When Martin Lawrence created his popular sitcom ‘Martin’ nearly 20 years ago I’m sure he hoped the show would create a lasting impression and legacy. Which it has, as the show is still widely syndicated in America and other worldly territories.
However I’m sure one thing he did not realise is that he would become a style a icon. Well not so much him - but his hugely popular character Sheneneh Jenkins which saw him don drag to play her.
The character was a parody of the stereotypical nineties ‘hood girl’ loud mouthed, feisty and just generally garish. This was equally matched by her outfits and wigs featured on the show. Given that the character was played by Martin the outfits were overtly outlandish for comedic value.
Sheneneh was often seen sporting colourful kicks from a variety of brands, even Vans before they became the mainstream mainstay they are today. But her staple footwear were her colourful Doctor Marten boots and this was long before they became trendy.
You now have artists like Solange Knowles who is very much a trendsetter and fashionista, the up and coming Azealia Banks and Jessie J both known for their daring wardrobe tastes, even Nicki Minaj to an extent (see SuperBass) - wearing clothing with aesthetics not too dissimilar from that of Sheneneh’s be it slightly more refined or not in the case of Banks. Whether the ladies consciously know it or not, Shenenehs influence is very much prevalent. Back in ‘92 Sheneneh’s outfits were not meant to be hip, how times have changed.
Due to the popularity and appeal of a ladies, they will continue to influence a lot of young women’s wardrobe, especially the young hipster types. So it’s pretty much safe to say that Sheneneh has transcended global cultural barriers