Streetwear is a word that is frequently used without much thought about what it actually signifies, what its meaning, value is and where it originates from. The various fashion categories can be described with the same general the consensus that we all adhere to. It’s easy to distinguish fashion from streetwear fashion, custom-made from fast-fashion, formal wear from leisure-wear. However, fashion styles which aren’t created for the consumers, but rather curated and created by consumers, may be difficult to define.
Knowing what streetwear is and where it came from and what it means to the insiders in the community is vital for creating and promoting the most popular collections that are not only up-to-date, but also break-through. Because it is a community-based fashion streetwear influencers, editors and stylists can be an authoritative voice and are therefore highly valuable brand partners. Streetwear is a thriving style that is open to brands that are creative and sharing powerful message to their audience via their creations.
Unintentional Fashion Innovators
The Hypebeast definition of streetwear is “fashionable casual clothes” However, the website explains this definition is incompatible with the “multi-billion dollars” business that streetwear has grown into. Streetwear as we understand it is a product of the 1990s in the hip-hop scene in New York, the surf-skate and graffiti culture of Los Angeles, and within the nightlife scene of Japan. James Jebbia has said that his design influence “was certainly the skaters of the youth who were in New York. Additionally, he traveled to Japan and observing their amazing fashion. Then, I went to London. It was a mix of all that.” Designers such as Jebbia as well as Shawn Stussy pioneered streetwear in the US with their labels Supreme and Stussy and other designers like Nigo as well as Hiroshi Fujiwara, also known as “the the godfathers of Harajuku” who led the fashion all across Pacific.
It is essential to look at streetwear as a fashion and not as a fashion as it is a cultural phenomenon. 90’s graphic teesand loose-fitting jeans, as well as statements sneakers were made as a way to express their customers who were the rapper, the skater or the rebel. In the 80s and 90s the majority of traditional brands did not outfit certain celebrities or athletes which meant that the public was forced to create their own clothes to define the meaning of fashion and what it was to the people they surrounded. Virgil Abloh expressed this community change in an interview last in the past year “I lived through the 90s and 80s, and that time there was a distinct ideas of what a designer was, and we were able to define what a musician looked like”. In the present streetwear is led by a small group of skaters, musicians and artists, as well as social media influencers who make clothes and curate their own styles to express themselves through self-expression as well as sharing their cultural knowledge.
What is the fuss about streetwear?
Streetwear has become a fashion circles over the last several decades. Contrary to other fashion categories the rise of streetwear wasn’t fueled by companies, rather, the brands were sought-after by people who wanted to feel “in” with the exclusiveness of streetwear clothes. Exclusiveness in the form limited editions, capsule collections and creative collaborations are the defining characteristics of streetwear. Numerous luxury brands are now using limited editions as a marketing tacticto create the perception of exclusivity to the buyer.
Traditionally luxury brands promoted an image of exclusivity by promoting their expensive prices through authoritative top-bottom communications. The fashion industry has learned from streetwear that limited editions can create the feeling of exclusivity not through price and exclusivity, but rather through the an ethos of community. Brands such as Off-White, Nike, Balenciaga and Palace have served as a model for established brands to create “fashionable casual clothing” and well-known luxury fashion brands are now releasing collections that are inspired by streetwear frequently.
What is a streetwear partnership?
It was said that the Louis Vitton x Supreme collaboration in 2017 was a matchless one, GQ called Kim Jones the Collection “one of the most successful collaborations in the last century”. It’s not a surprise that Kim Jones has again enthralled sneakerheads this year. With Dior Jordan x Dior. Jordan, British Vogue wrote that the Air Dior’s shoes were “the most-wanted sneakers ever”. Naturally, as the market for streetwear clothes expands and the concept of streetwear is evolving. For instance, as increasing numbers of women started wearing streetwear, male styles were being worn with a the bold female and feminine twist. This opened up the market for female-owned and run streetwear brands catering to women who had previously wore clothing designed for men by men. This is among the reasons why today’s streetwear has a very feminine look.
Information from the fashion capitals of Europe: London, Paris, and Milan
Simone Beyene is a 25-year-old stylist and visual artist who works with film and photography. She is Mabel’s stylist. She is finishing her studies at Central Saint Martins next summer.
Being a part of the music scene is exciting because it’s had a significant influence on streetwear, particularly within London because it’s such a energetic and enjoyable city. Streetwear generally is a major influence in skate culture. It’s the main ingredient in the streetwear we see in the present. In London there are a few brands such as Palace and Places+Faces that began with young men printing T-shirts. The most important thing in streetwear to me is a t-shirt with a print that’s been washed many times. T-shirts from bands and rock culture make up a large portion of streetwear. However, the bold prints and colors that seem somewhat bizarre or funny , show there’s an element of humor in it too.
