Black Hipsters Unite!

The Root's fashion team tracks black hipster style, from Brooklyn to Brick Lane

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  • Brotherhood of the Skinny Pants

    Brotherhood of the Skinny Pants

    These twill pants, designed by Marc Jacobs for his spring 2009 collection, show how skinny pants for men have become a high fashion staple.

  • Top (Black) Man

    Top (Black) Man

    This cardigan-clad blipster waits for the new TopShop to open in New York City. The British import brings even more of a European silhouette to trend-seeking American shoppers. Black men, it seems, are no exception.

  • Blipsters in the Midwest?

    Blipsters in the Midwest? documents street fashion around the world. This man, photographed in Chicago, looks a bit older than your typical blipster— but if the ironic tee fits…

  • Purple Beret? Check.

    Purple Beret? Check. catches one Los Angeles dweller who exemplifies the blipster aesthetic—bright colors, a slimmer silhouette, and a penchant for funky headwear.

  • Inventing the Remix

    Inventing the Remix

    Black folks don’t always go whole hipster. These young men, seen on 14th Street in Washington, have taken the kaffiyeh (usually white) and the nerd glasses (usually nerdy) and paired them with the hats of their favorite sports teams–creating a remix that is all their own.

  • Crossover Style

    Crossover Style

    When it comes to race, the “Kick Push” moment goes both ways. These teens, visiting from San Diego, have appropriated the Kanye-West style “sunglasses” and flat-brimmed caps that black youth culture got first.

  • We All Scream

    We All Scream

    For blipster chic? This teen, photographed on lower Broadway in New York City, downs a cone in his neo-hipster threads.

  • Across the Pond

    Across the Pond

    The repurposing of secondhand clothes and back-in-the-day trends is a hipster trademark. catches a vendor in East London’s trendy, grime-y Brick Lane wearing full-on throwback mode–from the fanny pack to those colorful Nikes. The ethnic-looking beads keep it black, though!

  • Black Skater Swagga

    Black Skater Swagga

    Steve Williams’ DGK crew makes urban hipster gear and pulls monster tricks in skate parks. Williams’ line of baseball caps are a ubiquitous sight on both white and black teens across the country.

  • West Philadelphia, Born and Raised

    West Philadelphia, Born and Raised

    Three black teens take turns grinding, kicking and pushing on their skateboards at the corner of 42nd and Spruce in Philadelphia.

  • Not Into Labels

    Not Into Labels

    Hector, who doesn’t much care for the term “blipster,” lives in DC and skates with his friends whenever possible—usually on the weekends.

  • Head Blipster in Chief

    Head Blipster in Chief

    Entertainer Kanye West, seen here with friends at the Comme Des Garcons (Like Boys) fashion show in Paris, isn’t gay—he’s just taken on the mantle of Head Blipster in Chief; and crazy, colorful looks like these come with the territory.

  • The World's Gone Mad

    The World's Gone Mad

    White rapper Asher Roth has said “The world’s gone mad when blacks wear plaid.” Looks like this guy is in on the joke.

  • "A Band, Not a Rapper"

    "A Band, Not a Rapper"

    Ninjasonik, New York City-based musicians and performance artists, take care to call themselves “a band, not a rapper.” The band’s enthusiastic claims to blipsterhood are manifest in its underground hit: “Tight Pants.”

  • The New B-Boy

    The New B-Boy

    “Jah Jah” of Ninjasonik in action in a New York club.

  • Das Racist?

    Das Racist?

    “Art Rappers” Das Racist, based in Brooklyn, drop an album of playful mashup hipster hits on June 12th. Their single, “Pizza Hut / Taco Bell,” channels both street style and suburban ennui—the perfect blipster anthem.

  • Bringing it Back

    Bringing it Back

    Ouch! A commenter on the website expressed confusion at this retro 90s look: “I can’t tell if they are alt black or if they really just came back from a waterpark.” Good question.

  • Dwayne Wayne Originals

    Dwayne Wayne Originals

    Dwayne Wayne of “Cosby Show” spinoff “A Different World” (played by Kadeem Hardison) took the hipster look from 80s to 90s. Unlike blipsters today, he wore his rounded frames and over-bright sweaters without irony.

  • P-Funk Keeps Hipsterism Alive

    P-Funk Keeps Hipsterism Alive

    The legendary George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic gives today’s blipsters a run for their money. Here, he performs “Atomic Dog” at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in October 2008.

    Read about “The Rise of The Black Hipster” at The Root.