One of the biggest cultural trends to impact high fashion as of late is the rise of streetwear. These days, many of the most well-known and established luxury brands like Gucci have forgone tradition and embraced elements of streetwear within their collections.
In this article, we’ll explain what streetwear is and how it came about over the past several decades, alongside its impact on high fashion. We’ll also look at the most popular brands when it comes to streetwear. As well as its future might look like.
What is Streetwear and When Did It Become Popular?
Streetwear is a casual style of clothing which became known internationally during the 1990s. It has its roots in youth culture, having emerged as a form of self-expression in urban youth during the 19780s and 1990s in places like New York and California. Both skateboarding and hip hop were said to have a strong influence on streetwear and its evolution over the years, while celebrities and pop culture brought it to the attention of the fashion focussed. This style is ever evolving due to the music industry and it’s continuous popularity in punk rock music and rap music, which has grown in popularity in recent years due to social media.
The streetwear of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s paved the way for new brands and designers to combine its influence with high fashion. Virgil Abloah, for instance, started out on his career with his own line of luxury streetwear clothing in 2012 called Pyrex Vision before later becoming Founder of Off White. While Belgian fashion designer Raf Simmons began his own label incorporating youth culture into his looks before later becoming co-creative director of Prada.
From bubble coats to premium shoes and more, you can now see the influence of streetwear in some of the top brands and in luxury fashion houses around the world. You will find the style of clothing to be relaxed and comfortable fits that allow movement and embrace graphics.
Top streetwear brands
Stussy are one of the founding streetwear brands and have help to shape streetwear’s presence in the fashion industry today. Established in 1980 in California by Shawn Stussy, it originally had connections to the surfing scene, but later became associated with skateboarding and hip hop.
It remains a strong brand today, with a denim capsule collection released in commemoration of its 40th anniversary.
Another one of the founding streetwear brands is Supreme, which was established in New York in 1994. With its roots in skate culture, the first Supreme store had a layout which allowed people to skateboard indoors, with clothes arranged around the store’s perimeter.
While it began with a cult following, Supreme has gone from strength to strength over the years and now worth millions of dollars.
The Hundreds showed up a few years later in 2003 but has made its mark as a prominent streetwear brand. Alongside clothing, The Hundreds also sells eyewear, footwear alongside a print magazine. The brand has also been involved in several collaborative projects over the years, partnering with the likes of NBA, Disney, Adidas and more.
The Hundreds clothing line have been stocked in many premium fashion stockists and have their own flagship store in L.A.
The Future of Streetwear?
While it’s difficult to predict the trends of next year, never mind the next decade, it’s safe to say that streetwear is here to stay. The rise of social media and popular platforms like Instagram have made it easier for new designers and brands to emerge, which the larger design houses are definitely paying attention to.
The impact of music on streetwear fashion will continue to be a huge influence as well. It is well known that the fashion and music industries go hand in hand and therefore if the music is rap and R&B, we are most likely to see streetwear brands hit the articles of high fashion magazines.
Streetwear will definitely continue to influence high fashion and have a larger presence in the years to come as more people embrace the style as it evolves through time and trends.