Streetwear is a type of casual clothing like sportswear that got famous in the 90s. It is said to have originated from New York, and its hip-hop culture is the main factor. The clothing was also influenced by punk and skate culture. Japanese streetwear also had heavy metal influences. All this might sound confusing from the viewpoint of fashion, but streetwear is just casual clothing like jeans and sneakers. The catch is that streetwear brands rely on the dress being exclusive and purposefully restrict production. This exclusivity is what creates demand for these products.
When introduced, streetwear was not aimed at a global market or customer base. It was meant to be made in tiny numbers and sold locally. As a result, many great brands were not even heard of outside their turf. But with the inception of the internet and advancement of technology, word about these brands spread like wildfire. An example would be the popularity of brands like the Japanese brand WTAPS in Australia. It also meant more demand for streetwear in Australia leading to stocks being wiped clean faster than anyone could imagine.
Origin and Evolution
Even though we can point out what influenced streetwear, it isn’t easy to pinpoint its origin. It is said to have started as early as the late 70s. It was an exciting time with a do-it-yourself attitude inspired by the punk and metal culture. Many surfers and skaters started to make their boards with their logos and eventually began making clothes too. A notable DIY enthusiast of that time was Shawn Stussy.
He made t-shirts and stamped on the same logo from his surfboards. His work became popular, and he was considered a cult icon. It is said to be the start of streetwear getting popular. Sussy made a lifestyle-based clothing company feel like a high-end one by making it exclusive.
By the 2000s, sneaker culture started to develop, and people began fashioning a variety of matching sneakers with their streetwear. It also led to a lot of collaborations between sneaker and streetwear brands. 2010 saw the introduction of luxury streetwear products. It was possible due to influencers and celebrities using and popularising streetwear and assimilating it into pop culture.
It piqued the interest of many luxury brands, which went on to release high-demand streetwear products. New age marketing had helped streetwear in getting to the luxury brands. Streetwear has become a very essential part of the fashion industry with a broad customer base and global demand. Geographical boundaries are inexistent, allowing something like Japanese streetwear to be famous worldwide through brands like WTAPS in Australia.
Streetwear can be hard to style and incorporate into one’s wardrobe, owing to its diverse influences. Here are a few tips.
- Sneakers – Sneakers are the most critical and expensive part of your streetwear outfit. Investing in a good pair of sneakers is the first thing to do if you want to wear streetwear.
- Logo – The brand’s logo is what symbolizes exclusivity, and it is what people show off. Brand loyalty is vital here. Different logos shouldn’t be mixed up. If one doesn’t have all the clothes from the same brand, one can highlight one logo and blend other casual clothing.
- Proportions – With streetwear making it into luxury brands, sweatshirts became a part of high fashion. Baggy clothes are great to experiment within such situations.
Streetwear is all about being comfortable and wearing whatever you think is good. DIY is still the essence of this style, and being yourself is its most accurate form. BroInsider have created this great article about the Ultimate Men’s Fashion Guide.