stores referred to as an urban customer.
But, for me, it was the African-American customer. I rode the subways in New York because at the time, I felt rap music was coming from New York. And that was a definite lifestyle culture at that time. They were wearing like jeans that were four or five sizes too big. And I was, oh, that's interesting. They're using a belt to held them on.
So, I thought, well, I could do something like that that where it was a baggy silhouette. However the waist was a waits that would fit that person's body. My medium was a large. My 32 was 36 silhouettes with a 32 waist for a bottom.
No one is really saying, you know, I'm designing for this customer, I'm designing for this market, I'm designing for the street west. I designed from the Ghetto, for the Ghetto, for the street. And those are all the thoughts going through my head.
[22:55:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)
I hired a marketing guy at that time by the name of David Stamen (ph), and I said, hey, why don't you call up, you know, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." And, you know, see if they're interested in wearing our clothes.
And I'll never forget. He came back and said, Carl, you won't believe what's happening, they love your stuff. They were looking for something like this but didn't know it exist and they love it. They want more.
Two or three nights later, there he was on the "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," wearing our clothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, president. Have a holy jolly Christmas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you've got a problem with my life, why don't you come tell me that to my face then. Hey, we can do whatever you want to do. Show you on square I'm just trying to get a nut.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that was the beginning of it. And the next thing, "In Living Colors" called us. Oh, we saw your stuff.
And then later, what I was told was you change the whole spec of the young men's market. You know, fit in silhouettes aren't working anymore. So, I think the industry began to change their status where, you know, everybody else started doing larger sizes.
PHARRELL WILLIAMS: Ninety two, it was really 90s when baggy jeans started. But '92 is when you know for sure it had impacted. Everyone's pants were big.
ROMERO: I was only about a freshman in college or so when it was at its peak and this concept that there was clothing brand that united young people and thought as well as races was very intriguing for me. The idea of offering clothes that made you proud of your ethnicity.
There was a time where women were really wearing those same oversize clothes just as much as the men wearing. I actually think of TLC before I think of anyone else wearing Cross Colours, let's say and as being an influenced in wearing a men's brand.
YOYO, HIP HOP ARTIST: No one really catered to the women when it came to trying to dress us. It was a male's game. But I remember at the first time i saw TLC wearing Cross Colours. I was like, oh, you got my attention. Let me see. Made me want to bring out more of the women in me. They really created a spark like, wait a minute. I want to shine, too. I need some bright colors.
JEFF TWEEDY, CROSS COLOURS PRESIDENT: It became a calling for everyone. It was celebrities loved it because we embraced celebrities. We embraced all the music art. And they never was any company that ever reach out to artist and say wear my clothing. I think we're probably the first ones to do it. So, we were definitely went to something.
ROMERO: Cross colors within four years went from zero to $100 million. So, the success of Cross Colours then birth then brought a series of other entrepreneurs that decided we wanted to create our own brands too.
So, out of Cross Colours came this phenomenal group of individuals from Jeff Tweedy celebrity stylist June Ambrose, Tony Shellman who ended up going on from mega to Paris nation, April Walker, and I can go on and on and on. KARL KANI, KARL KANI FOUNDER: We once again to the denim business and
we did a research and we found a the Guess Andre Bole (ph) was manufactured in California. So, a friend of mine A-Z he found a manufacturer who's manufacturing Guess.
So, they flew me out here. We stood outside the factory until the workers got off from work. And we didn't really know Spanish it was "trabajo makina mucho dinero," so we can't stand of bunch of people there we kept walking. This one guys says, do you want me to steal and you pay me more money. Spanish guys, he says, he spoke English, and it's kind of bizarre will link us to everything.
This guy name is Juan. They put us up on the denim spots. He showed us where to get the fabrics from and we (Inaudible). So, we took the customer and brought it to California. We had a store on boulevard. Some entrepreneurs decided to come our store and rob us to a gunpoint and took all of us there from the security we had. And at that point, we had a choice to either stay out here or go back to New York.
So, one day we went to the palladium and (Inaudible) call us in the middle of a fashion show and a small called Jones. And her accent, you know, how do you like my stuff in my department stores I want to give up brand out there. He's like you come to office tomorrow I'd be the one to talk to you.
