Today’s Hip Hop Fashion Brands

Hip hop fashion is everywhere. Hip hop clothing designers have certainly made a mark in today’s fashion. Urban fashion is more than oversize football jerseys, and baggy jeans for men and skintight mini-dresses, and low rise jeans for women.  Actually, urban clothing has evolved over the years to include a wide variety of styles. Just as fast as the music has spread and inspired listeners of all colors and backgrounds, anyone can wear urban wear and look good. Here are some of the top hip hop clothing brands.

  • Apple Bottom Jeans caters to trendsetting women of all shapes and sizes. Being fashion trendy is not easy when you have curves. The motto of Apple Bottoms is “A woman should not try to fit the clothes; the clothes should fit the woman!” Apple Bottoms ultimate mission is to exhibit and accentuate the natural curves of a woman. This unique brand is the mastermind of platinum superstar Nelly. His creative team of designers crafted the perfect fit for different women’s body shapes.  Since the release of Apple Bottoms they have become one of the hottest urban clothing lines that caters to females of all shapes and sizes. The brand is adored by celebrities including Oprah, Alicia Keys, and Ciara. Apple Bottoms is now a full clothing line for women, including not only jeans, but also skirts, shorts, shirts, and even jackets. 
  • Kimora Lee has positioned Baby Phat as the world’s top destination brand for female urban hop hip clothing. Sexy and stylish, Baby Phat, has become a phenomenon in style and fashion with women all over the world. Kimora’s experience as a top fashion model, her marriage to Russell Simmons, her intrinsic sense of style would put Baby Phat at the forefront of the urban luxury movement. Kimora Lee’s lavish designs are sought after by top celebrities including Britney Spears, Lil’ Kim and Alicia Keys.  Baby Phat’s eye-catching clothing represents everything that is feminine, fun, glitzy, glamorous, and sensuous. The line now includes outerwear, handbags, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, two limited edition Motorola mobile phones and a signature fragrance. Kimora Lee continues to take fashion to new heights. Baby Phat certainly is a lifestyle brand for the glamorous woman who loves fashion
  • Beyonce Knowles, one of the greatest R&B singers of our day has successfully transcended the music industry.  She has become a songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, fashion designer, fashion model, and film producer in the span of about 5 years. Beyonce launched her family’s fashion line House of Dereon in 2004 with her mother Tina Knowles. The style and concept is inspired by three generations of women in their family, with the name “Dereon” paying tribute to Beyonce’s grandmother, Agnez Dereon.
  • Marc Ecko, the creative force behind the Ecko Clothing brand, has pioneered the fashion of the youth culture and global lifestyle brand. The brand has expanded to include several lines comprised of Ecko Unlimited (men), Ecko Red (women), EckM Function (outerwear and alternative sports), Marc Ecko Leather (leather goods), Marc Ecko watches, Marc Ecko Scopes (eyewear), EckM Storage (bags and accessories), Marc Ecko Footwear (men’s, women’s, and children’s footwear), Zoo York (skateboarding, extreme sports, and hip hop), EckM Unlimited Boys and Ecko Red Girls lines.
  • Founded by Jonas Bevacqua and Robert Wright, Lifted Research Group (LRG) represents the common love of music and fashion by its creators. Bevacqua was responsible for the idea for the company and also raised the initial startup capital from friends who worked in the fashion industry.  The independent clothing company was quickly recognized by the hip hop generation, being worn by hip-hop celebrities Kanye West and Chris Brown. According to the founders, the company’s success has been the result of listening to their passions instead of their pockets.
  • Rocawear Clothing represents a borderless, global lifestyle. Created by Jay-Z, the brand quickly became the main brand for street savvy consumers. The Rocawear clothing line maintains a focus of providing clever innovation in fabrication, application and design to its customers.  Diversifying from young men’s wear to women’s, juniors, children’s, infants and accessories, Rocawear defines and advances urban cultural trends while remaining a true reflection of urban lifestyle.
  • Sean John Clothing has grown from a domestic style to international recognition. Diddy brings his acute sense of style to his signature collection of sportswear, underwear, outerwear, tailored suits, boys clothing, fragrances, accessories, women’s wear, and eyewear. The New York Times praises Sean John for its perpetual success. P.Diddy states “Sean John clothing is not looking for a quick hit, but is rather committed to the quality and design of its products. We would ultimately like to be viewed as the future of fashion”.

Tips For Creating a New Fashion Brand

As a child, I was confident that I would be a rich and famous fashion designer when I grew up. If pink nail polish, and designer jeans were the prerequisite, I was surely on my way. Color blocking was not an option in those days. Black shoes were the only staple, so I knew it all. In my first meeting with the fashion design high school, I was quickly shut down because of my inability to sketch. “Well, you would need to know how to draw and sketch,” the middle aged admissions counselor smirked. He then embarked on a fifteen minute lecture as to why my inability to do the latter would make fashion designing a rather formidable task. “Ouch!” My budding ambition, oversized ego, and teenaged self esteem, felt my pain in unison. “Imagine what skills I would need to become a lawyer,” I rationalized to myself.

