No film better captured the look and feel of '90s East Coast skate culture than Larry Clark's Kids. The film was a startling realization for some, and a guidebook on how to live for others. Starring Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, and Harold Hunter, the film featured actual skaters that lived on the edge of what Clark was depicting.
The filmed touched issues of a generation in crisis with unprotected sex, club drugs, and peer pressure. Still, we couldn't help but think how New York cool the styles and attitudes of the characters were. From Justin Pierce (Casper) stealing a 40 oz in his pant leg to Harold Hunter skinny dipping with girls, we all wanted to be these kids. Minus the rampant HIV-sharing.
It wasn't necessarily the clothes that they wore, but the way that they were worn. Backwards hats, oversized jeans, and backpacks don't seem that cool on the surface, but seeing it all in action on the City streets made the look that much more appealing. Don't underestimate the style of the females either. Rosario Dawson and Chloë Sevigny had the same downtown style as the fellas in the film, and are style icons in their own right.
The reach of this film went far beyond skate culture. And that's where the influence sets in. Underground culture became mainstream and even jocks who hate skateboarding have seen the movie, probably even bit some of the styles. Influence, influence, influence.