years because your customers don’t need any more of that look. It’s important to be ahead of the game and redefine yourself.”
According to Romero, urban designers will become well-rounded fashion houses: “From jeans to suits to home furnishings, they are going beyond apparel.” On the upside, because urban clothes and hip-hop music are intricately linked, as long as the future of rap is bright, the future of urban clothing is intact. And bright it is. Like urban clothing lines, rap music used to sell mainly to blacks, but now, according to a recent SoundScan study, an estimated two-thirds of rap sales are to whites. At $1.4 billion in 1998, rap is popular music’s fastest-growing category.
The major influences of urban fashion-black hip-hop music, lifestyle and culture-will set the tone for this fashion trend in the future, as well as the ability of its creators to evolve with the times and anticipate changes in consumer trends.
“Creative minds need to be business savvy,” says Romero. “Creating fashion is more than just technical skills.” Indeed, for urbanwear designers to endure, it will require that they have vision-not only for their unique style but also for building their brand.