Black History: Influence In Fashion


So many trends in fashion got their beginning in the black communities.

Some are timeless, some have evolved and all of them are an integral part of the history of fashion, as well as black history.

The Zoot Suit

Trends like Zoot suits with big silhouette and wide lapels, pinstripes, silk shirts, wide hats and brogues made its way into menswear.

It originated in Harlem, New York in the late 1930s and was an adaptation of the London “drape” suit.

Cab Calloway rocked the Zoot Suit like nobody else could.

The Civil Rights Movement

During the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s and ’70s the Black Panther Party came into the forefront to promote equal rights of African Americans and challenged police brutality in the country.

The Black Panther Uniform with black leather jackets and slogan tees established its dominance as an integral part of fashion even today.

Activist Angela Davis sported her natural hair, turtleneck sweaters and gold chains that got incorporated in that fashion during that period.


Modern-day streetwear has been heavily influenced and popularized by black culture. Streetwear fashion became prominent in the late 70’s to the early 1980’s, when the hip-hop genre flourished in urban cities of Los Angeles and New York City.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the fashion world was dominated by the hip-hop culture. Bright, primary colors and oversized clothing started to take over.

Oversized layered chains, big hoop earrings and big chunky gold jewelry were made popular by artists such as Run DMC and Salt-N-Pepa.

Luxury Streetwear

Hip-Hop and streetwear merged with Luxury in the 2000’s

During this era, streetwear encountered luxury and quickly became a status symbol.

Dapper Dan introduced high fashion elements to Hip Hop with his Louis Vuitton and Gucci prints added to his own creations.

Virgil Abloh, co-creator of Off-White created a stir in the fashion works, becoming the first African-American Artistic Director for the French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton in 2018.

Off-White brought luxury Streetwear to the forefront where it will remain for many years.

Black history has brought us some of the biggest influence the fashion world will ever see.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s