Streetwear, also written "street wear", is a style of clothing between casual and urban created in the 80's and popularized by the Hip Hop movement of the 90's in the US. Streetwear fashion basically evolved from Hip Hop fashion to include sportswear, punk, skateboarding, and Japanese street fashion. Streetwear style usually focuses on "casual, comfy pieces like jeans, T-shirts, baseball hats, and shoes," as well as exclusivity through product scarcity.
The origins of streetwear fashion can be traced back to New York City in late 1970's and early 1980s, when NYC Hip Hop culture and Los Angeles surf culture joined hands to create a new type of Fashion.
During the 1980s, Streetwear started to became more and more famous around the US, notably by taking inspiration from others types of fashion styles such as punk, Japanese street fashion, new wave, and heavy metal. International brands such as Schott NYC, Dr. Martens, Kangol, Fila and Adidas have been the first to notice this new fad were the first to establish the first collection of sportswear and workwear fashion focus streetwear culture.
In the 1980s, surfboard designer Shawn Stussy began selling printed T-shirts featuring his trademark signature. Initially confined to sell them from his car, his product's popularity rapidly increased and, as sales peaked, expanded his first idea into opening an exclusive Boutique selling product with scarcity marketing which defined the core definition of streetwear: shirts and exclusivity.
In the early 1990s, burgeoning record labels associated with popular hip hop acts like Tommy Boy Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Delicious Vinyl began selling branded merchandise embroidered onto letterman jackets and workwear jackets made by companies like Carhartt.
In the mid-1990s, Streetwear influences included mostly skating and gangster rap. Some professional American sports franchises seeing the growing popularity of this style of clothing capitalized on this and had a great impact in the scene such as New York Yankees, Los Angeles Raiders, and Chicago Bulls. With their production of oversized team jerseys, caps and jackets as well as boots from The Timberland Company and the latest shoe design releases from Nike, Inc.
Brand launches by record label bosses followed, with Def Jam's Russell Simmons launching his Phat Farm label, Sean Combs of Bad Boy with Sean John, and Jay-Z and Damon Dash of Roc-a-Fella Records launching Rocawear. Rap superstar 50 Cent launched his G-Unit clothing label a few years later, with the sneaker rights to Reebok.
In the 2000s, the rise of the "bling" culture saw established luxury brands enter the market, with Burberry, Gucci and Fendi appearing in hip-hop videos and films. The most popular shoe of the time was the Nike Air Force 1, immortalized in Nelly's song, Then the fashion clothing manufacturers began to follow the streetwear companies co-opting the idea of very limited-edition capsule collections, now known as "drops", where social media and product scarcity are used as marketing tools.
In 2010s, Complex Magazine named Stüssy, Supreme and A Bathing Ape the best streetwear brands and many subsequently collaborated on acclaimed high-fashion capsule collections such as Supreme x Louis Vuitton, Fila x Fendi, A Bathing Ape x Commes des Garçons, and Stüssy x Dior.
Although streetwear consists of a wide variety of fashion styles, streetwear looks often focus on four basic elements:
- Comfort: Streetwear clothing consists of casual clothing and athleisure staples like sweatshirts and joggers. If you can't skate in it, it's probably not streetwear.
- Scarcity: Hypebeast culture is all about limited-edition items. This perceived scarcity can make sought-after items seem more fashionable. It's the same principle that underlies to haute couture, but streetwear is more accessible.
- Menswear styles: Although streetwear is popular among people of all genders, it is closely tied to menswear and traditionally masculine items such as bomber jackets and workwear.
- Contemporary art: Some of the most successful graphic tees and streetwear logos borrow from the work of contemporary artists or poke fun at classic pieces. Sometimes these are sanctioned collaborations, and sometimes they're not.
Types of Streetwear
1. Urban Streetwear
Urban Streetwear is a term used to describe a certain style of clothing that is typically worn by young people who live in urban areas. This style of dress is often associated with hip hop culture and is characterized by its casual, relaxed appearance. Urban Streetwear can include items such as hoodies, jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. This type of fashion is often seen as being more comfortable and stylish than traditional mainstream fashion.
2. Japanese Streetwear
Japanese streetwear is a unique style of fashion that combines elements of traditional Japanese culture with modern streetwear. The look is often characterized by oversized clothes, bright colors, and loud patterns. Japanese streetwear is also known for its DIY aesthetic, with many people customizing their clothes and accessories to stand out from the crowd.
Despite its flashy appearance, Japanese streetwear is actually quite comfortable to wear and perfect for everyday casual looks. If you're interested in trying out this style of fashion, there are a few key pieces you'll need to add to your wardrobe.
3. Korean Streetwear
Korean streetwear is a type of fashion that combines elements of traditional Korean culture with modern street style. It often features bright colors and bold patterns, as well as oversized clothing and sneakers.
Korean streetwear first gained popularity in the early 2000s, when Korean celebrities began to wear it on red carpets and in music videos. Since then, it has become increasingly popular among young people in Korea and around the world.
4. Chinese Streetwear
Chinese streetwear is a style of dress that combines traditional Chinese clothing with modern, Western-style clothing. It is often characterized by loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that are perfect for everyday wear. Chinese streetwear often includes items such as hoodies, sweatshirts, jeans, and sneakers. This style of dress is becoming increasingly popular in China, as more and more people look to express their individual sense of style.
While Chinese streetwear has its roots in traditional Chinese clothing, it has been heavily influenced by Western fashion trends. This hybridization of styles has resulted in a unique form of dress that is perfect for those who want to stand out from the crowd. Chinese streetwear is the perfect way to show off your individual sense of style, while still remaining comfortable and stylish.
Techwear (short for "technical wear") is a type of clothing that is designed to be functional and comfortable. It typically includes features such as breathable fabrics, waterproof materials, and durable construction. Techwear is often worn by people who participate in activities such as hiking, camping, and climbing. However, it can also be a great choice for everyday wear.
Techwear clothing is usually made from high-quality materials that can withstands abrasions and withstands the elements. This type of clothing is often more expensive than traditional clothing, but it can be worth the investment if you want clothes that will last long and perform well.
6. High Fashion/High Beast
High fashion is a category of fashion that is designed by couture houses or fashion houses that are known for their luxurious designs and haute couture creations. High fashion clothing is usually made from high-quality materials and is designed to be worn on special occasions or as part of a fashionable wardrobe. Many of the world's most famous fashion designers come from high fashion houses, such as Chanel, Dior, and Gucci. High fashion clothing is often seen on the runways of Fashion Week and in the pages of high-end fashion magazines. It is also worn by celebrities and socialites who want to make a statement with their style.
Since the 1970s, sneakers (particularly Pumas, Nike, Adidas, Converse, and Vans) have been a significant aspect of streetwear culture. To market their sneakers, hip hop musicians sign multi-million dollar deals with big brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Sneaker collectors, often known as "sneakerheads" or "sneakerfreakers," consider sneakers to be trendy. Sneaker firms fuel this tendency by making limited-edition sneakers at exorbitant retail rates. Because of the scarcity of the product, its popularity grew, and shoes became particularly significant for streetwear.