Hip-Hop and fashion has long been intertwined since the early days when Run DMC were endorsing the Adidas Superstars. In the 90s Hip-Hop fashion went beyond just endorsement deals when mogul Russell Simmons founded his very own line “Phat Farm”. More Hip-Hop clothing labels like Sean John, & Rocawear will soon follow and become huge brands of their own. Then the 2000s came and ushered in the BAPE explosion which shifted Hip-Hop fashion out of Macy’s men’s department, and back to the street. Bape, with their frequent collaborations and endorsements from some of the biggest artists out during that time, help bridge the gap between Hip-Hop and streetwear. An argument can be made that this whole “HypeBeast” culture that exists today is a direct result of BAPE’s influence.
Which brings us to 2017,
Hip-hop fashion is at an all-time high. Artists endorsements are the norm, some artists even hold titles like “Creative (Art) Director”, and “Brand Manager” for heavyweight companies, and creatives like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West are pioneering hip-hop trails into the world of high fashion. Just like the music industry, the internet has affected fashion as well, as far as cutting out middlemen and allowing creatives to sell straight to consumer. As a result there are tons of new brands out in cyberspace fighting for a chance to have us laced in their “special cloth” (s/o to DJ Khaled). So, to stand out nowadays you have to establish a strong “Brand” that the people can connect and relate too.
With that being said, there is an upcoming brand that merits your attention; “EAT”. Although EAT dosen’t have the same prestige as a BAPE as of yet, there are some similarities as far as the energy and creative marketing they bring. EAT would definitely be considered “streetwear”, rather than high fashion, taking a more DIY approach that relies on simple, effective and eye catching designs. They plaster their logo and graphics on a range of merchandise ranging from tee-shirts, to key chains. The first thing about the brand that grabs your attention is the name alone, EAT ( Elevate ALL the Time), and the catchy tagline that accompanies it; #ifyoudonteatyoudieinthestreet ( If You Dont Eat You Die In The Street). That slogan has become somewhat of a mantra, aiding an aggressive, but optimistic youth movement in search for answers. This may can explain how the brand is building a cult-like following which started in the inner city of Washington D.C, now expanding it’s horizons outwards.
EAT ( Elevate ALL the Time) represents hustle and ambition, qualities that happens to also describe it’s creator “Malik Jarret. Malik has definitely grinded to get his brand in the position it’s in. From doing photography at big events & concerts, using his EAT logo as his watermark, to hosting weekly pop-up shops at local bars & lounges. The efforts are paying off, with celebrities nationally now taking notice, and collaborations with footwear giant New Balance. With more events in the horizon, it seems like the EAT brand is looking to become a fixture in the area’s music scene as well. It seems like Hip-hop & Fashion are a match made in heaven.-