Throw it Back… freshest ads of the 90’s

We love a #throwbackthursday here at EE  even though in our world, it’s everyday… from the music we bless our eardrums with to the clothes on our backs… we keep it old school! We’re puttin our fists up to the brands, artists and creators who paved the way in our favourite decade. This post is dedicated to the brands of the 90’s who embraced and celebrated urban hip hop culture, and paved the way for streetwear as it is today. These brands developed a whole new market and with clever advertising managed to capture mainstream audiences, educating them about a whole new genre of music. Here’s our countdown of the top sickest 90’s advertisements for clothing brands.

5. Tommy Hilfiger

Arguably the most recognised brand in 90’s sportwear, TH was popularised by clever marketing using the late Aaliyah as the face and “muse” of the brand to attract an urban audience. This move prompted a change of style for many females in hip-hop, who once they saw how baggy jeans could be styled out started to adopt a more laid back, tomboy look. Here’s our favourite image from the campaign featuring Aaliyah and Mark Ronson.


4. Karl Kani

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Carl “Karl Kani” Williams started a urban fashion line when he was just 16. According to Carl, the brand name was born through his constant thoughts of “Can I?” “Can I be the Ralph Lauren of the streets?” “Can I be sucessful?” This eventually lead to the modification of his name to “Karl Kani”. An ambitious entrepreneur, Carl networked tirelessley throughout the early 90’s to develop and promote his brand. His hard work paid of with the endorsement (both paid and unpaid) of some of the biggest hip hop stars of the time such as Aaliyah, Nas, Big Daddy Kane and Snoop Dogg wearing his stuff. Here’s one of our favourite KK  ads of all time featuring 2pac.  “Karl Kani saggin’, Timbo’s draggin'” – MC Lyte


3. Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen’s outdoor wear became a surprise hit with the hip hop industry after it was popularised by people like LL Cool J and Mobb Deep.  You might remember Luniz rocking his HH jacket in “I Got 5 On IT”,  Raekwon reppin’ his in the video for “Glaciers Of Ice” and countless other rap stars became unpaid endorsement for the brand, catapulting it to the top of every rappers / wannabe rappers wish list.  The brand cashed in on this surge of popularity by cleverly using Mobb Deep and Funkmaster Flash in their adverts to draw in an even bigger hip hop audience, making HH one of the most sought after urban brands in the 90’s.

Helly Hansen 90s Mobb Deep Educate Elevate

2. Fila

The Fila brand was born in Italy and started out as an underwear brand before moving into sportwear in the 70’s. Their simple but practical designs made them a favourite for athletes but it wasn’t till the 80’s that the brand was transformed into a must have for hip-hop heads. Their popularity in the 80′ & 90’s was boosted by rap groups such as the “Fila Fresh Crew” and their garments were worn by the biggest hip hop and sports icons of the 80’s, cementing Fila’s status as one of the most recognisable old school sportwear brands. The recent 90’s revival has made the Fila brand even more popular and people scramble to get their hands on some retro Fila designs. This ad, featuring basketball player Jerry Stackhouse, is our favourite and probably one of the most iconic Fila advertisements.

fila 90s educate elevate

1. Cross Colors

The crem de la crem of 90’s streetwear, CC tops every list as one of the most innovative & popular urban brands of all time. Endorsed by countless celebrities (TLC, Kriss Kross & Spike Lee to name a few) due to their colourful clothing , CC will be forever remembered at THE brand of the 90’s.  Their ethos: “Clothing without Prejudice” brought a breath of fresh air to the urban youth and their selling point was the way they broadcasted social and political issues through the positive messages in their designs.

Cross Colors Educate Elevate 90s Streetwear TLC2

So, what you you think of our top 5, did we miss any out that you think should have made the shortlist?

Tweet us & let us know – @educateelevate

Shop Educate Elevate streetwear here: www.educateelevate,com


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