Tributes have been paid to Derek Khan, the style stylist who invented the “ghetto fabulous” or “bling” look which merged high fashion with avenue type, who has died aged 63.
Khan altered the aesthetic of hip-hop tradition within the 90s by convincing beforehand reticent vogue labels to work with rap stars. His work with Mary J Blige (he styled her 1997 Share My World album cowl), Sean Combs (then often known as Puff Daddy) and Salt-N-Pepa ceaselessly modified the look related to the style.
He began his profession as an assistant to Hubert De Givenchy, but it surely 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 Data, he started to alter the type 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 a bit of sharpening.”
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 process was to introduce them to couture,” he stated.
After Khan died, Cheryl “Salt” James wrote on Instagram: “Thanks for all the things 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 – type components that had been borrowed from the boys, and had been worn in the identical means as males,” defined Mario Dodovski who runs the Runway to Music video Instagram, devoted to archiving runway items worn in music movies.
“Out of the blue, you may have three Black ladies rapping about gender equality in these costly designer garments, wanting unapologetically glamorous.”
In 1998 he helped type Lauryn Hill’s timeless search for her basic debut The Miseducation of…. “(The look] fused these disparate realms of bohemian, hip-hop, and grunge gown types,” stated Darnell-Jamal Lisby, a vogue historian. “Mixing a fur coat with a leather-based halter gown or maintaining 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 an exquisite convergence of the time.”
The stylist claimed to have taught Blige the way to stroll in heels and Combs the way to gown, however his largest legacy was making European luxurious vogue labels take note of hip-hop. “Manufacturers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent had been preventing to get their garments in music movies and on the crimson carpet so they may attain a extra various viewers and enhance 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 best way he opened up hip-hop tradition. “The ‘ghetto fabulous’ aesthetic gave permission for this era of hip-hop to embrace vogue in the best way 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 means of the “ghetto fabulous” look Khan anticipated the type of streetwear and even immediately’s increase in luxury sweatpants. As he informed the Genteel journal: “So long as there are prospects who’re prepared to spend cash on high-quality jewels there’ll at all times be bling.”