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The Art of Boostin’ from High-End Fashion Stores

The guys who made names off of boostin’ from high-end stores in the 1980s, like Dapper Dan and the Lo-Lifes, are now getting props, but women boosters have not enjoyed the same embrace. Artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards hopes to change that with her new exhibit, “Fly Girl Fly.”
"Shirt with Lace Heart," 2018 acrylic, spray paint, glitter, ink, tulle, lace and cut paper collage on canvas
"Shirt with Lace Heart," 2018 acrylic, spray paint, glitter, ink, tulle, lace and cut paper collage on canvasCourtesy of Kravets/Wehby Gallery and the artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards

There were cliques of black youth in the 1980s who were tomb raiders in urban jungles like New York, D.C., and Detroit. These were groups of black teenagers who were their own kind of urban anthropologists, ransacking high-end retail stores for Gucci belts and pocketbooks.

They were a bunch of Lara Crofts and Indiana Joneses invading otherwise off-limits terrains in fashion districts from Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to Detroit’s Livernois Ave, seeking exotic items like Fendi sunglasses, to swipe off counters, and then, taking off through an obstacle course of security detectors and mall cops.