"being fresh is more important than having money," kanye west poignantly says in the hip hop fashion documentary, fresh dressed. "the entire time i grew up, i only wanted money so i could be fresh.”
to be fresh - as in sporting clothes fresh out of the box - became a fashion aesthetic when gangs and hip hop artists responded to a racially charged climate in 70s new york by absorbing status labels. fresh dressed is a colorful scrapbook of all the players who built this movement up to be what it is today. kid 'n' play, karl kani and dapper dan all help tell the story of how having money wasn't as important as looking like you had money.
by the end of the film, we see how the mainstream now absorbs hip hop style. kanye sits front and center at the runway shows and sean combs won the top menswear award from the council of fashion designers of america. the outlaw identity is no longer rebellious but aspirational.
watch the doc for the clothes - the airbrush tees, the bucket hats, the fat shoe laces. and for its ability to inspire with its story of how hip hop bubbled up so high that it changed the fashion landscape forever.