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Black 80s Fashion Most Iconic Styles and Looks

  • This section will explore the seven iconic black 80s fashion trends that continue to make the 80s such an unforgettable decade of taste and style.

    Influenced by the clothes black and Afro-American communities wore on the streets, the 1980s became a decade of bright, bold colors and prints.

    Reflecting a growing interest in black cultural heritage, African-inspired fabrics, patterns, and colors became popular during the 80s decade.

    Black fashion designers Willi Smith and Patrick Kelly became famous in the 80s for their ability to capture and convert this unique energy into culturally-infused, playful clothing.

    Black 80s Fashion Designers Patrick Kelly and Willi Smith

    Black and Afro-American music, sports, and movie celebrities played an equally important role in shaping the trends of the time, both in the United States and worldwide.

    Quickly embraced by other communities, bright-colored clothing in bold patterns became a hallmark of 80s fashion.


    How Did Hop Hop Black Fashion Look Like?

    In the 1980s, black fashion in general, and hip-hop style in particular, was characterized by a street-inspired aesthetic.

    Baggy clothing, tracksuits, and athletic wear in bright colors matched with golden accessories, leather or denim jackets, hats, and sneakers were all prevalent among black people who embraced hip-hop fashion.


    With vibrant and daring styles, the black and Afro-American communities significantly influenced the fashion of the 1980s.

    Music was a major driving force behind the fashion trends of the 80s, and black artists were at the forefront of this movement.

    Hip-hop and R&B music popularized baggy pants, tracksuits, and sneakers worn with oversized jewelry like gold chains and hoop earrings.

    Legendary performers and 80s fashion icons such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Grace Jones, Whitney Houston, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Salt-N-Pepa were incredibly influential and still inspire trends today.

    Hairstyles were another critical aspect of 80s fashion, with black culture playing a significant role in defining trends.

    From the Jheri curl and the high-top fade to Houston's voluminous look, black hairstyles were bold and iconic, influencing fashion choices across racial and ethnic lines.


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