What is StreetWear?
StreetWear really is the “grey area” of urban clothing; it is so difficult to explain and define. As its name suggests, the streetwear fashion trend is largely influenced by what is happening “on the streets” and is, therefore, evolving constantly and at a rapid pace.
In recent years the term has grown in popularity at an extreme rate, meaning the term “StreetWear” has come to encompass and adopt many new meanings and styles making it very hard to pin down.
The most common definition of StreetWear is “typically a casual style of clothing, worn by urban youths involved in subcultures”.
Typically StreetWear items are comfortable and simple pieces such as jeans, t-shirts and caps. These items often encompass many trends such as 1980s nostalgia, bold colours, hip-hop and skateboarding vibes.
What started as a simple term for “urban youth clothing” has come to embody so much more, and with the growth of “high-fashion” StreetWear, the term is only becoming more and more undefinable.
StreetWear vs Fashion - how are they different and the same?
You may be surprised to hear that StreetWear is not a new phenomenon. It has in fact been around for close to 40 years.
Despite this, only in recent years have high-end fashion designers decided to embrace the StreetWear scene and take the movement seriously meaning more and more people are recognising the StreetWear movement due to its growing popularity in mainstream culture.
The transition from Instagram aesthetic to high fashion, is clear if we take a look at the amount of athleisure; which has made it onto recent runways, and the Kardashians trading in their jeans for tracksuit bottoms.
The line between high-fashion and StreetWear is becoming increasingly blurred as the seasons go on with the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton embracing some aspects of fashion which are linked to the StreetWear scene such as graphic tees, hoodies and chunky trainers.
Despite this, some high-end fashion designers are fighting the movement and would be disgusted by the label of “StreetWear”, yet there is no denying that some of their designs embody aspects of the culture. To stay relevant, interesting and current it is essential after all!
How did StreetWear Clothing Start?
Let's take this back to the origins, how did StreetWear start and where did this idea come from?
It is generally accepted that the style has evolved out of the LA Surf style and culture where StreetWear simply was used to describe comfortable clothing. Often worn by skateboarders and surfers with brands such as Ocean Pacific and Offshore providing for this select culture of individuals.
There is not one brand which can be individually linked to “the start of StreetWear” but surfboard designer, Shawn Stussy is often thought to be at the starting line as one of the main “creators of StreetWear”.
Starting as a surfboard designer he transitioned from selling his Stussy designed surfboards to t-shirts with matching Stussy design. This Stussy logo is now widely and universally recognised for its connection to the StreetWear scene.
Over the years, American sports franchises also had a large impact on the scene with LA Raiders and Chicago Bulls caps and jerseys becoming a wardrobe staple for many within the scene.
StreetWear Drops and Exclusivity
Clothing manufacturers releasing limited edition items and using social media and product rarity as their main marketing tools created the exclusivity around the StreetWear scene that we see today.
Building exclusivity around a brand is a clever marketing tactic put in place by many StreetWear brands including Supreme, who have had major success with their marketing model, using exclusivity and drops to create desirability around their products which are notoriously hard to get your hands on.
It’s a classic case of “wanting what you can't have” which makes their specialty clothing so appealing to many.
What is a StreetWear clothing drop?
A “drop” is a sales tactic put in place by a number of Streetwear brands to supercharge the supply and demand model.
A “drop” consists of releasing a limited edition product or releasing small of a product with very little warning.
By doing a “drop” you are creating a sense of urgency within the buyers who believe that if they want the item, they must purchase immediately or it will sell out.
Each Thursday marks the “drop” of new Supreme items and every Thursday these “drops” sell out in seconds, with mile-long queues of people outside of the eleven store locations across the world and many people struggling to pick up items from the marketplace online.
Those who were unable to purchase at the “drops” are then forced to turn to resellers, often paying extortionate markups on these products.
It took just 16 seconds for Rimowa’s suitcase collaboration with Supreme to sell out, despite its high price of $1600, this collaboration was announced simply by both labels posting an image of the cases on social media just three days ahead of the “drop.”
Benefits of StreetWear Clothing “Drops”:
- The limited amount of products being sold means the clothes appear to be rarer than they are in reality- adding to the brand desirability.
- Re-selling of items overseas results in a wider distribution of merchandise which is seen (and hopefully desired) by a bigger audience.
- With the limited products and most re-selling being done to overseas buyers, the likelihood of being seen in the same item as someone else is practically zero.
- Reselling appeals to a different audience, a lover of luxury items may not have been interested in a £40 t-shirt but might be more attracted to an item at its £160 re-sell price, assuming that the quality is equivalent to the pricing.
Despite this cycle of dropping and reselling, Supreme and many other StreetWear brands continue to produce and sell their products in this way. Producing only a small amount of products contributes to the exclusivity and the reselling attributes luxury pricing to the brand.
Who are StreetWear fashion influencers?
So now you know a bit about StreetWear, how can you become involved in the “culture” of StreetWear?
The best way to do this is by exposing yourself to the current trends which can be done easily on Instagram.
Following influencers on Instagram who love StreetWear is a great way of getting inspiration for your own wardrobe, here is a list of some of our favourite StreetWear accounts, give them a follow for the best inspo!
JOSHUA MEEKS-RAYVON WILLIAMS - https://www.instagram.com/meeks.rayvon/
JESSY LAW - https://www.instagram.com/jessylaw/
HYPEBEAST - https://www.instagram.com/hypebeast/
TYLER, THE CREATOR - https://www.instagram.com/feliciathegoat/
NEVER FADE LONDON - https://www.instagram.com/never_fadelondon/
StreetWear Fashion Shows You Need to See
With more and more StreetWear hitting the runway, there are plenty of opportunities to see StreetWear styled and worn by models.
Here are our top two StreetWear Fashion shows which we loved.
Balenciaga fashion shows are not to be missed, their perfect combination of high fashion and StreetWear makes for interesting and varied shows. Last year the Balenciaga fall/winter 18 fashion show broke the internet with this MASSIVE layered jacket which was literally the biggest thing in StreetWear at the time. Taking the oversized trend to a whole new level, this jacket really pushed the boundaries of StreetWear fashion and this is why we loved this show.
The Yeezy fashion shows always break the internet, with the simple yet boundary-pushing designs they are always great to watch. This show had a major impact of urban StreetWear in the months that followed and the style even made its way into the high street fashion so they are certainly one to watch.
What are the top StreetWear Fashion Trends?
As we mentioned previously, the design and trends of StreetWear are constantly changing but here are some trends which we are really loving at the moment.
What are some of the top fashion StreetWear brands?
Here are some StreetWear brands we love to keep up with and follow on Instagram, check them out to keep up with the latest street style trends and releases for men and women’s urban clothing.
- Off white
- Palace skateboards
- Stone Island
This just scrapes the surface on the massive culture that is the urban StreetWear scene. Check out the full range of < a href="/">StreetWear clothing products available on our website, we are constantly adding new lines and ranges for both men and women!