An era has come full circle. This is most certainly true and not only in the sense that you can see re-runs of old TV shows throughout the day and clips from their most iconic moments on Instagram, but also in its wild sense of fashion. Shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Seinfeld are having their moment yet again, containing an astonishing rotation of sneakers paired with bold colors, patterns and styles all together that would’ve been considered questionable five years ago. However, by today’s standards for what’s deemed as “approved,” many of these silhouettes don’t look a stitch out of place.
The styles themselves couldn’t be more opposite. They’re West coast vs. East coast, bright vs. neutral, and fresh vs. sophisticated. The only common ground is that they’re both relevant in their own light by today’s standards. And while each cast member’s style isn’t comparable to an exact T, the premise is there and it gives more merit to the idea that fashion and footwear are both cyclical. What once looked modern has the potential to develop into its own level of heritage. And what was once timeless becomes the blank canvas for creating something new and innovative.
The Fresh Prince Had Some Jazzy Looks
What a time it was for Nike in the ’90s. Michael Jordan won six championships with the Bulls, Ken Griffey Jr. was making baseball cool, and Will Smith was wearing grailed pairs of Nikes and Js on each weekly episode of The Fresh Prince before the term ‘grail’ even existed. This ’90s resurgence in fashion hasn’t been a one-hit wonder and it’s looking as though the trend won’t be booted from the throne for at least a few more seasons.
Will Smith wore some of the loudest colors and patterns in the era. But by today’s standards, this is exactly what every streetwear and high-fashion designer are incorporating into their collections. Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments in the show for fashion was when the Fresh Prince arrived to a a town called Bel-Air wearing a neon green striped shirt, bright blue shorts that sat just above the knee and a pair of OG ‘Black Metallic’ Jordan 5s. In today’s comparison, that’s a PLEASURES tee, Eric Emanuel shorts and to our knowledge, JB’s still retroing 5s.
Track suits were a staple in Will Smith’s rotation throughout the show. However, unlike today where adidas and Gucci track suits are aplenty, the Fresh Prince wore various colors of Jordan track suits to coordinate with his footwear rotation. Boxy tees with loud colors and sublimated graphics were usually present in Will Smith’s wardrobe, along with minimal sweats or jeans that wouldn’t distract you from his footwear game.
Along with Air Force Maxes, and other NBA player signature shoes like Barkleys and Pippens, Will was also renowned for wearing Grape, Black Metallic and Fire Red iterations of the Jordan 5s – a majority of the time without laces.
For the first few seasons of Seinfeld, Jerry wore a different pair of sneakers (usually Nikes) just about every episode. And unlike a lot of sneakerheads, Seinfeld wasn’t just wearing the “hype,” particularly since hype didn’t exist then, as most of what we consider grails today were either just coming out or hadn’t been around for very long. Jerry’s footwear rotation was eclectic – ranging from basketball classics like Jordan 5s and 6s to tennis classics like Air Tech Challenge IIs and ATC 3/4s. And then there’s anything in between both of those spectrums, such as every rendition of the Air Force lineage imaginable.
Jerry Seinfeld’s style is just about the exact opposite of the Fresh Prince from a fashion front, however, there were a few silhouettes in there that appeared on both shows. That being said, Seinfeld’s fashion perspective is the extreme opposition, featuring more casual and subdued styles that let his footwear game take center stage. What many might consider to be cool dad style, he’s the guy out there who’s probably worn more grails than most people of celebrity status.
And while Jerry doesn’t have the most outrageous style in the What’s In Their Wardrobe? series, there’s still some inspiration that was paired with his next level sneaker assortment. On the episode where he broke out the Tech Challenge IIs, he was also wearing a tan suede jacket with black jeans – a close cousin of the black jeans and leather jacket combo, but completely timeless. Oversized sweaters mirror the look of what the high-end designers are featuring in their Fall 18 campaigns, while Nike Sportswear was also heavy in Jerry’s rotation – a lot of which we wouldn’t mind having reissued today.