There is no denying the fact that streetwear is saturating the fashion scene in 2019 with streetwear vibes even making their way into high fashion runways such as Gucci.
With the lines between streetwear fashion and high fashion becoming increasingly blurred, we are no longer surprised at seeing trainers and tracksuits on the runway. The streetwear revolution we are currently in the centre of means that we no longer have to sacrifice comfort in order to look good, as streetwear has given us the opportunity to do both simultaneously.
To help you up your streetwear game, we will go through the best streetwear brands currently on the market and why they are worth having in your wardrobe (if you can get your hands on them!)
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Urban Outfitters, Selfridges UK & Stussy Stores
When we think back to the creation of streetwear, many people think of Stussy. Calfiornian surfer and creator of Stussy, Shawn Stussy is often said to have been on the starting line of the street fashion scene when he began signing his name onto his handcrafted surfboards which became hugely popular in the California surfing community. From this, Shawn started to create t-shirts and hoodies with the signature “stussy” logo printed on the front and the rest is history!
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Urban Outfitters, Supreme Stores (If you like queuing!)
Supreme is another brand which is linked to the origin of what we know as streetwear today. Streetwear often uses the marketing technique of “drops” where a brand releases a limited edition product or a small quantity of a product with very little warning. By doing a “drop”, brands create a sense of urgency within the buyers who believe that if they want the item, they must purchase immediately or it will sell out. Supreme are the kings of Streetwear drops and every Thursday a new “drop” of Supreme items are released and every week these “drops” sell out within seconds.
These product releases generate mile-long queues of people outside the eleven store locations across the world with “hype beasts” queuing for hours on end with the aim of getting their hands on some of the newly released items. Those unable to purchase at the “drops” are then forced to turn to retailers, often paying extortionate markups on originally reasonably priced products.
3) BAPE (A Bathing Ape)
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Bape Stores & Selfridges
Founded in the heart of Tokyo, one of the major and limit testing fashion capitals of the world, Bape is a Japanese clothing brand which produces streetwear ranges for Men, Women and children.Since its establishment in 1993, the brand has been iconic in the streetwear world. Like many streetwear brands BAPE focuses on the combination of fashion and culture, with their Kyto store also featuring a BAPE gallery which is often used for events and art shows in connection with the brand.
Like many Japanese streetwear lines, BAPE’s origins can be traced to the ura-Harajuku scene, popular in the early ‘90s Japan. The creator Nigo’s love for the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, can be seen in the name “The Bathing Ape” as well as a reference to the Japanese idiom of “A bathing ape in lukewarm water”, this phrase is used to describe an over indulgent individual such as someone who would stay in the bath until the water was no longer hot. Many believe this is a reference to the overindulgent HypeBeast/Hypebae culture who populate the streetwear scene.
To this day BAPE continues to be a long running popular brand of contemporary streetwear, although some may say that their more current releases are a lot more predictable and tame than in the earlier years with pieces such as their camo range and their shark hoodies returning every season. BAPE will always have legacy as one of the original streetwear founders and its connections to the hip-hop fashion scene and street culture has meant the brand continues to grow in popularity even 26 years after the brands creation. And with their more recent collaborations with brands such as Adidas, BAPE’s audience continues to grow and expand.
4) You Dont Want This Life
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: YDWTL ONLINE & ONE BY ONE
The UK streetwear fashion brand You Dont Want This Life is fairly new to the streetwear scene but has quickly established itself as a big name in London, LA and Toronto, where they have stores. The brand has been built with a family mentality in mind and aim to build a community of like minded individuals who associate themselves with the You Dont Want This Life mentality and culture. Join the You Dont Want This Life family by wearing our clothes and expressing your creativity.
The YDWTL streetwear range accommodates both men’s fashion and women’s, and is being worn by some of the biggest influencers in the UK and the USA and is therefore making a massive impact on the streetwear scene.
Check out the latest streetwear collection on our website to find out more about the You Dont Want This Life mentality.
5) Billionaire Boys Club
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Billionaire Boys Club Carnaby Street, Selfridges London & Harrods
Billionaire Boys Club is without a doubt one of the most iconic labels to hit the streetwear scene this decade and has provided a contrast to the streetwear scene which has always focused on vibrancy and representation.
Founder of the brand Pharrell Williams gained inspiration for the brand after watching “The Billionaire Boys Club” film which has some underlying connections to the hypebeast scene and their overwhelming desire for lavish lifestyles. Farrell's position as one of the world's leading artist and producers, meant that the brand already had a large following and fan base upon its initial creation.
Pharrell wanted to use Billionaire Boys Club to convey exclusive luxury in a positive light- aiming to show that wealth is achievable not through numbers, but through the heart and mind.
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: HUF Stores, Slam City Skates & Size
The creation of streetwear is often linked to the 1990’s skateboarding scene. The extremely popular streetwear brand HUF was created by talented skateboarding legend Keith Hufnagel in the streets of San Francisco and optimises the connection between streetwear and skateboarding culture.
The popularity of the brand HUF within the streetwear scene can be linked to both Hufnagel’s proficiency at skateboarding and his respect and connections from within the skateboarding community. Since HUF’s establishment in 2002, they have moved their roots to LA which proved to be successful as it led to collaborations with major names such as Snoop Dogg. With what feels like 90% of the population owning a pair of HUF socks at some point in their life, HUF’s most recent spring collection draws back into their roots taking inspiration from the 90’s New York skateboarding scene.
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Palace Stores
The fairly recently established UK skate brand “Palace” has become a major name in the hype beast scene. Palace has put Streetwear on the map for the UK as one of the quickest growing British streetwear brands which is now competing with massive names such as Supreme, who are well known for their high level of hype.
Much like the Supreme drops, the palace collections instantly sell out, giving Supreme a run for their money with queues of fans waiting outside the Palace stores on the morning of the drops.
Like Supreme, Palace is highly influenced by skating culture but takes this from a new angle by adding unique British flare to their designs. Combining sporty a sporty aesthetic of tracksuits, caps and hoodies with traditional pieces such as loafers and smoking jackets is what makes Palace stand out amongst other major streetwear brands.
WHERE TO COP IN LONDON: Selfridges London
Founded by footwear industry expert Ronnie Fieg in 2011, Kith has quickly become one of the fastest rising names in streetwear. Fieg has designed some of the most sought after trainer collaborations in the recent years, working with brands such as Pusa, Asics and Adidas. All of which were sold on the Kith online store.
Kith aims to shift the current state of the fashion industry whilst also aiming to operate under the philosophy of giving the consumer more than what they are paying for.
What began as a hub for selling men’s sneakers, Kith expanded in 2015 and also now sells their own range of both Men’s streetwear and women’s streetwear. As one of the few Streetwear brands to launch a women’s streetwear range,
Fieg noticed the gap in the market when he realised that the smallest sizes of his Menswear launches were often the first to sell out. Fieg wanted to move his women's wear range away from the “borrowed from the boys look” and instead decided to create an independent line for women, only re-designing a few of the best-selling male pieces.
With Kith still continuing to establish itself within the streetwear scene, we expect to see more streetwear brands following suit and becoming more inclusive of women’s streetwear in future collections.
With streetwear just getting bigger and bigger within the fashion industry, investing in some original streetwear pieces is sure to up your fashion game. As spring and summer quickly approach, make sure you are looking your coolest by checking out some of these cool clothing brands which are set to be massive in 2019 and are sure to continue growing in the coming years.