When it comes to fashion, street wear is a style that is timeless and unmistakable. It is a genre that has been embraced by a number of fashion clothing manufacturers who have sought to create pieces that are both bold and statement-making. Streetwear clothes are also designed with a sense of individuality and personality that allows consumers to create a look that is uniquely their own.
This unique genre of clothing has turned the fashion industry on its head. While in the past, designers and trend forecasters dictated what styles made it to the runway and what was stocked in stores, today, with the rise of direct-to-consumer brands, it is the consumers themselves who are driving trends and choosing which styles will make it big.
A major part of the appeal of streetwear is that it is a style that can be worn by both men and women, regardless of age or body shape. This has helped to attract a younger audience and has created a more democratic approach to fashion that allows all types of people to express their personal style and identity through the clothes they choose to wear.
The culture that streetwear is based on was born in the 1990s, growing out of New York hip hop fashion and California surf culture into a global phenomenon that has since spawned subcultures inspired by 1980s nostalgia, punk rock and Japanese street-style. The fashion movement has become so large that it now comprises a multi-billion dollar retail market. Successful streetwear brands draw on these cultures to produce designs that are both current and timelessly rule-breaking. According to Hypebeast, designer James Jebbia, whose brands Supreme and Stussy are among the most successful in the sector, found inspiration for his brand within the hip-hop scene of New York and within skate culture, with an additional influence coming from his travels to Japan.
Musicians are a key source of credibility for streetwear brands, with the majority (65%) of consumer respondents to our survey saying they view musicians as the most credible figures in this area, ahead of just over half who chose industry insiders and 32% who selected social media influencers. Virgil Abloh of Off White, