Vintage style weighs heavy on our minds when we look at contemporary trends. Especially throwbacks from dancehall and reggae greats, like Shabba’s gold rings, Patra’s long braids, Super Cat’s hat game and Carlene the Dancehall Queen’s… everything. These are some of the markers in Jamaica’s style history that will never fade. In our column, Champion Bubbla, we celebrate the looks of the past and the everlasting influence they’ve had on the future.
In this edition we visit the iconic looks of Shabba Ranks, who popularized the sloped fade in his “Mr. Loverman” video and catapulted the stylized cut onto a global scale. The deejay has graced the cover of FADER magazine as an icon and recently idolized in A.S.A.P Ferg’s popular “Shabba” track in which the rapper emulates Shabba’s style–”eight gold rings like I’m Sha-Shabba Ranks”. The visually mesmerizing style cues we see in Shabba’s Mr. Loverman video are a perfect opportunity for us to revisit the Shabba style we love so much. The following are fashion element that we believe are still culturally relevant in todays trends. Thanks Shabba!
Circular Sunglasses, Winged Sunglasses, Optical Illusion Sunglasses-
Shabba knew how to wear sunglasses. Some have even proclaimed him an eyewear icon. He was well know for the circular trend with the double bridge but in Mr. Loverman he wears some of the most iconic sunglasses to date: the checkered circle lenses. We are also loving the slightly winged tortoise shell glasses, which you have seen as late making a comeback in popularized fashion.
High-Hip Floral Swimwear–
The beach girls pulsating their pelvises in this video definitely added a whole new realm of sex appeal with their high-hiped Brazilian swimsuits and bare bellies. The swim trend was already in full swing by the time this video came out but the creeping hem line and floral patterns, which died out in the 90s and 2000s, can be seen making a comeback amongst the “hipster” crowd.
Big A** Gold Rings–
We’re not sure if this trend ever went out of fashion or when it came into fashion (the 70s? Disco? the Gilded Age? The Renaissance?) but we know Shabba was really good at it.
Sloping High Top Fade–
There were high tops, yes, and there were fades (Fresh Price of Bel Air anyone?). There were even sloping high tops occasionally but no one made the sloping high top popular the way Shabba did and in Mr. Loverman he makes it his own with the deep part and the perfectly coiffed lean.
All White Suit Jacket and Pants–
While there were white suits like Don Johnson’s iconic Miami Vice one back in the day, this Mr. Loverman suit is different as it’s of the no-undershirt variety. Strictly accessorized with gold jewellery and styled with a whole lot of rolls and cuffs, Shabba sports it while drinking cocktails and lounging on a river raft– right on cue with the all-white trend we’re currently enjoying this Summer.