As you all know we’re here to Educate & Elevate, so here is the first of many posts which will give you all a deeper insight into our influences, the ideas behind our designs and how they all come together. The EE team is made up of three of us so, that’s a huge three brains full of ideas… we obviously all have different taste but luckily we also dig the same things! As our main love is for 90’s culture, we all come up with random ideas taken from film, art, music etc…once we have one idea our personal tastes create a mash up of creativity leading to our final design . This can take hours, days or even a few weeks depending on the research into the design plus the fact that our designer is a perfectionist! So sometimes we can have a “finalised” design that she’ll love and hate within the same 5 minutes, we’ll turn our backs for a second and she’ll add one missing element only her eye could see that makes it perfect. No one else has ever been able to translate ideas in this way so we’re truly blessed to have this team, which is why we want to share our creative process with the guys. The first design we’re looking at is one of our favourites…
The Hi Top Tee.
This design was born through our love for Kid ‘N Play and one of the most popular hairstyles in the late urban 80’s early 90’s… the Hi Top Fade. We think our obsession for the 90’s stems for growing up in the era but not at the same time, if that makes sense. We’re trying to relive our youth and recapture part of an era we missed as kids,(ie the cool part.) As deeply into 90’s culture as we are now, we were way too young to appreciate the release of House Party, or to admire Will Smith’s hi top on Fresh Prince (first time round, not the re-runs). For those living through the trend of the hi-top, they probably weren’t to know that it would in future symbolise the golden era of Hip-hop. The hi-top rose to fashion in the late 80’s, first appearing on the likes of Doug E. Fresh & Schooly D and then blowing up with the success of one of our favourite 90’s movies House Party, featuring hi-top pioneers Kid ‘N Play where Kid showcased his height-defying fade. It wasn’t just for the fellas, though, ladies also sported the look, with fashion icon Grace Jones rockin’ a huge Gumby style fade in the late 80’s for the cover of “Slave To The Rhythm”.
Another of our all time favourite movies “Do The Right Thing” (which was a huge inspiration to the E&E logo – catch our next post for info on that) – produced, written and directed by living legend Mr. Spike Lee – featured Spike as the main character Mookie, who sported his own Gumby style hi top. The name “Gumby” was used for the style of slanted hi-hops, similar to the design we produced, and was given this nickname because of it’s likeness to the cartoon character (google it!). The trend strengthened through the early 90’s with the help of rappers such as Kwamé, Big Daddy Kane, Bobby Brown and many more who help define the hi-top as a symbol of urban culture. The early 90’s saw a more defined version of the hi-top, with guys using their fades as even more of a statement by introducing unique designs, cuts and lines to the mix to show their individuality to a now mass followed trend in hip hop culture.
As with all trends, by the mid-1990’s the hi-top was on it’s way out to make way for the next must hair hair-do of the era, the braided style hi-top. We could literally write all day about the influences behind this design but we think you get the general picture of why this trend was so sick we felt it had to be immortalised into one iconic image which will portray an era and not be devalued by ever changing fashion trends. Let’s not forget that all trends come back again without a doubt, and even the hi-top has made appearances in the 20th century! We personally think 2013 should be the year the hi-top is here to stay. We’ve already got Kid Love, Kenny Bui and Prynce Diveo of Tribe NYC keepin’ the hi-top alive and we even have our own fresh prince Ethan who has featured in every EE lookbook – bringing the hi-top to the U.K streetwear scene. To round it up, if you’ve never seen any of the House Party movies, we suggest you please watch! They will, without a doubt, educate you about 90’s fashion and you’ll probably want to grow your own high top!
Kid Love & Prynce Divoe of Tribe NYC wear the Hi Top Tee.