When it comes to the red carpet history of people of color in Hollywood, one thing is clear: finding designers to dress a marginalized group of people has been a routine issue until very recently. However, the mutual love affair between Hip Hop and Versace is one to be proud of. These high fashion Italians have held nothing back since Biggie Smalls and Lil’ Kim began sporting their looks in the 90s.
This article highlights the top 5 Hip Hop Looks by Donatella Versace although Gianni Versace has spread love all over black Hollywood. Before Hip Hop’s love affair with Fendi, and Balmain, there was Versace.
5. ‘Oh this is custom made, Donatella sent me that’ – Nicki Minaj, Megatron
The Trinidadian superstar Nicki Minaj is no stranger to Versace prints. The inheritor of Lil’ Kim’s status as queen of rap, has been a canvas for Donatella’s artistry. Donatella and Nicki Minaj can be seen in several photos hugged up in approval and high regard for one another. When your name has been dropped in a Nicki Minaj song, you’ve been immortalized as part of Hip Hop culture.
4. ‘I thought I told You That We Won’t Stop – Diddy
Bad Boy Records said they wouldn’t stop but did. Donatella never made any such claim, but didn’t. Donatella and her late brother Gianni Versace have been dressing Hip Hop superstars since before today’s generation of rappers were born. It’s a fascinating long-term relationship. Versace has the high fashion hip hop world in a chokehold. Rightfully so, Versace took a chance on the hip-hop community when brands like Donna Karen New York, Tommy Hilfiger, and other fashion brands beloved to inner-city communities, were shunning the markets that existed there.
3. The Original Black Barbie – Lil’ Kim
The chemistry between Lil’ Kim and Donatella is one of an artist and her muse. The 4′ 11″ Lil’ Kim is the size of a petite life-size Barbie. The fashion icon has been photographed trotting with glee onto private planes to see Donatella and her new designs. Between Donatella and Lil’ Kim are the parental origins of the lady rap star style you see today. Nicki Minaj most definitely has The Pink Print, but Lil’ Kim is most definitely the blueprint. The two can be seen practically growing up together depicted on printed pages at different ages.
2. ‘FLAWLESS’- Beyonce’
Donatella outdid herself when she dressed queens Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’. The pair were literally, as the song said, ‘Flawless.’ The iconic outfits were imitated and duplicated for years. After Donatella dressed the duo, women of hip hop couldn’t seem to perform without appearing in something inspired by the look. These jumpers are still on-trend.
1. The Dress
Coming in at number one on our list of the top 5 hip hop looks by Donatella, is the famed jungle green dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000’s Grammys. J. Lo has worn dozens of Versace looks but she stopped the fashion world in this sea-green, see-through, nautical mermaid-looking number. The plunging neckline-to-navel dress changed fashion so much so that 20 years later J Lo closed Donatella’s fashion show by walking in the dress one more time with new alterations. This dress defined an entire era of fashion. Donatella took a chance on Hip Hop, and the loyalty remains.