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Sho’Nuff: An American Fashion Icon


Perhaps it’s just the past week I spent with a terrible cold.  Perhaps it is some personal bias. Perhaps its nothing.  But the baddest, the meanest, and the prettiest cat to terrorize Daddy Green’s Pizza–Sho’Nuff: the Shogun of Harlem–seems to have tremendous power over the fashion world as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with this master of disaster, Sho’Nuff is an antagonist from one of my favorite movies, the 1980’s cult classic, Berry Gordy’s the Last Dragon. Let’s take a look at two of his major influences.

Exhibit A: Your Shutter Shades


Circa 1985. Kanye didn’t start it, he resurrected it. And suddenly everyone thinks wearing a pair with a popped polo will make you harder, better, faster, stronger. For the record, they won’t. You will just look like another Kanye wannabe people make fun of at the club. Yes, they do. If you really want to go hard, find a pair like these with the Japanese sun. You’ll distinguish yourself from the imitators, and become a true retro-rejuvinator*.

Exhibit B: Three Six Mafia

three six mafia

While sick in bed I came across a TRL rerun and couldn’t help but notice the influence. Take a look at the studded arm accessories. Two years ago I started rocking one because of a dance performance I co-choreographed–based, of course, on The Last Dragon. Today, Three Six Mafia makes shopping at Hot Topic cool again.

Three Six Mafia has always had a unique fashion sense. You could rock this style, too, but only if it’s really a part of you. Studded accessories require precise matching. Beyond a belt, you walk a fine line between having an edge, or looking like a tool. Sho’Nuff was extremely one-dimensional, and he worked it. That being said, you can’t mix this style with any other, unless you’re carrying the face to match.

*Until you see someone else wearing them. Special thanks to Nate Cedilla’s “Some ‘Fashion’ Trends Need to Stop”. Check it out. Emore agrees.

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