The emergence of an urban culture has made its way to Tallahassee and the diversity is welcomed.
New businesses are opening their doors to a community that wants to embrace top fashions brand like Sean Jean, Fubu, and Baby Phat. Tallahassee was once a city where urban fashion was hard to find but now has stores marketing name brand apparels making some people happy and others rich.
Wildstyle Clothing, a black owned apparel shop located in Tallahassee Mall, has been in business for almost a year. Wildstyle offers everything hip hop from Phat Farm and Baby Phat to Steve Madden.
Andre Snell, co-manager of Wildstyle said, “The only people that can service us (African Americans) is us.”
“Hip hop is becoming a culture that’s being embraced by everyone. Fashion is big. It’s in music videos, television and in movies. No one has the flavor that we have.”
Wildstyle isn’t the only clothing store that’s making a lot of noise in Tallahasse’s urban community.
Alternative Hip Hop Fashions located on Apalachee Parkway supplies its customers with all their fashion needs.
Owner, Bobby Bellamy, said that hip hop has a strong influence on fashion.
The store has been in business for five years. Bellamy said he decided to open the store because Tallahassee didn’t have any urban apparel shops.
“Urban wear is what’s selling,” Bellamy said. “Tommy and Polo are not as high in demand as they used to be.”
The urge to have more urban apparel shops is not just to expand the clothing options but it is a smart business venture.
According to a study by Journal News, blacks have the largest buying power, spending about $307 to $572 billion on clothing each year. This makes some students like Charmaine Davis, 22, a senior computer information student from Tampa, eager to open her own business.
“Retail is a smart option for African Americans,” said Davis, who is negotiating business plans with several vendors around town.
“Tallahassee is the perfect place to market name brand clothing because it’s very popular right now, and the options are not that many.”
With the rise of urban clothing stores in Tallahassee, students are relieved to have more shopping options.
LaQuanda Dace, 21, a third year pharmacy student from Jacksonville said she’s glad she can shop in Tallahassee.
“Before I would go home [to Jacksonville] to buy my clothes because Tallahassee was not a place you could buy named brand clothing,” Dace said. “There were hardly any choices, but now there are some stores that I like to shop at.”
Stores like Wildstyle and Alternative Hip Hop Fashions have made it possible for Tallahassee to adopt the creativity that many students hunger for.
“We’re making a steady progression in Tallahassee”, Snell said. “We’re here to service our people because no one can do it better than us.”
Tiffany Pitts can be reached at lil_tonja @hotmail.com.