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During the 1980s, hip-hop icons wore clothing items such as brightly colored name-brand tracksuits, sheepskin and leather bomber jackets, Clarks shoes, Britishers AKA British Walkers and sneakers (usually Pro-Keds, Puma, Converse's Chuck Taylor All-stars, and Adidas Superstars often with "phat" or oversized shoelaces). Popular haircuts ranged from the early-1980s Jheri curl to the early-1990s hi-top fade popularized by Will Smith (The Fresh Prince) and Christopher "Kid" Reid of Kid 'n Play, among others.
Black nationalism was increasingly influential in rap during the late 1980s, and fashions and hairstyles reflected traditional African influences. Blousy pants were popular among dance-oriented rappers like MC Hammer. Fezzes, kufis decorated with the Kemetic ankh, Kente cloth hats, Africa chains, dreadlocks, and Black Nationalist colors of red, black, and green became popular as well, promoted by artists such as Queen Latifah, KRS-One, Public Enemy, and X-Clan).
Hip hop fashion in this period also influenced high fashion designs. In the late 1980s, Isaac Mizrahi, inspired by his elevator operator who wore a heavy gold chain, showed a collection deeply influenced by hip hop fashion. Models wore black catsuits, "gold chains, big gold nameplate-inspired belts, and black bomber jackets with fur-trimmed hoods." Womenswear Daily called the look "homeboy chic." In the early 1990s, Chanel showed hip-hop-inspired fashion in several shows. In one, models wore black leather jackets and piles of gold chains. In another, they wore long black dresses, accessorized with heavy, padlocked silver chains. (These silver chains were remarkably similar to the metal chain-link and padlock worn by Treach of Naughty by Nature, who said he did so in solidarity with "all the brothers who are locked down.") The hip hop trend, however, did not last; designers quickly moved on to new influences.