Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 launches into orbit toward the east, as the stars and waning crescent moon trail toward the west, leaving a beautiful reflection on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
A look into the expansion of black style into formerly shunned prep.
West had done what 15 years of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters could not. He ushered in the chic of the black nerd. He cleared a safe space for narcissism and self-deconstruction; for singing rappers with names like Drake, J. Cole, and Tyler, The Creator; for the Roots to be Jimmy Fallon’s house band; for the threat in the music to move from the street to the psyche. Hip-hop had already begun to splinter into a land of a million mixtapes before West’s arrival. And with that shattering, black male style was transitioning away from Sean Combs’ “Puffy” era gilded age, with its plushness, flamboyance, glamour, and actionable danger.
It’s not a complete transformation. Being Carlton wasn’t just code for nerd, it was code for gay, and the homophobia these clothes provoked still persists, even from their wearers.