Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion

Written by:
Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Narrated by:
Angel Pean

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2023
7 hours 52 minutes
A cinematic narrative of glamour, grit, luxury, and luck, Fashion Killa draws on exclusive interviews with the leaders of the fashion world to tell the story of the hip-hop artists, designers, stylists, and unsung heroes who fought the power and reinvented style around the world over the last fifty years.

Set in the sartorial scenes of New York, Paris, and beyond, music journalist Sowmya Krishnamurthy’s reporting on the intersecting histories of hip-hop and contemporary fashion focuses on the risk takers and rebels—the artists, designers, stylists, models, and tastemakers—who challenged a systemic power structure and historically reinvented the worlds of prêt-à-porter and haute couture.

Fashion Killa is a classic tale of a modern renaissance; of an exclusionary industry gate-crashed by innovators; of impresarios—Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dapper Dan, Virgil Abloh—hoisting hip-hop from the streets to the stratosphere; of supernovas—Lil’ Kim, Cardi B, and Kimora Lee Simmons—allying with kingmakers—Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren; of traditionalist fashion houses—Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Saint Laurent—transformed into temples of rap gods.

Krishnamurthy explores the connections between the DIY hip-hop scene and the exclusive upper-echelons of high fashion. She discusses the sociopolitical forces that defined fashion and tracks the influence of music and streetwear on the most exclusive (and exclusionary) luxury brands. At the intersection of cultural commentary and oral history, Fashion Killa commemorates the contributions of hip-hop to music, fashion, and our culture at large.
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