Hip-hop culture has transcended the US and exploded with wild popularity in the music and fashion scene of Asia in the past four or five years. In the late 1990s, American urban ghetto music and fashion became a fad in Japan, the pop culture powerhouse in Asia. R&B and rapping have been adopted into J-pops, while baggy clothes and baseball caps are featured by pop stars. Always a fan of Japanese cultures, it seems hardly surprising that hip-hop fashion in Hong Kong is based on Japanese fashion, as observed by Roy Ng, marketing director of American street fashion brand Ecko in Asia. 'Basically, Hong Kong people stick with designs that resemble Japanese street fashion because they want to play safe,' Mr Ng said. 'They don't want to look odd or different. I also find them less eager to learn about different cultures, and less open-minded about different street fashion styles, compared with their counterparts in other Asian countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and the mainland.' The company will organise the first street culture exhibition in Hong Kong next week, showcasing the history and different facets of hip-hop culture, including fashion, BMX bikes, roller skates, skateboards, graffiti work, rap-music, breakdancing and figures. 'We are trying to bring hip-hop fashion back into its cultural context and give it meaning,' Mr Ng said. 'For example, baggy pants and T-shirts have been major elements in street fashion because the African Americans, living in the ghettos in the 70s, did not have the money to buy new clothes for their children, who had to wear the clothes of their elder brothers. 'We are trying to tell Hong Kong people what is street culture. Of course, it will benefit our business, but it will enhance the cultural capital of society as well.' The street culture exhibit will be held at Park Court, Pacific Place, from October 19-23.