Say what you will about Kanye, he's helped transform fashion over the last five years. Where your typical rapper outfit was once baggy jeans, sneakers and an over-sized polo, MCs these days have a lot more leeway to wear suits, fitted jeans and suchlike without anyone doing the Eddie Murphy ambulance skit. It's a movement that's filtered down to street level and New York's Street Etiquette have been documenting it sine 2008.
Founded by Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, the site showcases 'the new dandies'. African America guys who dress preppy and have their own unique style. As Gumbs explains, “There’s more than one cool now for black people. When we were growing up [that didn't exist].”
The pair's fashion endeavours have won them plenty of industry support and at least one (unofficial) celebrity spokesperson - Mos Def. According to the Brooklyn rapper/actor, “They want to elevate the awareness level of young people in their communities... White people have all kinds of archetypes, from Brad Pitt to Al Bundy, everything in between. The cultural paradigms that are aggressively promoted to young black people and young poor people are extremely narrow.”
Or to quote the New York Times, “[Kissi and Gumbs] are the most prominent public faces of a new burst of black dandyism taking root in small retail outlets, niche fashion lines and thoughtful style blogs.” Don't forget your bow tie.
More at streetetiquette.com
The Black Ivy from Street Etiquette on Vimeo.