Yeah strange topic I know, this was originally intended for last week but I was tied up all weekend with a client. The reason it would have been symbolic last weekend is March 9th marks the anniversary of Big’s death. If you’re a fan of Hip Hop or know anyone who is, then you may have seen one or two tributes pop up on your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Anyone who has read my blog for a while will know that I’m a massive Hip Hop fan and particularly in my younger days my personal style was dictated by this. The reason Big was so adored by people around the world was because he did things differently. Part of him doing things differently also meant that style wise he didn’t always fit in with the rest of the Hip Hop world.
1.High End Fashion
You may already know your Marni from your Margeila, but for a 15 year old growing up in a working class town Big’s lyrics were one of my first exposures to high end fashion. Name checking brands like Versace, DKNY and Moschino lead me to start checking out what they were and give me my first taste of the high end. He was such a big fan of Versace in particular that he often went to check out their shows in Europe long before you had the likes of Kanye popping up at catwalks. Check out what Donatella had to say about him.
“I think Biggie was amazing,” Versace said. “He came to my shows in Paris many times, and we’d see each other often. He always used to talk so nicely about my family. I think he was so smart, so intelligent. He had such a mind. So I loved what he was doing and how he was giving people a way to know about Versace—I do think he was giving people a way to know about Versace—I do think a lot of people started to know about Versace because of him.”
Yup… that would be me.
I’ve already mentioned that Big had a love for the high end designer brands. This often meant that he was rocking clothes that the rest of the Hip Hop world wasn’t such as the Versace shirts, trousers shoes. This is a far cry from the traditional Hip Hop uniform in NYC at the time of Timbaland boots and baggy jeans. This illustrated to me to, do you and not stick to the trends that everyone else is following.
3. It’s all about the Tailoring
When you think about rappers you have a pretty stereotypical view that is conjured up in your mind. Even though rappers are a lot more ‘fashionable’ nowadays than they ever have been before, you still never see many in a suit. However, back in 96-97 you’d often see Big rocking a suit, his cane and a hat. Showing that tailoring was and always will be king.
4. Be Versatile With Your Clothes
The great thing about Big was that he never dressed a certain way all the time, he could mix it up with the razzle dazzle of the high end pieces. But he could also work the brands that were big on the streets like Karl Kani, meaning he never alienated the people where he was from. Be versatile with your clothes, mix and matching styles and looks keeps your own personal style fresh.
5. It’s all about the sparkle.
“Putting 5 Karats in my baby girl’s ear”
Every fashionista knows a bit of sparkle does wonders to an outfit, Big was no different. Although rapping about diamonds was not really anything new in Hip Hop at the time, I still had to mentioned it :-).
Anyway I’d love hear your thoughts? As ever feel free to leave a comment below.