DJ Scripz’s “The Haitian Polo Documentary” takes a rare look at how the fashion of the 1980s and 1990s influenced Haitian immigrants living in Brooklyn, NY. A particular focus is given to Ralph Lauren’s Polo brand, which became extremely popular with urban youth during that time frame. The red and blue color blocking is similar to that of the Haitian flag, but Polo also represented a mainstream acceptance that many immigrants were literally dying to attain. That struggle spread onto the streets of BK at a time when the borough was well-known for violence and a high price for “respect.”
The film features interviews with such influencers as Brand Nubian member Sadat X, Lo-Life Clothing founder Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Phed Mos Prophete, Fabian Grant, Mesfin Tafari Savage, Jean Rudy Masse, Zhigge member Prance Lo, Dr. Ronelus, Wilson Jean, Adler Milord, Ed Michel, Ski-Black, “Money & Violence” star Moise “RAFE” Vernau, Saif Abdul-Hakim Rose, Ralph Etiene, Beauval Aristide, Pierce Mesidor, Lance Gee, Billy Augmin, and Duke Da God. The music accompanying the film is courtesy of Eddie Cleverhands.
The interviewees discuss their coming of age in the New York City of the 80s and 90s, the unique and common thread aspects of their immigration experiences, the importance of fashion in youth, hip-hop, and American culture, and how a sense of pride and admiration accompanied being perceived as “fly.” Haitian immigrants during that time period needed to look no further than a Polo sweater, jeans, and sneakers to feel a sense of acceptance. “Our story is phenomenal,” DJ Scripz told HOT 97. “It’s phenomenal in terms of how we acculturated and assimilated into this culture.”
After a VIP private screening and Q&A with DJ Scripz and the film’s cast earlier this month, “The Haitian Polo Documentary” is now available for purchase online on VHX.tv. Learn more about the film and see exclusive content on the documentary’s website, and interact with the creators via social media:
The Haitian Polo Documentary Group