Hip Hop culture puts their stamp on high fashion

By Daniela Wainfor, ’18 and Katherine Dominek, ’19

From Gucci Mane to A$AP Rocky to Kanye West, the hip hop and rap communities have branded high-end fashion, meshing the fashion and music industries together to influence the public. Nowadays it’s common to turn on the rap and hip hop station and hear any artist rhyme about how they just spent an entire college semester’s worth of money on a single Gucci belt. Nonetheless, fashion is an important part of music and high end fashion is starting to make its way to local streets in a different category known as something the industry likes to call “street style.”  

Because the population and diversity of the people in Columbus is a great reflection of America as a whole, Columbus is a great test market for new restaurants, products, and clothing boutiques.

Many of these boutiques are located right in the heart of Columbus on N. High Street, the perfect location for the target audience of young, fashionable adults.

Premium Kicks is a sneaker shop that was founded with the intention of providing people with the latest sneakers, designer shirts, bags and more with brands including Jordans, Yeezys, Chucks and Vans. The shop combines the latest street trends with high fashion to create a large collection for people to choose from.

“Athleisure”-style clothing can also be found at Sole Classics, another sneaker based store in the Short North. Sole Classics brand themselves as a “lifestyle boutique” with a wider variety of items from shoes to shirts to hats to trendy backpacks. The website features a Gucci-esque Nike Sportswear N98 jacket in “Chinese New Year” print with classic red and gold oriental patterns on a black background, giving it a designer feel with a twist of Nike street style. Sole Classics is also the only dealer in Ohio licensed through Vans to sell products under the Vans Vault Collection.

Soon after basketball legend Lebron James was pictured wearing a hat with a “T” with the tail made into a lightning bolt, a certain street style clothing brand received a lot of attention. The “T” on James’s hat stands for TACKMA, a store founded by Jeffrey Schottenstein, who had the intention of creating a brand for the misfits of society, a brand that would give outsiders free will to express their creative selves. Schottenstein describes his brand as “a lifestyle collection that embraces culture and the timeless appeal of high quality products with simplicity in mind.”

If one is looking to recycle their gently used clothes, they can make their way to Rag-O-Rama or Buffalo Exchange. Both of these stores are a step up from regular thrift shops, as they are both known for putting an emphasis on not only bettering the environment but doing so in style. They carry classic vintage and current styles along with designer items. One could easily find pieces in either of these stores that are one-of-a-kind and have a high end feel.

All of these stores can be found scattered along N. High Street if one is looking to amp up their style with a few new street style inspired pieces, without having to tap into their college tuition savings for a yeezy shirt.