In preparation for an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop in 2023, the Museum at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology has announced that it is accepting donations for its Hip Hop Style Archive.
Scheduled to run February through April 2023, the “Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style” exhibition will track the history of hip hop fashion from its roots right up to the present day, following its journey “from the hood to the runway,” while also examining its impact on wider culture.
The exhibition will be co-curated by Elena Romero, assistant professor of advertising and marketing communications at FIT, and the museum’s assistant curator of costume Elizabeth Way. The duo will be supported by an advisory committee composed of experts in fashion, music, journalism, academia, and education.
“For 50 years, hip hop has made its mark on U.S. culture and the world,” commented Romero, who is also the author of Free Stylin': How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry. “It is the perfect time to exhibit, examine, and celebrate the contributions of our youth and people of color who ignited a multibillion-dollar industry, once considered a passing fad.”
The Museum at FIT’s Hip Hop Style Archive was established last year as part of the preparations for the exhibition but is also part of the museum’s permanent holdings.
The constantly growing collection is currently made up predominantly of men’s and women’s apparel, footwear and accessories. Pieces include creations by designers ranging from Dapper Dan to Chanel, via American sportswear and luxury designers and European luxury brands.
An especially important aspect of the archive is its collection of pieces by the designers of color – particularly African American and Latinx designers – who helped establish hip hop as a global trend.
Those interested in donating to the Hip Hop Style Archive can submit their details via an online form on the FIT website.