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The exiting story about how the street wear pioneers Shirt Kings created a style
that would define hip hop culture in the 1980s and beyond.
Jamaica, Queens, New York in the mid 1980s. Rappers, celebrities and hip hop
fans came from all over the city to get their own customized T-shirt by the Shirt
Kings. The style traveled all over the world through record covers and music
videos, and the Shirt Kings designs soon became synonymous with hip hop and
the culture of making something out of nothing.
Shirt Kings: Pioneers of Hip Hop Fashion looks at the early days of street wear
through the lens of the pioneering group of artistic entrepreneurs known as the
Shirt Kings. By adapting the graffiti skills from the trains and spray cans to shirts
and airbrush they created a new look for a new generation.
Edwin PHADE Sacasa is a founding artist of the group and it is through his
archives that we are transported to the 1980s in New York City where the fashion
was loud, colorful, and filled with cartoon imagery. But not just any cartoon
imagery for the cartoons where urbanized. Mickey Mouse with a Fila suit, Casper
the Friendly Ghost with gold teeth and Pink Panther with gold chains.
People from across the city made their way to Jamaica, Queens to a small
shopping mall known as the Coliseum where you could easily bump into the
biggest names in hip hop of the day. From DJ Red Alert to LL Cool J to Big
Daddy Kane to Mike Tyson – they all had to have their Shirt Kings designs.
Shirt Kings: Pioneers of Hip Hop Fashion chronicles the art, the styles, and the
people who where loyal supporters of the Shirt Kings, and takes us on a trip
down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York
After the hardcover has been sold out for years, just in time for Hip Hop’s 50th
anniversary comes another chance to take part of the Shirt Kings’ inspiring
history as pioneers of hip hop and street wear in this beautiful soft cover edition.