It’s no secret that hip-hop has inspired fashion for years, but have you ever wondered about the origins of street wear culture?
Director Sacha Jenkins tackles the relationship between urban style and hip-hop music in his new documentary Fresh Dressed. Featuring the rap industry’s biggest talents like Nas (executive producer), Pharrell Williams, Kanye, Pusha-T and many more, ”Fresh Dressed” chronicles the origins of street wear fashion from gang violence in the bronx to the hip-hop of the 70s and 80s. Tracking urban fashion’s rise in popularity on tv shows such as Fresh Prince and In Living Color to its decline and the return to haute couture. Yesterday, at the Fresh Dressed red carpet we caught up with Sacha Jenkins, Pusha T and Nas and asked them about their thoughts on the documentary and being “Fresh Dressed.”
Director Sacha Jenkins:
What were you saying before about the business of rap and A$AP Rocky?
Well those guys are traveling in worlds that people in hip-hop previously didn’t, so because they have access to all this high fashion, and they’re learning and mingling with lots of different people, they’re having an influence on those worlds and they’re also coming away with an influence from those worlds.
Can you talk about the process of making the documentary and what was the most surprising thing you encountered during filming ?
It took about a year and a half to make the film and it’s interesting to see how passionate people are about clothing and what it meant to them in the inner city. I screened the film at Sundance and this woman came up to me afterwards and said, “I’m a 72-year-old white woman and I’m not fresh,” and she looked down at her clothes and was like, “I didn’t understand where that fashion was coming from and how important it was to those to people and I never thought about my own fashion in that way, so thank you for sparking the conversation and helping me think about fashion in a way I hadn’t before.”
How intertwined do you think hip-hop still is with the fashion industry?
Well again you look at guys like Pharrell and Kanye and A$AP those guys have all become muses for a lot of people in the “high fashion world” so I’m sure their presence and folks being fascinated by them and their culture and what they do is rubbing off on what they’re interested in making or how they wanna connect to audiences. I think in the past a lot of those brands weren’t interested in connecting with the hip-hop set, but I think now there’s grown to be a level of understanding and respect that didn’t happen before because it’s a new generation of people. Riccardo Tisci grew up with hip-hop, he’s not scared of it, he’s inspired by it and wants to be around it and because it’s something that he’s inspired by I’m sure that’s rubbing off on him in one way or another.
Now in the documentary there are amazing talents like Nas and Kanye West, who was the artist you were most excited to work with?
Pusha T was phenomenal, great interview and great insights into fashion. I’d never interviewed him before, but he had such great insight and was so giving. Nas, he and I went to the same junior high school, so for me to be working on a film with him, considering the crappy junior high school experience we had- where people had no expectations for us and where I was told to go to a trade school, instead of a college- for me it’s really powerful to have this kind of movie with him.
Who/what are some of your fashion inspirations?
I would have to say Pharrell Williams of course, he’s like the fashion goal to me. The mid 80s/early 90s hip-hop, all those guys the Rakims, the Eric Bs, the Big Daddy Kanes and Grand Puba just on a historical level.
Before the filming of this documentary how aware were you that fashion and hip-hop inspired one another and were so intertwined?
To me it’s always been, from watching my favorite rap artists, when it was RUN DMC, I cried for an adidas suit, I cried when I watched Rakim on the Apollo and I wanted the jean outfit, I cried for that. I cried for like a Shirt Kings airbrushed shirt then they moved to Virginia and it was that much closer so I’ve always known.
Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
King Push is the album, it’s the only focus right now. I would have to say I’m 85% done and it’s lyric driven. Ima say it’s gonna be album of the year. I’m gonna win.
Who are some of the most Fresh Dressed artists in your opinion?
Pusha T Photo Credit: Nishat Baig
Hennessy V.S presented the film’s after party at Space Ibiza. Rafael Fondeur took the below photo: