WHAT? So much more than a B-Boy accessory: Kick ass chicks in box fresh kicks
“If you a fly gal get your nails done, get a pedicure, get your hair did” Missy Elliott – Work It – 2002
Fly Girls – literally meaning ‘hot’ were the sistas of the B-Boy scene, born in the late 1970's on the streets of the South Bronx. As a tribe B-Boys and Fly Girls relish in all those things I hold dear; street style, box fresh trainers, urbanized sportswear and beats – beautiful, heart pounding hip hop beats.
The movement sprang from a number of Jamaican DJs living in New York bringing the Kingston street parties to South Bronx life forming crews on every block and building street cred through style. The street parties were no longer just about playing records, turntablism was brewing – scratching, mixing and freestyling created a new hip hop sound that needed a new dance style, in all its head spinning entirety, breakdancing.
Growing up in Bristol in the 1990's my formative style-years were heavily influenced by the music scene and people I saw. Trihop, the Bristol sound which merged the aftermath of grunge with hip hop beats surrounded me with a sartorial fusion of the same – streetwear with angst. Follow that with a teenage lifetime and wages (I think I could call them that) spent in HMV and Westworld (a streetwear store on Park Street) I started to compile my hip hop back catalogue; Neneh Cherry, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and all of their crew. Hip Hop for girls didn’t just mean listening to rap and dressing like an underage hoe, these girls were fly in and I wanted in.
Box Fresh: The Guide to Fly
This is pure street attitude and clothes with room to move; oversized menswear, straight cut, fresh kicks, accessorised in every way, jewellery was BIG, nails done, hair did.
The Staples: Long and loose fit bomber jackets, varsity jackets and windbreakers. Team that with Levis 501’s, slogan tees, dungaree and bucket hats. All topped off with Timberland boots, Nike Air Max 90s, Air Force 1’s and Adidas Superstars. Then up the fly with gold chains and the hoops to end all hoops.
The Labels: Stussy, Tommy Hillfiger, Adidas, Nike, Kangol, Levis, Carharrt, Supra, BAPE, Timberland, Karl Kani, Fubu, Babyphat, Diesel.
The Playlist: Salt N Pepa, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, De La Soul, Erik B and Rakim, Run DMC, Dr Dre, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, NWA, Public Enemy.
The FLY Girls: Neneh Cherry, Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, MIA, Missy Elliott, Da Brat, Queen Latifah, FKA Twigs