I came to his office and within the first 15 minutes, he was like, you know, I heard about your stuff. If you need some help, I'll be willing to help you out. Two weeks later, we had a deal. And he invited me to become partner with him and go into business.
[23:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very selective in who he gave his clothes to. He gave it to the biggest boys (ph). He gave to the two parts. He gave it to the more sophisticated guys, with Cross Colours more TOC Snoop Dog and things that he -- so, we sort of made sure that they sort of have a different vision and the branding was slightly different, how we market the brand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back then, Karl and ad, and that was like the coolest thing that you can involve in like who is in the next Kari ad. And it just made the dream accessible. It made me feel like if, you know, if he could do it, I could do it.
TWEEDY: He had a sophisticated level. He understood clothing. He understood tailoring. He understood quality. He wanted the best.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is lot of learned obstacles while through young. I was 23 years old. I didn't make a lot of money back then. You know, we just kind of learned and it grows a little bit.
TWEEDY: Stores were afraid of this customer. They really were. They really didn't want this customer in the store. You know, these stores were highly-traded, you know, white suburban and very traditional.
MAURICE MALONE, DESIGNER: For a long time, department stores are frighten. We got time we call the urban diviner, (INAUDIBLE). They couldn't break into department store. It was Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, other big names, the music industry is, you know, making those names big and bigger by constantly talking about them. But, you know, when we get on brands, we are not, you know, being let on the floor to even to compete them.
TWEEDY: It was very difficult when I was running Karl to even for department store even look at our product because they didn't know, you know, most department stores has put a name to, you know, a product. And at the time, it was men's sportswear and men's traditional and men's suit, and that was pretty much it. So when we came out with Karl Kari, it didn't really know how to identify. So what they did was whoever wore the clothes, too short or snoop dog or anyone on the west coast, they considered it gang member. Then they told me then they called street wear, then it became urban.
So imagine, you know, this buyer who has never been in the streets in their life, all of the sudden carrying a line that says a gang wear. And then you've got to associate what type of consumer walking in that store.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, me fellows would tell me, you are quite suited the same (INAUDIBLE). Why should I pay yours?
APRIL WALKER, DESIGNER, WALKER WEAR: I don't know if it was race as much as not understanding what we were doing and being -- at that time, hip hop period, the vibe was this is a fad. It's not going to last from music to fashion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had black and white buyers say kind of the same thing. They like, you know, black people won't buy that or white people won't buy that. That's what they would say. People perceived me as like a wigger. I would get that a lot. So it didn't surprise me when they buyer say had the same time of apprehension. When the buyer say they are building my business was kind of like little cynical like --.
TWEEDY: It really didn't want this consumer in store, but they had to because the demand was there. They call cannot create demand that you had a camera from afar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the first brands to have a whole shop at Macy's next to Ralph Lauren and Polo and Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica.
Stores realized what the income of and the outcome of this could have been. It was. So they took key into it and put it a lot of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 1996, this was the start of the business-making transition from being a mom and pop specialty business to being a department store business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a crazy time. It like it was on fire. Hip hop was growing fast. It was a movement going on fighting power. Hip hop was just exploding in every way and any way. And so, as far that apparel was concerned, it was kind of like there was no main pop. It was just, who ever had an apparel company, basically was part of the movement and they got to win. It was crazy. It was crazy to be part of it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only time I stopped typing is when I asked
her. I said like how much do you charge me to an ad? I stop. I said I don't charge you, black. I charge my people for nothing.
[23:09:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, video music box. Friday night street party, ankle wrap in the place. I'm out there in Las Vegas at the magic convention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Magic is we all in clothing stores, companies and all that come and they all, you know what I'm saying, come to buy and then they put in to store near you. You know what I'm saying?
DAYMOND JOHN, CO-FOUNDER, FUBU: We went to this thing called the magic show in Las Vegas. We don't have any money to exhibit in the trade show, even walk into the trade show. We were $300,000 worth of orders out this little hotel room five miles away from the trade show. We then come back. We don't have any money. We turn down, like, 27 banks. We go to my house, we take all the furniture we can. We sell what we can. The rest of what we cannot sell, we burn in oil drum. It takes about two weeks because we want to get the furniture out of there and we move industrial sewing machines in there and we hire a staff. We slept in sleeping bags next to little machine for a year. I mean, we just crank out of the house. And that start today populate the stores. And stores started to sell polar sweets and sweat shirts in August and Texas. And then people started to realize who we were.
