Hip Hop Fashion
Over a decade before Demna Gvasalia, chief designer for Vetements and Balenciaga, made the hooded sweatshirt in the XXL size, one of the most coveted items in fashion, Polish rappers were banking on the hoodie as a key piece of their own fashion empires.
In 2003, Wojciech Sosnowski, a.k.a. Sokół, established the Prosto fashion brand, which was linked to the record company he owned of the same name. The rapper’s foray into fashion began as a fluke after the record label produced a run of t-shirts and sweatshirts, with graphics designed by Piotrek “Pedro” Wcisło, as promotional items. The entire stock was snatched up instantly and people wanted more.
Today, their offer includes basic clothing items, as well as accessories for men and women, and even an underwear line.
Nowadays, the brand’s biggest competitor is KOKA, which was founded in 2012. Its founders include the legendary Polish rapper Pezet. The brand bases its image on the anti-systemic slogans rooted in the ‘90s and the authentic hip-hop culture that was so popular among kids growing up in Poland’s housing estates. Many of these kids proved to be the brand’s most loyal customers.
And what about the ladies? The market showed it had room for a hip-hop brand geared towards women when designer Elisa Minetti established PLNY Lala in 2009. The brand swiftly crept into the mainstream, with its Warszawska LALAslogan (Warsaw Doll) t-shirt snatched up by celebrities and their young fan base, who appreciated the brand’s feminine twist on streetwear.
The line also offers a varied collection of denim jackets, football-style scarves, sweatshirts and sweatpants that flaunt the brand’s signature blend of ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ in a range of hues, including a soft, girly pink.