Words: Laura Hackett from FP Engage
“I set trends, them man copy”. Never a truer word spoken, than that of Michael Omari, better known as Grime artist Stormzy. Originally rapped on the track “Shut Up” released in 2015, the line still rings true today. And it’s not just Stormzy that’s spitting out trends. Grime fashion has embedded itself in British culture, it’s made its mark and it’s here to stay.
Tracksuit, messenger bag and Nike Air Max is the urban uniform that’s fallen out of Grime music, but the style runs so much deeper, even dictating social standing. The style tells the world what you’re about and where you are in the pecking order – wear Nike Air Max to be ‘in’, wear Nike Air Max TNs to be ‘in’ higher.
The ‘trackie’ also says you don’t conform. Like the early days of Punk, Grime’s defiant nature and disregard for dress codes states that you choose what you wear and how you wear it. A few years ago it was easy to turn your nose up at a tracksuit, to pigeonhole it as just sportswear, but not any more – Grime has changed all that. You can go on a date in a tracksuit, you can go to dinner in a tracksuit and according to Skepta, you can even accept a Mercury Award in a tracksuit. The style knows no bounds.
Grime has come a long way from its underground London beginnings to its now mainstream international status. And the influence it’s had on the fashion industry has amplified in equal measure. Going from all-over three stripe to newly embraced American hip hop influences, the Grime scene is forever changing. But that seems to be what Grime is best at – taking the old, the new, the different and making something incredibly unique.