From the sound to the marketing to the fashion, hip-hop has long appeared to be a male dominated industry. In reality, for every era of the movement, there has been an agency of women masterminding and influencing hip-hop culture since its’ early conception.
In a new documentary titled, The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion, fashion architect Misa Hylton and designer/lifestyle entrepreneur April Walker remind everyone of how they and other Black designers birthed the hip-hop fashion culture that has become a global phenomenon. The highly anticipated project takes viewers through different stories about their innovative custom design techniques that undoubtedly shaped the most iconic style trends for urban culture.
During ESSENCE Fashion House, attendees got a sneak peek of what they can expect to see in the new film. Following the exclusive preview, Misa Hylton and April Walker sat down with ESSENCE Deputy Editor, Allison McGevna, for an empowering discussion about their contributions to, and game-changing influence on, hip-hop fashion. The designers were also joined by the film’s co-directors, Lisa Cortes and Farah X.
As one who has long been beloved by both fans and entertainers within the culture, Misa Hylton says it never bothered her that more people weren’t celebrating her career and giving her accolades for creating some of the most iconic looks in hip-hop history.
“Overall, I have always been grateful,” she said. “I don’t need everyone to know me, but the right people will know me and whoever God wants to know me.”
For X, the idea of focusing on Misa Hylton was already there.
“Why are we not telling stories about women that are so instrumental and have shaped hip-hop culture? But instead we continue to focus on and tell white male stories,” she exclaimed. “I decided I needed to change the ‘they’ that are telling the stories.”
Walker expressed how surreal it feels knowing that this piece of history is finally being shared. “It’s humbling and at the same time, I hope it’s inspirational for other makers and creators,” she said. “We just scratched the surface, but there’s so much more to come.”
“This film is for ‘Aunt Dee-dee;’ it is for Cousin Pookie.’ It is for reclaiming and establishing the Black body,” Cortes said. “The Black body, that has gone through so much, has given so much. If we don’t tell our stories and make it important and central to the dialouge about our contributions, we know through history that nobody else is going to do it.”
Watch the conversation in full above.
For more of everything you missed at ESSENCE Fashion House NYC, head back to ESSENCE.com.