Singer and actress Mary J. Blige was spotted enjoying the Brooklyn Nets game over the weekend with longtime friend, stylist and fashion designer Misa Hylton. The two have worked together since the 1990’s and have maintained a friendship throughout the years. One Twitter user’s viral post pointed out the fact that Hylton was an influencer before influencing was a thing. Check out a gallery of Misa being influential over the years below.
Misa Hylton is a notable stylist and fashion designer. She is known as a pioneer in the fashion industry styling many hip hop and R&B artists since the 1990s including Mary J. Blige and Lil Kim. Others may know Hylton as the mother of Justin Combs, who is also the son of rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.
The New York born and raised fashion and hip hop enthusiast transformed looks that were once referred to as “ghetto fabulous” to “hip hop glam.” Hylton began working in fashion when she was a 17-year-old high school student. She assisted on a Jodeci music video thanks to her then boyfriend and A&R intern, Combs, who invited her to set. Together, they convinced Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell to let the group members wear combat boots, hoodies and backwards hats.
She is most known for styling Lil Kim and Blige, who she considered her personal muses. Hylton began designing garments after challenges she faced finding clothes for Lil Kim, who was 4’11” and wore a size 4.5 shoe. One of Hylton’s most iconic looks was the purple jumpsuit and pasty that Lil Kim wore to the 1999 VMAs.
Hylton focused on innovation and risk-taking with her early styles, which she connected to hip hop music. This is why Hylton is absolutely the first influencer ever. We stan an innovator of change in an industry that once rejected Black fashion as art. Hylton is a visionary, who crafted timeless looks.
Check out a gallery of Misa being the OG influencer throughout the years: