When someone thinks about streetwear, they usually think of brands such as Supreme or A Bathing Ape. But where did it all start? Men's streetwear has been in style since the 1990s. This is a casual form of fashion trend. From hip hop of New York to the California surfers and skaters. The trend then evolved into an haute couture being a huge influence on the industry. Streetwear was also influenced by other fashion cultures such as sportswear, punk and Japanese streetwear. Streetwear has a centre idea of putting together casual pieces of clothing that can consist of jeans, hats (such as baseball hats), T-shirts and sneakers. Streetwear enthusiasts will follow specific brands and cannot wait to get their hands on the limited edition products that has tend fly out from the shelves really fast.
History of streetwear
As mentioned before, street clothing has been popular since the 1990s, but that doesn't mean that it was started then. Streetwear actually started in 1970s. The hip hop culture in New York City is where it was generally accepted and streetwear was born around the 1970s and 1980s. There are also some other aspects that were influenced by surfing culture in Los Angeles, California. The inspiration of streetwear in New York City came from the ideas of DIY atheistic of punk fashion, Japanese street fashion, new wave, heavy metal, sportswear and workwear. Some of these workwear fashion brands are known as Dr Martens, Kangol, Adidas and Schott. In the 1990s influences from the skating and hip hop were a great impact for the streetwear trend. American Professional sports company such as New York Yankees were producing items such as oversized t-shirts and jerseys and shoe manufacturers such as Timberland and Nike were designing shoes to fit the latest trend in clothing. Following this trend other CEOs from recording label companies started to launch their brands for streetwear fashion. These include Jay-Z with Roc-a-fella launching Rocawear, 50 cent with G-Unit clothing and Russel Simmons with Phat Farm.
In the 2000s, we saw the luxury brands taking a shot at competing in the streetwear fashion trend. We see the likes of luxury brands such as Gucci and Fendi making their appearances in the hip hop videos to advertise to a more diverse population. A popular shoe in the early 2000s that was an icon for hip hop is the Air Force 1. This shoe was further popular due to the song Nelly. Following this, fashion companies then started to use streetwear ideas such as limited-edition capsule collections, or better known as drops, using the tools of social media and marketing. Around 2010, streetwear brands were being converted into elite fashion brands. A magazine called Complex Magazine (an American media and entertainment magazine), named brands Stussy, Supreme and A Bathing Ape as the top streetwear brands. These fashion brands were then making collaborations with other brands to make high valued fashion collections. To name some of these, there were Supreme x Luis Vuitton, Fila x Fendia and A Bathing Ape x Commes des Garcons.
Some examples of youth subcultures that are associated with streetwear are;
Known for their denim bohemian style and long hair. They may also have flower power along with psychedelic imagery.
These group of people are best known for their drape jackets, crepe shoes and drainpipe pants.
Ripped jeans and safety pins, punks are known for their bondage, proactive T-shirt with slogans for what they stand for and the Mohican hairstyle.
Very short-cropped like hair, skin heads are found wearing fitted jeans, button up shirts like Ben Sherman, polo shirts such as Fred Perry, jackets- Harrington, and boots such as Dr Martens.
Dressing in all black, gothic groups can be seen wearing heavy coats, shirts known as poet shirts, rocking big boots and sporting makeup.
Preppy fashion includes a diamond pattern sweater known as argyle, chinos, pattern textured tops called madra, button downs from Oxford cloth shirts and boat shoes.
In the hip hop scene of fashion included baggy pants brand names such as, ECKO, Tribal Gear, South Pole, Nike and Sean Jean.
Hipsters or also known as indie will be scene wearing glasses with jeans, beans and sneakers. Ties with suspenders and checked shirts with beards.
The trendies have the iconic androgynous big hair, sporting bright neon colors rocking skinny jeans with printed hoodies.
Rasta is an African-inspired clothing that have all too familiar dreadlocks and rastacaps to cover their dreadlocks with.
Greasers are a subculture that are seen wearing Levis 501 jeans, t-shirts with leather jackets, wearing a cowboy or motorcycle boots with slick back gelled hair wearing sunglasses.
Some of the popular streetwear brands
Nike is known as being the biggest brand to lead in the streetwear fashion trend. Although they are known mainly for their sneakers, Nike also offers a solid collection for streetwear and an array for gear and clothing. These range from joggers to hoodies that are made to high quality. Nike offers a range to suit everyone’s needs.
In the 1990s Adidas has been a street style staple for some time. For this, Adidas has remained at the top for first-rate products. Adidas is known for their icon three-stripe logo. Adidas has collaborated with many celebrities and is daring on fresh classic designs. Adidas can be named as one of the most influential street fashion brands.