Fast forward to the world of design software, computers, outsourcing and the internet. I am sure that the inability to sketch wouldn’t be frowned upon as such for fashion designing. It is never too early, or too late to develop your talent and innate ability as a fashion designer. Feel free to indulge in and create your new fashion brand if you are 12 or 55 years old.

Research your market. Who are you targeting?
Get inspiration from the key players in fashion.
Use Skype to set up business meetings. This cuts down on traveling costs.
Use social networks to interview people you know.
These interviews will give you ideas for present and future projects.
What can you contribute to make your fashion unique?
Add the wow factor that will make your designs stand out.
Brainstorm with friends and family to get as many ideas as you can.
Use friends and family for advertising your designs.
Wearing your design helps to get your brand out there.
“Where did you get that top?” This means a potential customer.
You will probably be on a budget, so utilize the internet for its low overhead to start out.
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of online vs. offline.
Based on the above, choose the method that works best for your fashion brand.
Create a blog to help with your marketing efforts.
A professional website is a must have for your new business.

Once you have everything in order, go fast and hard promoting your new fashion brand. Good results will fuel your motivation, and inspire you to work harder.

Socially Conscious Fashion Brands – Why We Need More Of Them

1. All the clothes are the same

The single biggest complaint about the state of fashion today is a distinct lack of original design. Particularly in the street fashion genre, the industry is plagued with a massive “me-too” complex. These days the challenge is all over, everybody wants to be the next “billionaire street label with all-over pattern designs”. Perhaps what’s even more sad, is that the customer has largely bought into such an extraordinary lack of invention, perpetuating the appearance of such mindless creations. It is really a challenge to look at the street fashion collections that come out today and get any real sense of distinct “design personality”. The group that loses when this happens is the customer, the customer that loses the ability to express themselves uniquely through what they wear.

2. Nobody cares for quality

In the latest Trend Report from trendwatching, one of the emerging trends for 2007 was “massclusivity” or exclusivity for the masses. What this has done, over the last few years, is commoditize all but the most luxurious products on earth. This has been done at the expense of quality. The fashion companies cannot make massive amounts of so called “designer” fashions at the same costs and with the same attention to detail as they would if they were not trying to flood the market with cheap clothes. As a direct result, quality has suffered, quality of the materials, quality of the designs, quality of the product delivery and quality of the production process. But more about that later…

3. Nobody cares for service

With the advent of mass commoditization, fashion has lost any ambitions of providing great service. If your goal is to move massive units of mindless cheap product, would you care so much about service? Would you put much effort into the experience your customer has with your label, with your brand? The labels have become faceless corporations with as much quality of brand experience as a vending machine. This has partly given rise to a larger fashion gap – the birth of “uber-premium” products where quality and service does matter though at such an expense that places them outside the reach of 99.9% of the mass class.

4. The designs don’t mean anything

Fashion has never been a great place to find meaning, especially not with any depth. This is odd, because one of the measures of great design in other realms of artistic expression are the feelings, thoughts and emotions a design evokes in those who observe it. This is a large part of how other arts are judged and how consciously and unconsciously, value gets assigned to them. Fashion has spent generations treading on thin ice in this area. With too much bias towards passing pop culture fads, fashion has systematically squandered the opportunity to intrigue, create wonder and make a statement to its masses of followers.

5. The creations are not new, only recycled

Perhaps even greater than the lack of inspiring creativity, sparkling variety and depth of meaning is the distinct absence of true innovation. If you take a complimentary industry, such as sports footwear – that industry has built real brand value through innovation. Cases in point are leading brands like Puma or Nike. Guilty in some respects of their own style recycling with the retro sneaker fad, they have over time made real attempts to consistently rethink the sports sneaker. And the customer has benefited with greater comfort, better performance and ultimately, better styling.

So what now?

Well to those consumers who are now becoming more conscious and aware of the real price of fashion, who are concerned about the impact of their choices in what clothes they buy, the following may be good advice –

o Buy fewer clothes

o Buy clothes that are more durable so they can last longer

o Buy clothes that are made as ethically as possible, with least energy and least use of toxic chemicals

o Buy clothes made by workers paid a credible living age, with reasonable employment rights and conditions

o Buy clothes that mean something to you, clothes that you can be proud of, and proud of wearing for a long time

o Buy clothes that give something back to the world that gave birth to them

Fashion may be dead in many ways, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In its proper form, fashion breathes. And when design, creativity, personal truth, honest expression and social responsibility meet – fashion sings. Because no matter what giant corporations may do, the undeniable truth is…

Fashion wants to live.