,The award-winning film “The Remix: Hip-Hop x Fashion” highlights a shift in design inspiration and features hip-hops most iconic fashion moments that influenced the fashion industry and beyond.
Focusing on women’s overall impact on fashion the movie, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 won six best documentary awards and details commentary from the likes of TV personality and businesswoman Bevy Smith, film producer and chief creative officer Mimi Valdés, art curator and writer Kimberly Drew, and British Vogue publishing director Vanessa Kingori.
The History ,The Women, The Vision
Too often, women are left out of Hip-hop history despite their contributions to the subculture as a whole. Urban fashion pioneer Cindy Campbell, Sister of Dj Kool Herc, who is widely regarded as the father of hip-hop, once threw a party to raise money, according to Misa Hylton, who moves the film forward as it navigates through history. Miss Campbell turned to her brother to help host ( as she was a minor) and have him play music for the party. It was a huge success, so they continued to throw parties promoting many popular fashion trends.
“Women bring forth life and ideas and inspiration and give birth to many amazing things,” Hylton says.
Hylton, a stylist and founder of the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy, conceptualized and developed iconic looks with Lil’ Kim, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Mary J. Blige, among others. She started the fashion academy in 2012 to give knowledge to the next generation of entertainment creatives. Many of the students who followed the program went on to work for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Ariana Grande, for Netflix and Viacom, networks like VH1 and athletes as well. “I’ve always been someone who wanted to teach and provide for people that want to do what I’m doing,” she says.
April Walker & Misa Hylton: Hip-Hop Fashion Pioneers
“The Remix: Hip-Hop Fashion” premiered on Netflix on July 22, Directed by Lisa Cortés and Farah X highlights stylist Misa Hylton and Walkerwear founder April Walker and their experiences as hip hop key players.
April Walker, one of the movie’s stars, is a forerunner of hip-hop fashion, and Misa Hylton, says when Cortés and Farah X approached her for the film, she felt they should also highlight Walker. “April paved the way for me,” Hylton says. “She’s been in the culture heavily from the Eighties all the way to now. There was no way to tell my story without her telling her story. When I’m in a position to tell my story or in a position to create a forward movement, I always want to bring someone with me to help tell their story. It’s what we have to do as women and as people of color in fashion.”
Some iconic looks created by Hilton include Jodeci’s “I Gotta Love” video in which she dressed the R&B singing group like quintessential rappers instead of singers, and Lil’ Kim’s “Crush on You” music video, where the Brooklyn rapper wore monochromatic ensembles with matching wigs. Hylton also created Lil’ Kim’s 1999 MTA VMAs look.
Walker started Walkerwear after opening her first store in Brooklyn, which was inspired by Dapper Dan’s storefront in Harlem. Rap stars like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., and Run-DMC, among others, embraced her label, wearing pieces in music videos, photoshoots, and on the red carpet. She says in the movie that one year she signed over $1 million in orders at a Magic trade show.
Hip-hop and Hip-hop fashion as a global phenomenon can be seen as one of the U.S.’s most significant cultural currencies, and the people responsible can finally be celebrated.
“I think for a long time because I am a woman in hip-hop in my outlook, I’ve been very committed that the history was restorative to the rightful place of women in the culture,” says Cortés, a producer, writer, and director who is also known for the 2009 film “Precious.”
The movie also speaks to the stretches of hip-hop’s influence, sweeping beyond New York City and into other countries like France, England, Australia, and South Korea. The film also touches on the culture being co-opted and the creators being left out of their contributions sparking conversation of what is appropriation and appreciation for the culture.
Cortés said, “When you see the extensive reach of our innovation and the cultural change that happened, it’s so important, especially for young people to understand how deep our roots are for ownership of self.”