Retro fashion has always been a popular form of expression, but the members of New York-based art and music collective the Tribe are taking their love for the Eighties and Nineties beyond the surface of style.
For the past the three years, the Tribe’s six core members — King Kid Love, Manolo Mike, Chill, Prynce, Teddy and Paulie — have looked to the past for not only an artistic outlet but a means of creating a community of likeminded individuals. “We’ve come together to live the same vision,” King Kid Love, a musician, explains.
While an old-school hip-hop aesthetic is integral to their style, each member has a different dream: Paulie is a stylist, Manolo Mike a poet. “We knew we could come together with these different ideas and succeed together with having one whole vision,” Kid Love continues. “That vision is Tribe NYC.”
Kid Love remembers feeling disengaged from the interests and trends kids his age had while growing up. His unique sense of style — flat-top haircut, skinny jeans — isolated him from his peers, so he turned to books and music for comfort. On his iPod, he had nothing but Eighties and Nineties hip-hop, the kind of music his dad would play. “I didn’t know what was going on in music,” he says.
All the members of the Tribe are based in Brooklyn and in their early twenties. They studied films like Juice and White Men Can’t Jump as well as old music videos for stylistic inspiration, finding Nineties style to have longevity because of its authenticity.
For the Tribe, they see their community as an impending revolution. “Like Tupac said, ‘I may not be the one to start the revolution, but I’m going to be the one to spark the mind,'” Kid Love reflects. “10, 20, 30 years from now, people are always going to remember Tribe NYC.”