Since its inception in the 1990s, streetwear fashion has undergone a process of evolution. The fashion industry has been completely taken over by the look, which emerged from a skateboarding, hip-hop, and graffiti subculture.
At first, streetwear was a rebellious look that focused on large shapes, baggy jeans, and graphic t-shirts. However, as the look became more well-known, it started to include aspects from high fashion, luxury brands, and athletic clothing. A more sophisticated and varied kind of streetwear was produced as a result of this mix.
Streetwear fashion has advanced in recent years as businesses and designers have pushed the envelope of what is possible. The emergence of streetwear influencers and social media has significantly influenced the development of the look. The market has reached unprecedented heights as a result of consumer desire for limited-edition releases, collaborations, and hypebeast culture.
Streetwear clothing now includes everything from sneakers and hoodies to high-end designer collaborations and luxury streetwear brands. It is a global phenomenon. With its vibrant colours, catchy images, and slogans that communicate a sense of identity and belonging, the fashion has come to represent young culture and self-expression.
What is Streetwear?
Streetwear is complicated to define. There are many styles; baggy, functional, work wear, athleisure, vintage, and many more….
As Bobby Hundreds correctly said, “streetwear is about culture, not clothing”. Streetwear cannot be defined by style; it's more about a lifestyle, a communit.
Origin of Streetwear?
Many argue about its origins being; hip hop, skateboarding, surfing, pop culture, athletic wear, military/work wear, pop culture, partywear, and much more. We do not think there is a right or wrong answer here. What we can do is pinpoint some crucial brands and milestones streetwear has seen over the years.
Streetwear Brands have had the most impact on our culture.
Skate/Surf, Stussy, Thrasher, Vans, Quicksilver, BAPE, Supreme
Best New Streetwear Brands
Palace, Palm angels, Drew, Rip and Dip, Essentials - Fear of God, Humankind, Market.
What Makes a Brand Hypebeast?
Exclusiveness, limited supply, and high demand are characteristics of hypebeast brands, which create buzz and a devoted following. These companies frequently work with well-known designers, performers, or celebrities to produce limited edition products that are highly coveted by their fan base. Rare and distinctive things are valued by the hypebeast culture, which frequently favours eye-catching logos and patterns.
A Hypebeast brand's capacity to capitalise on pop culture and appeal to the younger demographic is another important factor. These brands frequently find success on social media thanks to the sharing of trend-setters and influencers. Due to the hypebeast phenomena, buying a limited edition item has become a status symbol and a sign of belonging in a certain community.
"Luxury" Streetwear is a term that is more appropriate to the west, Streetwear did not start as a luxury segment even in America.
India is just starting to adopt and learn about streetwear, especially because of the rise of Indian Hip Hop and the Sneaker Culture. Before brands can take on “Luxury” Streetwear, we need to spread awareness about streetwear through culture, community, and artists. Streetwear should not be a “luxury” item, because the community that streetwear was built for is anything but elitist and that is where “luxury streetwear” is going.
Off-White is a brand that legitimizes creativity and minimalism over anything else. They proved to us that you don’t need to have deep pockets to compete with Nike, Adidas, Supreme but what you need is a strong design and idea. Just as you can recognize an off-white product via its logo, stripes, and design aesthetic.
Collaborations are a game changer. As we know the underground community comprises many sub-cultures that together make one big community. The best way for the audiences to cross-pollinate and grow the community is through collaboration.
Collaborations are the key to getting new customers and if the collab is correct, as we have seen with Nike and Michael Jordan, Adidas, and Yeezy, it can make a brand.
Collaborations = Street Cred = High Demand = High Prices = Luxury
They do not have such a stronghold on social media as other brands do. However, it's not their platform that is amazing, it’s their creative direction, photography, and brand story that gets to the audience out there.
Platforms are just used as a medium for Off-White for them these mediums will change with trends and are just a way to build HYPE.
It's a circle and it starts with consumers who are early adopters.
Celebrities are always going to stick to trends, whether it's thrifting or buying luxury products. For them, it is more important to be relevant than to be stylish. Celebrities are very smart, for them, they will also rep brands that their fans love, not just rep what they love.
So once they do see their fans or community adopting a product or brand, they rep it. Immediately influencing more people apart from the early adopters to go and rep that brand.
Limited drops were a very obvious path for the future, as customer sentiment is moving away from fast fashion and more towards sustainability. Purchases will likely require higher consideration and price.
Drop retail is also an amazing way to control inventory and reduce waste, so it's here to stay. Honestly, we don’t have much knowledge of OFF-White drops as they are not so available in India. We think Supreme Pioneered Drop Retail, others may have adopted it but Nike and Adidas Mastered it in terms of scale, speed, and execution(distribution).
We are still a little far away from having sustainable alternatives for all the things we purchase. OFF-WHITE’s main focus in both product and marketing is for the socially and ethically conscious, they are all about the hype. The Hype Market and the Ethically conscious are intertwined in the end Streetwear is driven by lots of purchases and ethically conscious shoppers do the opposite.
They are relevant when it comes to making a roadmap for products and how communities are built. But in terms of design, India is there with the USA and Japan, but when it comes to culture, community, and size India still has far to go compared to the West. This is the main reason we believe streetwear should not be about luxury but accessibility and community.
What forms a Streetwear Look?