[23:10:20] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fubu was able to do what cross colors didn't in terms of volume. So while its predecessor at its smack, at its peak, you know, hundred million, and that was in 1990, less than seven years later, you are talking about a brand that proved itself at $350 million. It went beyond just the local kids in the hood.
WILLIE ESCO MONTANEZ, FOUNDER, ESCO CLOTHING: You know, the leaders in that just sort of really naturally used the media and used TV properly was Fubu. I mean, although videos were being dominated by coconut. Fubu was clever enough to put a hat on in the Gap commercial and change everything. Just change everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) was always someone who made his own rules and - because he felt the Gap at the time that really respect the calls for him. He put Fubu in the gap commercial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you hear the gap calling. You can't resist the shopping big bowl. Now, stop and yes. So you are popping in every mall in town and city. (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has got me to spend $30 million on that commercial. And it became, basically, a Fubu commercial.
KARL KANI, FOUNDER KARL KANI: Pocket used to be on my clothes all the time even before I met him. So I wanted to meet this dude, man, because (INAUDIBLE) is all over the place. He set up a meeting. So we go to pop's room. The whole time we were in there, he didn't look me in my face (INAUDIBLE). As the type of the fiction movie, it is not a very intelligent conversation with me about black culture, hip- hop, things like that. The only time he stop typing was when I asked him, I said Pac, so like, how much would you charge him to do an ad? He stopped. He said I am not going to charge you, you're black. I don't charge my people for nothing.
I didn't mock up his words. Two weeks later, he was in New York. We did a photo shoot. We saw love. And ever since then we became tight. And Tupac was one of the reasons why my brands became national and global. They worshipped him like a God overseas in and Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have seen the influence by fashion all over the world - Japan and places in Europe, all over Europe. It is how they relate to the music. They don't just listen to it, they embody it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you don't understand English, what makes you go to buy an album, the look, location were transmit something. You can't explain. I remember the pictures with the black suits, leather, the king gold, the glasses and the adidas (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was back, like, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, I was one of the only kids probably in Italy that was already to listen to hip hop music and rap music. I was like, you know, getting clothes and getting music from my friend that were like they like people to meet to the (INAUDIBLE) when it already was not yet popular in Europe. And I would love it because there it again it's about freedom. It's about, you know, supporting the roots of the culture.
TWEEDY: It is national market. Hip hop haunts you there. It is demographic consumers there. The clothes is there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot talk about hip hop only in the U.S. anymore. Hip hop it's not from the U.S. anymore. It has come from Berlin, it has come Tokyo, it has come Hong Kong, it has Paris. It comes from everywhere. There is only word anymore. One word for the money, one word for the music, one word for patient.
Everybody got the same (bleep), in the same time, everyone in the world. It's business. So don't talking about your future. We don't talking about style. We don't talking about fashion. We don't talking about music. We are talking about marketing (INAUDIBLE). In you're in the right timing with the right track marketing, you're going into a bidding war. That's it.
[23:15:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've all had some success. Some more than others. I think people, as they hear it more, they understand it more and were appreciate it more.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY, FORMER EDITOR, VAGUE MAGAZINE: It's the man who was married to the fabulous model, (INAUDIBLE). What Russell Simmons did to (INAUDIBLE) as a couple was extraordinary. Not only for the hip hop culture, but for the fashion culture, for the urban fashion culture, but they created with the brand, the fat form product was to being big,
SWIZZ BEATS, PRODUCER: The music culture is more in depth with the guy name Russell Simmons. They began Russell Simmons including fat form. And people that surround Simmons, man, how much they made all for that. Then you have all these different things as domino effect that, you know, knowing without culture one and how much money is made.
