5 Things The Notorious B.I.G Taught Me About Personal Style

by Arash Mazinani on March 17, 2012

Yeah strange topic I know, this was originally intended for last week but I was tied up all weekend with a client. The reason it would have been symbolic last weekend is March 9th marks the anniversary of Big’s death. If you’re a fan of Hip Hop or know anyone who is, then you may have seen one or two tributes pop up on your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Anyone who has read my blog for a while will know that I’m a massive Hip Hop fan and particularly in my younger days my personal style was dictated by this. The reason Big was so adored by people around the world was because he did things differently. Part of him doing things differently also meant that style wise he didn’t always fit in with the rest of the Hip Hop world.

1.High End Fashion 

You may already know your Marni from your Margeila, but for a 15 year old growing up in a working class town Big’s lyrics were one of my first exposures to high end fashion. Name checking brands like Versace, DKNY and Moschino lead me to start checking out what they were and give me my first taste of the high end. He was such a big fan of Versace in particular that he often went to check out their shows in Europe long before you had the likes of Kanye popping up at catwalks. Check out what Donatella had to say about him.

“I think Biggie was amazing,” Versace said. “He came to my shows in Paris many times, and we’d see each other often. He always used to talk so nicely about my family. I think he was so smart, so intelligent. He had such a mind. So I loved what he was doing and how he was giving people a way to know about Versace—I do think he was giving people a way to know about Versace—I do think a lot of people started to know about Versace because of him.”

Yup… that would be me.


2.Do You!

I’ve already mentioned that Big had a love for the high end designer brands. This often meant that he was rocking clothes that the rest of the Hip Hop world wasn’t such as the Versace shirts, trousers shoes. This is a far cry from the traditional Hip Hop uniform in NYC at the time of Timbaland boots and baggy jeans. This illustrated to me to, do you and not stick to the trends that everyone else is following.


3. It’s all about the Tailoring

When you think about rappers you have a pretty stereotypical view that is conjured up in your mind. Even though rappers are a lot more ‘fashionable’ nowadays than they ever have been before, you still never see many in a suit. However, back in 96-97 you’d often see Big rocking a suit, his cane and a hat. Showing that tailoring was and always will be king.


4. Be Versatile With Your Clothes

The great thing about Big was that he never dressed a certain way all the time, he could mix it up with the razzle dazzle of the high end pieces. But he could also work the brands that were big on the streets like Karl Kani, meaning he never alienated the people where he was from. Be versatile with your clothes, mix and matching styles and looks keeps your own personal style fresh.


5. It’s all about the sparkle.

“Putting 5 Karats in my baby girl’s ear”

Every fashionista knows a bit of sparkle does wonders to an outfit, Big was no different. Although rapping about diamonds was not really anything new in Hip Hop at the time, I still had to mentioned it :-).

Anyway I’d love hear your thoughts? As ever feel free to leave a comment below.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

(@arashmazinani) (@arashmazinani) March 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

blog: 5 Things The Notorious B.I.G taught me about personal style: http://t.co/Jd5SjDfm


Clarke March 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Love it! The only thing you’ve missed is that BIG wore clothes that fit! Something you talk about a lot. Biggie was a large fella’ and he knew it! Imagine Biggie in the wrong sizes. He wouldn’t have much cred left.


Arash Mazinani March 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

That’s another great point, thanks for bringing that one up.


(@THELOUDERMOUTH) (@THELOUDERMOUTH) March 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

ok, what?? why did i not know you were into rap? we need to talk more! RT @arashmazinani The Notorious B.I.G taught me: http://t.co/5v4ja0G9


THE-LOUDMOUTH March 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

RIP. He was so awesome… As you could probably tell by my tweet, I absolutely love rap and hip-hop. It’s funny because most people, just by looking at me, don’t normally guess that. Though I do abide by many of BIG’s guidelines here. :) Great post!


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

Thanks Steph, I’m the same, though it used to not be the case but as my style has become more refined less people can ‘guess’ what music I listen to.


Alexis Grace March 18, 2012 at 12:43 am

I LOVE this!!!!! Great list, and great examples. I especially like the first, and the personal aspect of it!


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

Thanks Alexis I’m glad you liked the article.


(@TheStyleConfess) (@TheStyleConfess) March 19, 2012 at 3:43 am

5 Things The Notorious B.I.G Taught Me About Personal Style http://t.co/czSWNhzM


Heather March 19, 2012 at 3:44 am

Im not Abigail hip hop fan but I do love your article.


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

I’m glad you liked it :-)


FASHION TALES March 20, 2012 at 5:17 am

Oh, good post! Hip-Hop has definitely affected diverse people and other music genres in many ways. Always the best to be yourself in your style of dress, “Big” really showed that: he knew what he liked, and ran with it! :)


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thanks for commenting :-)


Jamillah March 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

OMIGOSH! I love this post like it’s my job! Seriously! First of all I am a huuuuuge hip hop fan and in my early teen years it completely dictated my style as well.

Oh I remember hearing when biggie dies I literally had to catch my breath. He was my favorite rapper at the time and it was soooooo tragic. So young and full of talent, wit, and brilliance. Really I feel terrible for people who missed out on his magical reign in hip hop.

My favorite is DO YOU! Word, and I think biggie totally did exemplify this.


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

Aww I’m glad you liked the post so much, he certainly is missed. I think the whole Hip hop scene would have been completely different if he hadn’t passed away.


Em K March 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Such an original and thoughtful article. Biggie (and his side kick Puffy) always stood out because they paid such attention to detail, no matter what they were wearing they always looked pulled together, polished and intentional. I didn’t realize Biggie was such a fan of Versace, or that Versace recognized and appreicated his support. the early 90s… I remember those days!!



Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

Thanks for commenting Em, I’m glad you liked the article :-). Yeah I knew he was a fan but didn’t realise he went as far as going to shows and being recognised by Donatella until I did a bit of research for the article.


JayMarie March 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Biggie did have some great style!


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thank you for commenting :-)


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