My Favorite Thing: Ricky Powell

July 7, 2016

My Favorite Thing: Ricky Powell

My Favorite Thing is a column where Put This On asks stylish, interesting, and otherwise cool people to name their favorite item of clothing or accessory, past or present. In this installment, we asked legendary NYC photographer Ricky Powell.

I love my West 4th St. hat for a few reasons.

For one, it’s cool looking – right from the jump off. The logo is classic, but unique, and it stands out if you’re into street ball.

More than that, however, I used to go to West 4th Street as a little kid, maybe when I was nine or eleven years old. I spent entire weekends in the half cage, right next to the full court, just hanging, chilling, and playing in choose up 3-on-3s. I even got on a first name basis with some of the older regulars on the main stage – guys such as Donald, Pops, Arnie (Arnold Segarra, an All-City HS player in 1961 before becoming the coach to championship teams in the early ‘80s), Bill/ “B” (Smush Parker’s dad), and of course Omar, who we called The Human Scoreboard. Omar was never without a 40oz of Schlitz beer.

Over the years, I’ve gone back to check on the status of the scene and the games, so when Kenny Graham – the founder of the Summer Tournament – hit me with one of these hats a couple of years ago, I felt honored. I love the color combo and design; the hat just feels very New York. People kinda jock me on Instagram about it (I rock it with my signature “invisible jazz cigarette”).

And that brings me to the other reason why I love my West 4th St. hat: it just feels right when I put it on. I like rocking it with my vintage doorman pants and high-top Dr. Js – whoop whoop! – RICKY POWELL

Ricky has been photographing hip-hop luminaries and NYC street style since the 1980s. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Interview, Vibe, and more. You can pick up a copy of his photography books on Amazon, visit his website, and follow him on Instagram.