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Rick Owens, Punk, and Hip-hop Fashion

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune
Gerard Way leads My Chemical Romance at Riot Fest in Chicago’s Douglass Park on Sept. 16, 2022.

Up until around 2020, Rick Owens, an American fashion designer, was a foreign name to the youth in the United States. Teenagers were oblivious to the cultural impact Owens made to contemporary fashion until the release of Playboi Carti’s record label, Opium. The Opium label, created in 2019, encouraged music and fashion fans alike to explore the dark, punk-esque aesthetic that Playboi Carti had to offer. 

Before Opium, the punk scene in the U.S. was led by Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance. Black eyeliner, skinny jeans, and military boots defined punk band enthusiasts all through the 2000s. The trend died down as the rise of pop and hip-hop overshadowed punk listeners’ edgy outfits. Now, with the use of technology, teens can access many different genres of music and express themselves through clothing they’ve seen online.

The revitalization of the grunge-punk aesthetic in the U.S. was first seen with rapper A$AP Rocky at the 2019 Wall Street Journal Innovator Awards. His black, monochromatic outfit foreshadowed the trend of DRKSHDW Ramones (an iconic sneaker first seen in the Rick Owens Summer/Spring 2018 Collection), skinny black jeans, and uniquely designed silver jewelry. Artists under the Opium label have followed A$AP Rocky by wearing black, monochromatic outfits that include Chrome Hearts, Rick Owens, and Vivienne Westwood; with all listed designers being vital components to the punk scene in both the U.K. and U.S.. As seen with A$AP Rocky, punk-rock culture continues to influence hip-hop fashion trends.

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Frank Yeboah
Frank Yeboah, Photographer

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