Fresh Dressed is a 2014 documentary that chronicles the beginnings of urban fashion through the influence of hip-hop and black culture. The film offers commentary from some of music and the fashion industry’s heavyweights, including Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Nas, Karl Kani, and Andre Leon Talley. We start off in the early 1980s in New York where gang violence and police brutality is a hot issue amongst youth in impoverished neighborhoods. As a way of reducing the violence between rival gangs, an age of dance and rap battles is born. From then we go through a timeline of how the fashion during these trials went from strict individuality to brand identity and then onto famous hip hop artists being used to endorse such brands. This is when the film goes deeper, exploring the birth and over saturation of urban clothing brands such like FUBU, Cross Colours, Karl Kani, Rocawear, and Sean John.
Now, I don’t want to give away much more about the film (I highly suggest that you check it out), but I will say that I cannot think of another documentary that attacks the topic of fashion through hip hop influence in such a fun and, pardon the pun, fresh way like Fresh Dressed does. For someone who grew up in a time and neighborhood where having the latest Baby Phat or Rocawear clothing was considered cool, this film presented some facts and details that I never knew, despite being familiar with the products. Fresh Dressed also took a daring route in addressing reasons as to why Black-Americans tend to buy more into brand culture when it comes to fashion. I found this to be a great thing that could offer much opportunity for discussion with my generation.
Once again, if you haven’t already, you should check out this film. You will be entertained and hey, you might even learn something, too.
More information about this film can be found here.