What is streetwear ….just clothing? or a movement?

Street wear is a distinctive style of fashion not to be confused with hip hop fashion. Its roots are in skateboarding and the “skatewear” of the 1980s.[1] It was later adopted as an urban fashion in Japan before growing to an international business.[1] An important element to the style is vintage or vintage-style sneakers.[2]

Street wear is youth – it’s a retro 80s look inspired by the sneaker culture and hipsters on New York’s Lower East Side.” But, don’t confuse street wear with Urban fashion – looking like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is miles away from the dark denim, baggy clothing and white sneakers that defined the inner-city’s Urban look. “American Apparel, H&M, Uniqlo – the whole [design concept] is based on street wear
—Devon Griffith, Head of Design at Massive Revolution
1984-1990 (18yrs-24yrs)
There were as there is now a menagerie of Styles & Sub Cultures that you could or could not identify with. But Streetwear then was known for a minute as Skatewear, as it was small in comparison to today. The seeds had been set there on the West Coast, & I say West Coast as that is where I first saw the beginnings of Streetwear. The ball was rolling & gaining mass as the years passed. By the Mid Eighties, the original Skate labels had opened a door to a consumer, & their demand lead to the emergence, birth if you like of STREETWEAR Labels whose roots were definitely in Skateboarding & it’s Anti-Establishment Energy…for example & The Real 1st Streetwear Label STUSSY. STUSSY changed the game entirely. Then the ever growing world of Hip Hop & the emergence of that whole B-Boy style changed the Dynamic again that brought another Symbiosis in The Evolution of Streetwear.

1991-1995 (25yrs-29yrs)
Labels came & a few went, things were getting a little more established & there was a lot of financial rewards out there & as I have said once before the increase in finance meant development could look & move further. Again STUSSY was the 1st to Utilise a Bond with Japan. See what was happening, see how the Japanese market had sat, watched, learned & created. & what they created took Streetwear another leap forward. They had taken all that was happening and made it better, cooler…more desirable. They brought Toys & Gadgets into the frame…they also made you see that to work with other labels on specific projects was productive & enhancing to all parties. They had the recipe to make a consumer take their fill & want more. An extremely exciting period. This was the time when all the Big Guns made a name for themselves, & the kudos & growth that Japan gave them took them to the next level.

1996-2000 (30yrs-34yrs)
The formula had been written and many started labels. Streetwear was a business and all over the globe, the emulation of Streetwear under many NAMES began. No where more than Europe, who felt that it was their time to make their own labels. Sadly many of them were out & out copies of existing Labels & Looks , but in there were a few that did stand out & gain respect. Then like now, there was money in there Streetwear Hills & people ran to get the Money, forget design lets get that profit. Like I said there were a lot of copy cats just wanting to get some of that Cash. But the good that came out of it is that Streetwear was labelled a Culture & as in most Cultures, there soon emerges Sub-Cultures & in these 5 years saw the beginning of the Sub-Cultures, Divisions & Levels of Streetwear. Streetwear’s Most Influential Mogul is A Bathing Ape’s General and creator Nigo, whom changed the way streetwear was perceived by major companies.

2001-Present Day(35yrs-41yrs)
Pioneered commercially by Pharrell and taking to another level by the likes of Verbal of Japan’s mega hip hop group Teriyaki Boyz, Lupe Fiasco, hip hop group The Clipse, Kelis and Kanye to name a few. Streetwear went viral…& I mean that in the nicest way. The internet & namely Blogs/E-Zines whatever you want to call them, are like Drugs & Today’s Consumer is the Junkie. But in this case there is no real right or wrong. You can indulge yourself in Streetwear beyond belief today. Because of the exploitation of the term ‘Limited Edition’ people now have the opportunity to make there very own items. e.g. NIKE ID. So now if the HyperStrike is no good, or the Tier 0 is not enough for you, you can make your own. That sense of individuality is enhanced your ego jumps, ‘Check ME out & my bad self..’ I have to stand up & say I am guilty of this as are many others, that is not a flaw in us, it is just the state of the Game…the need to be One Up on the Dude next to you. So there are many people looking like a blog, when you should look at all this like Philosophy. Consume the Information, Gain the Knowledge & find your own way. I am happy to say that there are still a lot of people doing that rather than Looking Exactly like the Pages of Slamxhype, Hypebeast or High Snobiety, to name a few.

Now what has emerged from Streetwear is a new style simple known as Street Chic. Which is basically a mixture of Streetwear with today’s High Fashion Houses like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Emilio Pucci etc. This style was mainly pioneered by the likes of Kanye West, Nigo, Rihanna and Pharrell. Street Chic became so popular that it convinced Marc Jacobs to create a Street Chic Louis Vuitton graffiti collection inspired by Stephen Strouse and Fendi with their B.Mix line.

Streetwear X POPART Movement
The two have combined and have created a marriage within its consumers. As you can see from labels like Kidrobot who make streetwear inspired pop art toys. The marriage of the two have also converted into furniture and has become lifestyle Brands.


-SOURCE Fats “Fatsarazzi” Shariff “STREETWEAR” article


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