Whats hip in t-shirt design, you ask? T-shirt designers say nothings cooler than Black Icons. Yes, they mean African American Pop Iconsvisionaries, entertainers, athletes, and activists. And why are t-shirts with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, George Clinton, and Martin Luther King Junior all the rage? Because these brothers are cool.real cool. Is it the color of their skin? Is it their fame? Is it their struggle? Is it what theyve accomplished? Its all of that, but most of all its because theyre all leaders in their own right. And people, regardless of race, respect and admire people who take charge. And if youre a brother in charge, well then more power to ya.
Some fashion critics say its also the Hip Hop movement thats bringing famous brothers and sisters to the fashion forefront. Recent polls show that Hip Hop gear is the most popular attire for American kids in their early teens to mid-twenties. Thanks to Hip Hop pioneers like Russell Simmons, chairman & CEO of Rush Communications, which founded Def Jam Recordings and Phat Farm Clothing and Sean P-Diddy Combs, the founder of Bad Boy Entertainment and Sean John Clothing, the Hip Hop lifestyle has gone mainstream. Kids and young adults from all over the world are embracing the music, clothing, and swaggerous way of living that is Hip Hop.
So whos wearing black icon tees? Everyonefrom the girl next door to the biggest names in entertainment and sportsRappers, Singers, Actors, Athletes, street kids, and even silver spooners are repping their favorite black icon.
P. Diddy has been sporting t-shirts embellished with images of his friend and rap prodigy the late Notorious BIG, since shortly after his death. Diddy has also been known to wear other late greats such as Marvin Gaye and Jam Master Jay. Rappers The Game and Snoop Dogg have been photographed wearing their West Coast mentor and friend Tupac Shakur. Producer, songwriter Wyclef Jean has been spotted wearing Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Junior, and Dr. Malcolm X Shabazz.
Kids all over America are wearing black iconsblack inner city youth and white suburbanites alike. The fad which started in the streets probably made it to the burbs by way of television through music videos and other forms of entertainment.
In a predominantly white middle school in New Jersey one student has came up with an interesting class project for black history month. He has proposed that on the first Friday in February everyone in his history class wear a t-shirt embellished with a black icon. They will get partial credit for participating in the project, but will be graded on how well they deliver a biographical speech about the icon they are wearing.
Whos popular? O.K., so now youre wondering if it is cool to wear any old black icon on your chest. Well, the answer is yes, but in case you dont want to chance it, here is a list of some of the more popular black icon tees.