The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.

Don't Call It A Comeback: The Evolution of the Du-Rag

Don't Call It A Comeback: The Evolution of the Du-Rag

The Durag became a popular fashion trend around the late 90's into 2000's. All the hottest rappers from Jay Z, Cam'ron, 50 Cent, Nelly, to Eminem rocked the durag and it became a major fashion statement. From the bedroom to the streets to the red carpet, durags have symbolized so much in urban culture and it looks like it is here to stay. 

Let's rewind back to when the durag became mainstream. From album covers, award shows, basketball games, and red carpet appearances, the durag was everywhere. The black community started a movement and owned it. The durag was made specifically for African American hair to assist in forming waves. In the beginning, it wasn't seen outside of the bedroom, it is essentially the equivalent to a woman's bonnet or head scarf. Fast forward to present day and it has evolved way past the bedroom. Now the durag, doorag, or silky, as some call it, is a major part of urban fashion and is beginning to be seen as an accessory. Black men are baking their waves from sun up to sun down all around the world. 

One of the men who made durags very popular in urban culture is Allen Iverson. Iverson wore braids which proved that he wore the durag for stylish purpose as well as preserving the freshness of his braids. Iverson showed that even if you didn't have waves or wanted waves you could still be down with the the movement. Iverson was a star basketball player and him rocking the durag during games, interviews and even everyday life was definitely influential for the culture. 

    

The durag became bigger than anyone expected when rappers began wearing them to suit and tie events or better yet suit and durag events. Fully accepting the durag as a fashion hair accessory, black entertainers owned the room in their durags.       

         

The durag was now affiliated with black culture and it soon expanded beyond just black entertainers. Rapper Eminem was one of the hottest rappers and best selling artists of the 2000's. His style identified much with urban fashion although he wasn't black. But the culture accepted him and he made it cool for white guys to rock durags.

                                 

At the same time durags began hitting the big screen, with the release of the movie "Malibu's Most Wanted", focusing on a young privileged white man from Malibu, California who aspires to be a big rap star. The main character, B-Rad, dresses in urban fashion with iced out jewelry and durags, overall 'thinking and acting' like he's black. The film proved that black culture is so cool that even outsiders wanted to be a part of it. 

                                          

The durag began to die out when it started becoming more of a stereotype. People who may not have fully understood the culture and trend began associating durags with thugs and gangsters completely criminalizing it. Durags were banned from the NFL in 2001 and from the NBA in 2005. Some schools even banned the durag from dress codes deeming it unfit for schools. Many students fight back against schools trying to ultimately ban not just the durag but black culture. 

The durag went unseen amongst entertainers and the mainstream world for about a decade. Then in 2016, Rihanna performed during the VMA's in none other than a very stylish durag. Some say Rihanna brought back the durag. Others say it never went away. But one thing for certain is that the durag is definitely still a staple in urban fashion and the black community makes that clear. Rapper A$ap Ferg rocked a durag on the cover of his 2017 mixtape entitled Still Striving. He even teamed up with GQ magazine to give a durag tutorial, teaching the importance of the durag in black culture. The high fashion world has even accepted the durag, including it in fashion shows as well as designers now creating luxury durags. The durag has risen, fell, and soared again and is definitely here to stay. 

Jul 20th 2018 Imani Cumberbatch

Recent Posts