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The Evolution of the Du-Rag

2019 saw a lot of trends in the street wear and street style community that changed how brands are releasing clothing for the upcoming spring/summer season. Trends that became more popular in 2019: tech/tactical wear that ranged from fanny packs to bulletproof vests, over-sized clothing that looks like it was hand selected from Billie Eyelashes closet, the emergence of nylon as one of the most dominant materials in street fashion, and the importance of the du-rag.

Above: Guapdad 4000 wearing a metallic silver silky w/ extended cape features at the Grammys

Yes, you heard correct. The du-rag (durag), also known as the doo-rag, a wave cap, “my silky”, etc. had an enormous impact on the fashion industry in 2019. The viral trend of groups of friends, ranging from 3rd graders to grown men, removing their silkys to flex their incubated waves acted as the millennial drippers version of a gender reveal. Twitter feeds across the world would start off with simple videos portraying Titanic-level waves donned under these multicolored silk capes in response to the cameraman proclaiming "Wave Check?" The call and response practice was then appraised by cheers to determine which friend in the group was truly the most waviest.

But why? Why did 2019 mark the reemergence of the du-rag when it was so prominent in black culture for decades? The trend of waves, or a hairstyle for curly (nappy) hair in which the curls are brushed and/or combed and flattened out, creating a ripple-like pattern, has been popularized by many famous Black pop culture icons ranging from Cam'ron to Patrick Ewing (see Durag Hall of Fame below). But 2019 marked the revival of the du-rag for today's times. People who couldnt even physically grow waves (the people of Caucasia) were seen donning du-rags to be apart of the broader popular culture. Here is an excerpt from March 2019 further proving this theory:

The importance of the re-emerging du-rag is rooted in its rich history. It was standard to see professional athletes of the 1990s-early 2000s wear du-rags throughout all aspects of a given game: the pregame interview, the pre-game announcement tip-off, the halftime show, and of course the post game press conference. Everyone was in this euphoric period of seeing figures like Allen Iverson and Michael Vick put up pre-game shots from 35 feet out or throw 60 yard bombs on the run off a backfoot (respectively) while plotting world domination under their infamous silkys. This comes directly from the ever-present parallels between professional sports and rap music. It wasn't until 2001 when the NFL banned players from wearing du-rags that this euphoria would end. When the world needed a du-rag advocate to step up for the atrocities against the silk most, he vanished. It wasn't until 2009/2010 that Harlem produced the new Du-rag Avatar and master of the silk, A$AP Ferg. Ferg has consistently been a voice for du-rag rights, since he stepped on the scene with other fashion icon A$AP Rocky and the A$AP Mob. Ferg has worn du-rags to award shows, radio interviews, medal ceremonies you name it. You can see his cape follow after him in every setting imaginable from Paris Fashion Week to Jimbo's on 126th and Amsterdam. Ferg has even offered tutorial videos (see Ferg's Du-rag Walkthrough) on how to correctly and perfectly don the Wavebringer.

Whether or not the revival of the du-rag is directly linked to Ferg is another question, but there is no doubt that its impact has lasted for decades and will continue to grow. Will we one day see a du-rag in the Oval Office? the Pentagon? maybe even the National Guard as a part of the uniform? The possibilities of the du-rag are endless and its cultural influence continues to grow everyday. Long live the silk and always let the cape fly.

Du-rag Hall of Fame:

Patrick Ewing, Former NY Knicks legend, letting that muthafucking cape fly out

Vince "Durag Vince" McMahon, CEO of WWE, one of the spiciest white people of all time .

Killa Cam, Osh Kosh B'gosh Bucket over the Coke White silky, 1997

This man Baron Davis tried to monetize off the du-rag with this weak ass wave cap. Man looks like hes gonna morph into a Compton Power Ranger for only $2.95

A$AP Ferg, the modern day Du-rag Superman he is always pushing the culture while also protecting du-rag etiquette across the world

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