STYLE

Four Black Icons Who Remind Us That Harlem Has Been A Street Style Capital For Decades

02/17/2015 10:37 am ET | Updated Feb 17, 2015

From the Harlem renaissance to the area's resurgence today, the New York City neighborhood has always been an emblem of black culture and style. In honor of the black men who've made Harlem proud, HuffPost Live took a look back at the historical neighborhood and some of its street style icons.

Malcolm X

malcolm x

"Sharp. Confident and lean. His silhouettes were always tight. Those glasses have never gone out of style because of him. Whether you were a black panther or Martin Luther King, Jr., they understood that how you present made you iconic. This was intentional. He was always exquisite, always very meticulous," said BET editorial manager and image activist Michaela Angela Davis.

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

adam clayton powell jr

"[Congressman Charlie Rangel and Reverend Al Sharpton] would see [Powell] and say he had an elegant sense of style. The reverend would say that he would see him walk down 125th Street with a camel coat floating behind him like a cape and even the statue in front of the state building is Adam Clayton Powell with that sweeping coat," Davis told host Nancy Redd.

Langston Hughes

langston hughes

"Langston ... was absolutely amazing. He was one who was willing to step out and actually live in his own identity of style. ... There wasn't a lot of money involved in these days. It was just about quality and I think a lot of their style came with how they wanted to be perceived as African American men and that was the way that they demanded their respect," said stylist and designer Terrell Jones.

A$AP Rocky

asap rocky

"He's genuinely from the streets of Harlem. ...The hood [may not think] he's not keeping it real enough because the rapping is one thing, but his style is totally different. To hear his songs, you're never going to think you're going to get the style that you think you're going to get when you see him," Jones said.

Check out the rest of our style icons by watching the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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Black Style Icons: Through The Years
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