With its baggy cuts and canvas colours, Carhartt's influence on the way we dress is undeniable. Having their toes dipped in both work and streetwear accentuates the multiplicity of styles the brand naturally endeavours, and this is why it has become intrinsic to hiphop. When DJ Clive started mixing breaks in the Bronx, the genre was far from the glamorous scene it has become. It was an art form, but the culture had to work hard for 10 years to gain the credibility disco, soul and rock possessed. Carhartt therefore became a uniform that illustrated how serious emcees and DJs were about making art, as well as how effortlessly cool the genre was. Here are the ten Carhartt items we associate heavily with hiphop.
The beanie/watch hat
From the bitter streets of New York, to the desolate landscape of Detroit, America’s Eat-Coast is known for its nippy weather conditions. Carhartt’s ‘watch hat’ became a hiphop staple in the 90s as Nas was continuously photographed in a classic hamilton brown colour way. Nowadays tastemakers like A$AP Rocky can be seen sporting the garment.
When you think of a Carhartt pocket tee, there is only one man that springs to mind. The ginger bearded, beautifully obese hiphop and culinary genius Action Bronson has made the garment completely intrinsic to him, with the oversize sleeves fitting his physique better than anyone. Watching ‘Fuck That’s Delicious’, not only made us very hungry, but also quite worried that Bronson doesn’t actually own any other type of t-shirt. The man is obsessed.
New York’s greatest adopted the Siberian Parka as an intrinsic piece of their uniform in the 90s. Adam Yauch, 1/3rd of the Beastie Boys, was often seen wearing the coat, with its iconic fur and three pockets, in shoots when the trio were just starting out. Public Enemy associates also wore the item in some of the most famous hiphop photos of all time. Take a look below.
Hamilton Brown Detroit jacket
Carhartt’s hamilton brown canvas is arguably one of the most brand-identifiable fabrics of all-time. Season on season, the label releases classic and innovated workwear pieces in the colour, and no streetwear brand has come close to such a unique look. Named after the city of Carhartt’s origins, the Detroit jacket’s oversized cuts and contrastingly formal chord collaring is workwear perfection. Kanye West is known for his partiality to the item.
Chalk shirt Jac
NWA’s Eazy E and Tupac are best known for their ‘chalk shirt jac’ admiration. They were consistently pictured in the piece throughout their time at the forefront of West and East-Coast music. Its all weather versatility means those in Compton can throw it over baggy tees, and Harlam natives can layer the piece with puffas or parkas.
College script hoodie
Madlib’s Medicine shows were some of the most talked about in 2012. Throughout the tour, Freddie Gibbs was consistently pictured in the college scripted hoodie and trackies, but their legacy started way before the 21st century. Nowadays you can acquire the piece in a whole host of colours. The baggy cuffs and thin tassels are timeless, and we can’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.
TLC are probably the most iconic hiphop group to sport baggy dungarees; a clean pair of stone washed Hilfigures was their preference. Carhartt have equally pioneered the odd 90s trend, which still feels as current now as it did decades ago. More recently, Danny Brown, a Detroit native, has been a key advocate for the painter’s uniform.
Eminem's Carhartt Jordan IVs
Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Shady Records, this trainer collab quickly became one of the most sought after in the world back in 2015. You cannot find the pair for any less than £25,000.00 now. When Carhartt is scarce, it can be pricey, and the Eminem Jordan IV’s exonerate this more than any collaboration the brand has done. All proceedings went to the Marshall Mathers Foundation, which helps fund organisations who help youth more prone to risk in Michigan.
Carhartt’s classic vest is an item frequently reworked by other street brands. The Good Company, VLone and Stüssy are just a few labels known for their appreciation of the item - Wiki and Rocky have been pictured in clean and vibrant colour ways provided by the Good Company and VLone in particular.
Carhartt OG Active Jacket
Kanye has been mentioned earlier in this article, but if there is an item of clothing that sums up the rapper, producer and designer more than any, its the OG active jacket. Its baggy finish has influenced a lot of the patterning from his Yeezy seasons, even if he tries to claim otherwise.