Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style Speaker Bios
Jenny Bui is "The Queen of Bling," the Bronx-based celebrity nail artist to Cardi B, and an Opi Global Ambassador. She is the winner of the “Nail Artist of the Year” American Influencer Award (2019 and 2020), and her work has been featured in commercials for Pepsi, on the TV show Cardi Tries, and in Vogue, Forbes, and Cosmopolitan magazines.
Martha Diaz is an award-winning media producer, archivist, curator, educator, and founder of the Hip-Hop Education Center. A graduate of NYU's Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, Diaz has worked on archival projects with Parkwood Entertainment and Tupac Shakur Estate, to name a few. She is an inaugural Fellow at the Center for Creative and Entertainment Arts at Virginia State University and curator/archivist at the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Syreeta Gates is committed to immortalizing hip hop so that it lasts forever. She is an art collector, archivist, and founder of The Gates Preserve. She produces live culinary competitions that bridge hip hop with food and beverage, elevates hip hop culture through LEGO, and celebrates Black life as a filmmaker and writer. Gates holds degrees in urban youth culture and moving image archiving and preservation.
Adeerya Johnson is a PhD student, hip-hop feminist scholar and the digital collections archivist of the early hip-hop collection at the Museum of Pop Culture. Johnson is working on a two-year grant funded project where she archives hip-hop artifacts from 1975 to 2001 for the museum's online portal to provide the public access to over 1,300 hip-hop artifacts.
Andy Hilfiger has been blurring the lines between music and fashion for decades. He began his fashion career at 12, selling jeans at his brother Tommy Hilfiger's first business, The People's Place. Hilfiger relocated to New York City to perform in the downtown rock scene. He was instrumental in introducing the Tommy Hilfiger brand to pop culture. He currently serves as the vice president of Business Development for Authentic Brands Group.
Shara McHayle's fashion career began in the early 90's directing the marketing & sales strategy at PNB Nation, the first statement-driven streetwear brand. McHayle launched Hoop88Dreams with her daughter in 2019, an e-commerce platform that specializes exclusively in hoop earrings. Proving that "The World Is Yours," McHayle draws on the intrinsic nature of hip hop and continues to bet on herself and the culture that raised her.
Ralph McDaniels is the founder and curator of the Video Music Box, which airs on NYC-TV, (channel 25 or 22). McDaniels, also known as "Uncle Ralph," has directed and produced over 400 music videos, and co-produced the films Juice (1992) and You’re Watching Video Music Box (Showtime, 2021). McDaniels's microphone is held in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Kim Osorio is a hip-hop journalist, executive producer, author, and media personality. Osorio spent her formative years covering hip hop in the 1990s, before becoming the first female editor-in-chief of The Source magazine. Osorio's memoir is Straight from the Source (Gallery Books, 2013). She is executive producer on the television shows Love and Hip Hop and Growing Up Hip Hop.
Elena Romero is assistant chair and assistant professor of Marketing Communications at FIT and co-curator of Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style. Romero is the author of Free Stylin': How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry (2012) and is a featured expert in the style documentaries The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion (2019) and Fresh Dressed (2015).
Vikki Tobak is an author, journalist and curator. She is the author of critically lauded books Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip-Hop (Clarkson Potter/Random House, 2018) and Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History (Taschen 2022). Her work has appeared in many publications, including Complex, Rolling Stone, Paper, Vibe, and i-D. She has lectured widely about music photography and contemporary culture.
Elizabeth Way is associate curator at The Museum at FIT and co-curator of the Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style exhibition. Her past exhibitions include Global Fashion Capitals (2015), Black Fashion Designers (2016), Fabric in Fashion (2018), and Head to Toe (2021). Way edited Black Designers in American Fashion (Bloomsbury, 2021).
Emil Wilbekin is a media professional who produces and creates digital, print, social media, and event-based content, appearing on VH1, MTV, CNN, and Today. He was the editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine and managing editor and editor-at-large at Essence magazine. Wilbekin founded Native Son, an advocacy and networking group for gay and queer Black men.