DR. TODD BOYD, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: When mainstream American culture discovered hip-hop, they began trying to sort of, you know, sell bits and pieces of it in any way they could. And this is when you got all of these, you know, fashion labels associated with rappers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will try to show a lifestyle that people would by edge. And that's what I'm ultimately trying to do. You know what I am saying? I was like I don't want it to be look at as were good for urban or black clothing. I wanted to complete with everyone else in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rocawear was around well before Sean John (ph). But it wasn't until we saw the numbers of Sean John that I think Rock- a-wear was able to benefit from that. By the time Sean John came on the scene, urban brands were starting to become a big saturated in the fashion market. And I think Sean John really injected the industry with a new cause.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, for Sean John, you know, my whole news and motivation was what I grew up seeing in the streets, what I grew up seeing going into a (INAUDIBLE) and how they reacted to my style. What I was just seeing in my communities and taking it and combining it also to what I was seeing on runways from all over the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the embodiment of swagger. You know what I'm saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Todd first started doing fashion and having fashion shows, they were some of the most extraordinary (INAUDIBLE) fashion week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody always asked me why I started designing clothes. You see, I basically just wanted to look good, man. You know, to be perfectly honest, I was just, like, looking in the mirror, looking at myself and saying, well, damn, you look good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was Sean John, I just didn't want to just make it a fashion brand. I wanted to make it a lifestyle. I wanted to make sure that we're going from the block to the board room that if you had a job interview, you're able to represent yourself the right way. If you are going to church, you are able to represent yourself the right way fresh from head to toe, you know. And so, we didn't take no prisoners. If Ralph was doing it, Gucci was doing it, Sean John was able to do it and we want to do it just as good as to even better.
TWEEDY: That time, we were up against brands like Mecca and Phatpharm and Rocawear. And we were sophisticated. Again, the quality was better. It was toned down as far as the coloration. The fit was different and if prices were a little more higher. TWEEDY: He said, hey, guess what, I'm going to do urban fashion, but
I'm not going to do urban fashion. - I'm going to do high fashion American states.
DAD-YI CHOW, FORMER DESIGNER, SEAN JOHN: At its heart, Sean John was about aspiration. So he did this high-low thing at such a big level and turned it into this global brand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also won the COD award for men's wear which was huge. I remember being on the company and like -- realizing how big it was. Understand that he was the first African-American to win that award and you are, you know, and it is a hip-hop artist crossing over winning, you know, the most prestigious fashion award for the year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winning that award was bigger than Sean John. It was bigger than me, you know. When we won that award, as I said, we won that award. We all won it together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was able to show that a music brand could make major value sales. And I was starting to see three digit sales from a music inspired line, that was just kind of open the floodgates. All of the sudden, it became a free-for-all. And there wasn't a celebrity, urban or not that didn't get in the business.
[23:20:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was to buy my son a coat that cost $600, I'm going to send him to school with a bullet proof vest.
[23:24:07] OLIVER "POWER" GRANT, CO-FOUNDER, WU WEAR: Well, basely, to start, my expectation of it was nothing other than self-expression and stylization. A stylization that was, you know, there to accompany our music. But I also wanted Wu chain to be kind of like its own like polo or Tommy Hilfiger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) was like I'm not going to keep wearing everybody else's stuff when I can have my own line. That makes sense. But then if you don't pull together the right team, that line is not going to last. And you know what, you might get real estate in that store for six or 18 months, but you're just taking away another design that is real estate that's really real about it and can give some good product.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You for (INAUDIBLE), I guess we are not. I mean, there's nothing that made you think that shady was into fashion. You know, as a consumer, you sort of just knew. It was a money play.
[23:25:17] GUY WOOD, CO-FOUNDER, 500 FLAVORS: They put a million dollars behind all of these different brands. And because they had a hot song, you are as hot as your music. When your music or musician coming out with the clothing brand, they are going to have really surge about this. They are putting now t-shirt. They putting out now this. You are as good as your brand as your music is. If your music starts going south, so does the clothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fashion industry is fickle. It goes up just like the economy. What happened? A number of factors. You have an oversaturation of brands. You had brands moving too fast into doing the department store business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the old urban brand started to hit, the same to us, I sued to cry, 90 percent of our collection started pouring 40 or 30 percent of our collection. Because now, it's floor space competition to newer brands.