The streetwear of London is also a reflection of hip-hop from the beginning from New York, and how rappers dressed in the ’80s and the ’90s. Many of the artists who loved skating such as Pharrell were referred to by brands as friends , so brands were able to give away clothes. Everyone wants to appear like our idols from the movies or those we admire and that’s the reason why streetwear became popular and spread across the globe. Particularly because music is everywhere across the globe.
It’s interesting in addition is that for me, streetwear has more of a more unisex style. It’s interesting to take something that is too big and turn them into feminine by playing around with the proportions, cropping the clothes, and making feminine silhouettes. “Matchy-matchy” clothing like crop tops or tracksuits that have gold body jewelry are the most popular type of streetwear worn by women too We saw it often in the late 90s, along with the hip-hop celebrity brands.
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Luxury brands are embracing streetwear and creating clothes that they do not create. It’s evident that high-end brands like Louis Vitton, Dior, and Gucci have many monograms and it is selling well due to the fact that streetwear is extremely well-known and people want to be part of the fashion scene: streetwear is part of the culture of youth It’s how youngsters dress. These youngsters never wanted to dress like anything other than their own version of what’s trendy. This is the first time in a long while that brands are employing more of the people who are part of the culture and citing the origins of their collections. It’s crucial to remember the children who created this fashion which brands are now making money from.
Selma Kaci Sebbagh is a Creative Director, Press Contributor and an influencer. Her impressive collection of sneakers that she showcases regularly on her Instagram has been noticed by numerous high-profile publications.
Streetwear is a difficult concept to define in 2020. I’d suggest that 10 years ago, it was much simpler to define. Streetwear is a fashion that can be mixedand is worn by women as well as males too and is something that is used in a variety of ways. I was once of the opinion that the word “streetwear” might be negative since it could be an easy way to claim something is fashionable. Streetwear is wearing the brand of the clothing, and not an enormous logo that has no significance behind it. Many times, I’ve asked brands where their clothes are made and the process of making them as it’s crucial to consider the impact they have on the environment.
The French market, particularly for young people There is a greater consciousness of sustainability and people are eager to change their ways. I am sure that the latest fashions in streetwear will focus on sustainability. In the case of Parisian streetwear, there’s no such thing as an exact fashion; social media provides us with the feeling of having no boundaries which allows us to explore more than the same style.
One thing which is changing the concept of streetwear is the fact that there is a growing number of female-oriented brands emerging, particularly via social media. Being able to see women and girls given the freedom to change the way they choose to dress each day lets us have an alternative view of fashion and streetwear. This prevents companies from being stifled to can better serve us, which is fantastic.
Amanda Margiaria is an editor at i-D Italy, one of Italy’s most renowned publications that focus exclusively on culture and streetwear. The writer writes on everything from fashion week and industry news, as well as politics, culture as well as music.
There isn’t a single definition of Milanese streetwear, as this style is a mix of different subcultures and social layers. The Milanese skaters are wearing streetwear as do the Milanese hipsters wear streetwear, and the Milanese influencers sport streetwear however their clothing has nothing to do with each with each other. Fil rouge however is evident in the manner of dress of these individuals. They dress because they’re making a strong message. Their clothes convey:
“We don’t want to conform to the Italian fashion, which you’d consider tailor-made suits extravagant hats, or the Pitti Peacocks. We are distinctive we’re outcasts and wear streetwear because we are not dressed to impress in all social situations.”
Streetwear is related to the image you intend to send. If you dress in streetwear, you are not able to be a part of the society’s expectations. Streetwear originated from rebellion against social norms and that will always be the primary aspect of streetwear. From a stylistic standpoint, however I believe that streetwear will be a trend toward more distinctive and sustainable clothing and accessories since is there anything better than an Off White sweater? A custom-designed sweater, constructed from recycled Off-White fabrics. Streetwear is only viable when the expectations of customers are fulfilled. Therefore, it’s going to remain unique and also very democratic, because it is, as we said in a recent piece, If this fashion is to be current, a social and political commitment is essential.
With streetwear becoming part of the fashion industry as a mainstream product and is driven by the demand of the consumer, it’s evident that the style can not be reduced to “urban fashion” or something that’s not appropriate to the established fashion Maisons. Streetwear is the authentic voice of the consumer and is an essential expression that must be included in the current clothing brands as well as their portfolios of products. Streetwear will never cease to explore new ground and break with old practices, because consumers are becoming more aware about the issues of sustainability and equality. Thus, an openness to the cultural phenomenon and a clear approach to issues related to it is what will win the heart of the streetwear consumer, across the globe.