A well-known brand known in the street fashion spotlight is Supreme. The brand was founded in New York, the popular luxury brand can be found home to the products that have the familiar red logo. Supreme has items from jackets and waist packs to shirts and track wear. Supreme is the brand that is a one stop place for the high-end street wear. Supreme release new gear every week and this sets them apart from the other streetwear companies. Supreme is the brand that you would like to keep an eye on.
Founded around 1980s can be considered one of the original brands in the streetwear industry. The company is known for the extensive t-shirt collections, the company as recently expanded to widen their audience for skaters and others alike.
The artistic direct of Louis Vuitton, Virgil-Abloh, founded Off-white. The brand is a luxury brand made for streetwear. The inspiration was gained from Kayne West. The brand is capable of blending fashion-forward designs that go with street style and prints. Off-white is for the individuals who are looking for unique details and flattering fits. Off-white is a very exclusive brand.
This street styled company was established in 1990s Tokyo with the inspiration coming for the UK punk scene. This brand has remained as one of the more popular brands since it was established. Undercover is known for their daring designs for their t-shirts and features of bold lettering. Undercover is a great choice for those beginning to discover streetwear.
A premiere brand that is known for specializing in both industries of street and surfer styling. Keith Hufnagel founded HUF in 1990s who had previously worked at Stussy. HUF is a label that has relaxed pieces, great for spending the whole day in. This label is great for neutral designs and vibrant selections.
This brand is for the individuals that want to make sure what they purchase counts. Shepard Fairey, the brands creator, wanted to create a sense of activism in the designs for his collections. The brand is designed for both men and women and offers a lot of clothes, footwear, bags and accessories options to help an individual level up their street style dreams.
Kith is for the everyone. For the sneaker heads to the simple fans of streetwear. Kith can be known for collaborations with Coca-Cola and other favourite brands. The brand uses bold favors of urban designs and logos. The brand offers collections for women, men and kids. Safe to say this brand is for everyone. Items that can be found are distressed jeans to hoodies.
The different types of jeans
Introduced by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in the year 1948, cropped jeans have a lot of different names they include (capri, three quarter legs, capris, crop pants, jams and highwaters.) The jeans were then popularized by the English and a couturier named Bunny Roger. The name of jeans come from an Italian isle called Capri. For the fashion geeks. Cropped jeans are the go to choose for the geeks of fashion. The jeans give off a vintage of 90’s vibe. These jeans are a go to favourite for sneakers, boots and derby’s. Rocking some long socks works well with these jeans, or you can go with the no sock look as well!
Where to buy cropped/capri jeans
Most brands do cropped jeans. To name some of the street wear brands that do these types of jeans are ASOS, Mennace, and American Eagle.
A pair of snug tight fit that run the length of the legs and will end at the opening part of the jeans. Other names for these jeans are drainpipes, stovepipes, tight pants, pencil pants and skinnies. These jeans are popular among the many of men. For the majority of men, going for these jeans will be an upgrade. These jeans are for the men that do not want to be too different. Jeans such as cropped jeans can be too sturdy for some and the material can feel like it is raw denim. If you want a simple pair of jeans, then the skinny jeans are sure choice.
Where to buy skinny jeans
Skinny jeans are extremely popular and because of this you can pick up skinny jeans just about anywhere but THE place to go is of course Mark Envoy.
These jeans are made to be quite comfortable at the thigh but as they get close to the ankle the jeans become tapered. Tapered jeans are a highly popularly pair of jeans. The mean of the word tapered is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. These jeans are more popular with the guys that are bigger in the waist and thighs. This allows for a more comfortable fit. Because of this, tapered jeans remain a popular choice for most men.
Where to find tapered jeans
An individual can find tapered jeans in shops and stores that serve and make clothing for a wide variety of men and sizes.
Popular along the punks in 1970s, distressed jeans were tearing apart by the punks in an expression of the anger towards society. The ideology of this was created by Johnny Rotten of the British Sex Pistols who was fighting for against the status of quo. This trend them became popular once again the in the 1990s for a new fashion emerging called grunge fashion. Punk would be seen as anti-fashion, and grunge was seen as non-fashion. This trend then continued into the 2000s and still is popular. The way distressed jeans are made can be either in a washing machine with rocks or manually ripping them before they are sold.
Brands that do distress jeans
These jeans can be found with that associate their self with punks and emo fashion. To name some of these Violent Rose and Disturbia.
These are a casual piece of pants that are soft and are intended for comfortable lounging and athletic purposes. These are now used for different purposed around the world. In some places of the world (UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand), these are known as tracksuit bottoms or joggers. In Australia sweatpants are known as trackpants, tracky daks and trackies. Emlie Camuset introduced sweatpants in 1920, the founder of Le Coq Sportif. When they were first introduced they were simple knitted jersey pants, allow athletes to run and stretch more comfortably.
Where to buy sweatpants/joggers
Sweatpants an immensely popular pair of pants that are used for comfort. Going to any store that sells clothes will most definitely have sweatpants.