JOHN: If you're a designer and you really want to stays true to who you are, but yet you have gig (ph) that you have to pay or partner who has another agenda, you're eventually going to clash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a partner. Our partner probably had never seen go so fast and so big, so he wanted to drive all of the time. And we just bump against constantly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People offering me deals and I was turning them down because of my -- I had three percent, four percent of my company? You mean, you're going to give me four percent of mine? Sound like straight, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When somebody's paying for your dream, it's not your dream anymore. It is your dream. I don't like the way it was made and then I didn't like really put up to perspective of what was being vacated to. You know, I don't like (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't just say a hip hop key is going to become the Louis Vuitton house. Louis Vuitton was 130 years ago (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ralph Lauren and Polo, they disappeared when a particular style of clothing is no longer populist. So, you're talking about, you know, the difference between companies that were able to establish themselves in a society when African-Americans were discriminated against, economically in business and such, in order to have -- I mean, Levis has been around, you know, for how long? Forever. It would have impossible to have had an African-American label making jeans as far as Levis in American society.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, they've not had the staying power.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Depending on the flavor of the day, the mood of the month, you know, whenever we are in to, we wear it. We are proud to wear it, but we put it in a different class of distinction then other designs. And I think that has a lot to do with a lot of different discussions about self-esteem. Distinctions in class and race. Brands are identifiers as to who we are from head-to-toe. And it is always like the grass is greener on the other side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you know about this coat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody wants that coat. It is an expensive coat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't feel safe wearing it because I feel like I might get attack for what I have. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This coat right here? People rob people for these
coats. They're expensive. (INAUDIBLE). A lot of the main, tough areas. This is like a big fashions (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, everyone. I'm Joe Torez.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm Sandra Brooklyn. Just a short time ago, police charged 16-year-old Corey Dunton with attempted murder for opening fire on the ice rink at Bryant Park.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sources say it all started with a fight over a coat and ended with two people shot including a 14-year-old boy whose family fears he might never walk again.
LORINE PADILLA, BRONX RESIDENT: If you know, you see it. It's all over the news. If I was to buy my son a coat that cost $600, I'm going to send him to school with a bullet proof vest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back in the days when I was young, you got beat up. This guys are kept saying holiday. Everybody was all just do this crazy thing like a bunch of kids that shot (INAUDIBLE). I mean, it is just crazy. It's disturbing. It's actually really, really disturbing.
[23:30:07] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The air Jordan shoe frenzy started Friday morning. People waiting in line to get their hands on the shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Georgia, four people are arrested as they try to get a pair of shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five cops, they are bringing everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Espinoza just spent $180 for the air Jordan. But, now, all he has to show for the shoes are cuts and bruises to his head and chest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got an abundance of shoes. (INAUDIBLE). Sometimes I sit back and look and I'm, like, dang.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you do something someone else is doing, you're not fresh. You're not fly. What's fly is when you do something no one else does and does it first.
[23:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the time we hit the 2200s, it was, like, wow, you know, you got to watch the trends because of all of the traffic and all of the activity that was happening online.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before, when our influences were confined to what was at our reach. And now, with the expansion and the power of the Internet, I have access to every fashion, look, brand across the world. So I can be whoever I want to be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're in a space where they're exchanging so many ideas, that I think that you're getting back into individual looks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's no longer, you know, like, it is either urban or it is, you know, like it is punk or this or that. You know, it is not preppy. I mean, like all that stuff, to me, doesn't mean anything now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In hip hop fashion, right now, people are taking way more risk. They feel empowered with a lot more freedom. It's almost like the more risks you take, the more respected that you get.