- Hats & Caps
- Oversized T-Shirts
- Hoodies & Sweatshirts
- Bomber Jackets
- Baggy Jeans
Hats & Caps
The history of caps can be traced back to the Bronze Age when Otzi, a man found frozen between mountainous areas between Austria and Italy, was seen donning a hat. His cap was made from the skin of bears and other animals. With the change in time, fashion has also changed, and with this evolution, you can now find a variety of caps that are ideal for sports athletes, skateboarders, artists, rappers, hip-hop dancers, and typical street-style fashion. In The Late 90’s Fashion, Flat fill baseball caps were adopted by many rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang clan. Baseball caps and bucket hats were a staple, along with neck scarves and Stetsons. There are different types of caps available - baseball caps, snapback caps, trucker caps, dad caps, bucket hats, beanies and so on.
Here are few of the best hats & caps brands globally.
New Era, 47 Hats, stetson, Brixton
Want to Know more about caps?
- What Is a Trucker Hat and Why Is It Back in Style?
- What Are Dad Hats, and How Did They Become a Trend?
The future of eyewear is growing. And that makes perfect sense. As the worlds of streetwear and luxury collide and blend — Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton debut being the main signifier of that to date — and outdoor brands such as Patagonia and The North Face continue their collaborations with the likes of Supreme, there is now a space for technical, sporting sunglasses to enter the luxury streetwear market.
A great collection of classic eyewear glasses are currently in trend. It includes lightweight metal frames that come in different shapes and colours. Moreover, these glasses come with various protective features such as anti-glare and 100% UV protection.
Want to know more about eyewear?
Streetwear is characterised by its comfort, typically loose clothes and striking graphic patterns. Long silhouettes and loose fits were hallmarks of hip-hop fashion from the early 1990s to the late 2000s. A.P.C. and Kanye West worked together to create a capsule collection in 2013 that included a simple, oversized white t-shirt known as the "hip-hop T-shirt." In the 1990s, the big white t-shirt was a staple of hip-hop style. Given how much streetwear styles influence fashion right now, the wide fit t-shirt is a must-have in your wardrobe. Everyone like to wear casual clothing, such as collarless t-shirts.
Hoodies & Sweatshirts
Oversized hoodies & sweatshirts were one of the biggest streetwear fashion trends and continue being in trend even today. There is nothing cozier (or trendier) than chucking on an oversized hoodie, paired with your favorite chunky trainers and the right accessories.
A pair of sneakers and a hoodie are now equally prevalent on the streets of India, where they were once associated with skater kids and countercultures. You may now select between convenience and fashion without sacrificing comfort thanks to the current fashion revolution.
The history of the bomber jacket is one of adaptation and growth, of everyday comfort and military precision, of meeting practical needs and representing cultural phenomena. The history of the bomber jacket's evolution and adaptation is a tale of everyday usefulness, military accuracy, evolution, and cultural expression. One of the most well-liked outerwear fads right now is the bomber jacket, which is arguably the most famous item of military clothing to successfully transition into streetwear.
As wide-ranging as its appeal has been, the iconic bomber jacket has always managed to strike a chord among the emerging youth culture, which explains its current status as a well-known and much-loved streetwear staple. Despite having a fairly conservative price tag when it comes to streetwear, Bomber jackets are not just part of a trend; they are a bonafide timeless wardrobe essential, and are built to last. Over the years, important subcultural movements started popping up all around the globe that would take these jackets and make them an integral part of their uniforms.
At the time when streetwear was going through an immense period of growth and evolution during the 90s/2000s, Alpha Industries began a series of successful collaborations with a plethora of street labels including big players such as New Era, Stussy and BAPE.
Want to know more about Jackets?
Baggy jeans or pants are no longer frumpy. In an era of love-all fashion, donning wide-legged pants to the office, or a party is more than welcome. Baggy clothes are mostly connected to hip hop given due to most rappers’ way of dressing. The most common theory is that baggies originated from black gang members in California called Cripps and Blood. Hip-hop musicians and skaters popularized this style in the 1990s.
In the last 15 years, people grew up enjoying clothes that were designed slim and flattering. However, lockdown has taught us to prioritize comfort over everything else, making us choose comfort, easy-going bottoms over body-hugging clothes even when returning to the workplace.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, the baggies speak to one and all: they are comfortable, durable, and steeped in the powerful cultural relevance of hip hop – the essence of streetwear wrapped in a piece of clothing just for you.
Sneakers have had a big impact on streetwear fashion, becoming one of the key components of the style. Fans and collectors alike search the world for rare and limited edition releases of what was once just a functional shoe for sports and exercise but has since transformed into a highly sought-after fashion accessory.
Collaborations have largely contributed to the expansion of sneaker culture in streetwear. Trainer company, designer, and artist collaborations have developed into highly anticipated events, with expectation building with each new release.
One of the earliest and most significant sneaker collaborations was the Nike Air Jordan, which was launched in 1985 in partnership with basketball legend Michael Jordan. The Air Jordan line has become one of the most iconic and influential sneaker collaborations of all time, with new releases still highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
Other notable sneaker collaborations in streetwear include the Adidas Yeezy line, a collaboration between Adidas and rapper/designer Kanye West. The line has been hugely successful, with each new release selling out within minutes.
Sneaker collaborations have also become a way for brands to connect with other industries and cultures. For example, in 2020, Nike collaborated with the Japanese streetwear brand, Comme des Garçons, to release a new version of the Nike Dunk. The sneaker was an instant hit, blending the classic silhouette of the Dunk with the edgy, avant-garde aesthetic of Comme des Garçons.
Sneakers have become an integral part of streetwear fashion, and collaborations have played a significant role in their rise to prominence. Sneaker collaborations have not only allowed brands to connect with other industries and cultures, but they have also created a culture of excitement and hype around each new release. As sneaker culture continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative collaborations and limited edition releases in the future.