By Danielle Marie Hurren
Style is the idol of youth for the simple reason that often the greatest form of manifestation is to be found in that Nike tick worn boldly on the side of a pair of Nike Airs.
And this is certainly true for all the kids who were ready to Kick It at Sunday’s, ‘Kick It Market’ at the Atlantico exhibition space. A place where the turntables were flipped on history in a retelling of their own story by the cultural underdogs.
This was a market in which the footwear was so loud, it was guaranteed to make a greater indentation on people’s minds than any other aspect of appearance. Sure to speak louder than the outfit we all wear without choice; the style of our skin, our race, or heritage.
And this is the origin of street culture’s connection and preoccupation with the brand. The reality that the brand offers a great chance to shout loud in a fashion statement which leaves a greater indentation in people’s minds than the impression of a person’s skin.
And yet is it the question of a pair of trainers raising a person out of a cultural blacklisting? Or more to the point, is it the sense that the style of the shoes raises a person up into an inclusive cultural group for whom the entrance ticket comes in the sense of style alone.
The wearing of a pair of Nike shoes, or Supreme trainers raise a person up to this demographic of people and so give the chance for the underdogs to retell their own story. And to look unbelievably good while telling it. The underdogs reconfiguring themselves in Nike shoes or Supreme t-shirts as a retelling of the history of their minority group.
It is in the social branding individuals of individuals that Hip-Hop first originated. Began in the Bronx. Began in black America. It was a bold act of brand inversion where kids who inverted their own social branding and turned it into a power. Kids who were already socially branded, and who chose not to do away with branding, but rather, to take it to the max.
And took it to the max they did at the Atlantico exhibition space on Sunday. Not only were there countless resellers of top label brands, but also a DJ and even tattoo inking taking place. And of course Drago was there, in on the antics, with their latest Drago publication, “Crash Kid: A Hip-Hop Legacy.”
For it is the inclusive attitude of street culture which runs to the heart of the book, the story of breakdance legend, Massimo Colonna as he is remembered through the accounts of personal friends. One such friend, the Italian Rapper, Amir Issaa, spoke about this inclusive attitude of both Hip-Hop, and Massimo himself, during the “Crash Kid,” book launch at Palazzo Velli, which took place earlier this month.
Amir expressed that it was through Hip-Hop and street culture, through the friendship of Massimo, that he first felt acceptance in a social group.
And so, the fashion of street culture really does owe its sense of style to these clusters of kids, such as Massimo and his friends who would cluster in their rings of break-dancing groups and gather on the Roman streets. Meet to dance and always meet dressed in the right style, for it was the clothing that expressed their membership, their admittance and their right to belong.