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody want to be recognizing. Everybody want to be noticed. I think what really changed fashion, for real, for real, to where a lot of things OK was that the world embracing homosexuality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's giving people to have ever change the risk and style in fashion, has given them the green light now. People were scared to just express themselves out of fear of being called a name or being too soon to be uncle as some way are not accepted of being, you know, bash worries. (INAUDIBLE). Now, we learned to just accept each other's culture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's a young guy. And he's wearing stuff that's out the box. You know, if is off the block. It's just old stuff from (INAUDIBLE). He's wearing a different type of brands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see everybody is wearing Ralph (INAUDIBLE) that, you know, became standard to me. And I was like normal to the point where in minimum, I didn't want to do that. He gone some things like Prada, Gucci, (INAUDIBLE), those kind of brands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, back end when I was wearing Coscos and coconut, the artist were talking about Coscos and Coconut. So I think it's what was being preached to that consumer in that audience that loves their music. So, now, it's at a point where it's about Versace and it is about those high end brands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's what exactly and everything comes back around. We're at a period where we're trying to buy Gucci and MCM and that happened in the 80s for me, you know. I remember that period. And that's where we're at right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most urban people really don't want things made by other urban people. They want things made by things that they can't attain. That they want to buy into a dream just like everybody else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we, as culture, we inspired to buy the Gucci and the gurus and (INAUDIBLE) because that represents to us success.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While urban brands were for us by us, we were never always loyal to the brands that we followed. There's always kind of this cachet of I'm going to go back to the reliable brands that I'm always used to because somehow, those brands have much more staying power. They represent a particular social class that I want to be at. They represent the ultimate and luxury. And the urban brands, they don't represent the same lifestyle that I aspired to have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Young people want on how are they want status and want, well. Hermes, you have a brand like that, you walk in the store and you see, you know, 75-year-old women, you know, like buying scarfs and teacups and saddles, you know, for horses. It is a classic heritage host, you know. That young taste maker Cooper soon is buying into a heritage and legacy that, you know, that people aspired to.
[23:40:09] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything comes out of class. The class conversation is bigger than the race conversation. So a class is like I'm high class and that's what those brands are Louis, Gucci, all that. And that's part of the reason why they're very skeptical about, you know, working with musicians or rappers because we are considered to be lower class than the designers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The organized industry of fashion in, you know, America that I can speak to, it suffers from a bad identity. Once to pair it what is happening in Europe, right? It has a self-loathing atmosphere where we're never as good as American designers as the French or the Europeans. Why are we waiting for external approval from these (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (INAUDIBLE) loves us. I mean, all the ones ask on tour, they love us. They don't just walk up to me and talk to me about me. I think I spend more time than in folks who run fashion houses and all the integral people there like talking about what they love in our industry and the people nay love.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lately, a lot of people say, yes. You have like, you know, you have a lot of hip hop (INAUDIBLE) presented in people that they love you and to support you. They always come to your show since many years. For me this is inspiring because, you know, these kids, I mean, they're really spending them and they all come out. And I like people that are experimental. And I like people they are taking risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not like the traditional designers that's come to these doors. We have never studied under a Ralph or came out of (INAUDIBLE) and to things like that. Lie you know, nice design shops was that Sean John with puppy. So that even we started public schools, it automatically street wear brand. You are this box and we always like, no. You know, we are trying to be it's not what we're trying to do rightly. It has nothing to do with Sean John (INAUDIBLE) or things like that. We've always, you know, humbly tried not to say Sean John sometimes, depending on who you're talking to. Not being ashamed, but you also want to be taken seriously in those fashion talks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But at the same time, you know, we owe a lot to our time spent at Sean Johns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brand is 100 percent influenced by hip hop. Me, as a next generation, because of the doors that Russell puff and Jay opens, it's only my responsibility that I have to do what I did in music. It is got to be (INAUDIBLE). UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's to say I gave a definition of what fashion
is or what category it should be in. If it's great work, it's great work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom sort of liberates everything because it is a mentality. So you feel free, then you are probably going to dress like you are free. You dress like you are free and probably that is different than anybody else. It's not bound by popular or like trendy opinion. And that is what freedom is. It is to be yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fashion is about authentic experience. So as long it is an authentic experiences and people that are brave enough to have a point of view, there will be fashion. That's what being an artist is. And that's what being, you know, being a fashion icon. It is having the ability to do something that no one else is doing. If you do something that someone else is going, you are fresh enough. You just copy. What's fly is when someone come ins and does something that no one else does or does it first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be fresh is, to me, is to be recognized. You know, you recognized the individualized style. We would be recognized for whatever it is that you are putting on display. And when you are fresh and you are recognized, people notice. And you know, even before they notice, when you know it, when you right here know it, I feel so weird.