Tributes have been paid to Derek Khan, the style stylist who invented the “ghetto fabulous” or “bling” look which merged high fashion with avenue model, who has died aged 63.
Khan altered the aesthetic of hip-hop tradition within the 90s by convincing beforehand reticent style labels to work with rap stars. His work with Mary J Blige (he styled her 1997 Share My World album cowl), Sean Combs (then referred to as Puff Daddy) and Salt-N-Pepa without end modified the look related to the style.
He began his profession as an assistant to Hubert De Givenchy, nevertheless it was when he began dressing Madonna’s backing dancers that he got here into contact with the music world. After he landed the job of the in-house stylist to Motown Information, he started to vary the model of hip-hop.
Explaining his motivation in creating the “ghetto fabulous” look to the Genteel magazine in 2012, he stated: “Hip-hop stars had been simply starting to cross over to the mass market and to make this transition their photos wanted somewhat sprucing.”
Khan’s first paying stylist job was with Salt-N-Pepa within the early 90s, transferring their look on from their Kente impressed hats, bomber jackets and undercut haircuts. “These girls had a way of favor, however my activity was to introduce them to couture,” he stated.
After Khan died, Cheryl “Salt” James wrote on Instagram: “Thanks for every part you had been Salt N Pepa’s first actual stylist.”
“As much as that time, most ladies in hip-hop wore Timberlands and saggy denims – model parts that had been borrowed from the boys, and had been worn in the identical method as males,” defined Mario Dodovski who runs the Runway to Music video Instagram, devoted to archiving runway items worn in music movies.
“Immediately, you might have three Black ladies rapping about gender equality in these costly designer garments, trying unapologetically glamorous.”
In 1998 he helped model Lauryn Hill’s timeless search for her basic debut The Miseducation of…. “(The look] fused these disparate realms of bohemian, hip-hop, and grunge costume kinds,” stated Darnell-Jamal Lisby, a style historian. “Mixing a fur coat with a leather-based halter costume or holding it informal together with her denim ensembles had been strategic and rightly elicited the picture that [Hill] wished the world to see,” he stated. “Khan’s imaginative and prescient was a ravishing convergence of the time.”
The stylist claimed to have taught Blige how you can stroll in heels and Combs how you can costume, however his greatest legacy was making European luxurious style labels take note of hip-hop. “Manufacturers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent had been combating to get their garments in music movies and on the pink carpet so they might attain a extra numerous viewers and improve gross sales,” stated Dodovski.
After a jail sentence in 2003 for defrauding eight of New York’s most prestigious jewellers (he borrowed greater than $1.5m price of jewelry, which he later pawned), Khan moved to the UAE, the place he resided till his dying.
Khan’s legacy stays the way in which he opened up hip-hop tradition. “The ‘ghetto fabulous’ aesthetic gave permission for this era of hip-hop to embrace style in the way in which that they’ve,” stated Lisby. “It’s virtually part of the lexicon to see a hip-hop artist put on particular luxurious manufacturers and styled in particular methods.”
By the “ghetto fabulous” look Khan anticipated the model of streetwear and even at present’s growth in luxury sweatpants. As he instructed the Genteel journal: “So long as there are prospects who are prepared to spend cash on high-quality jewels there’ll all the time be bling.”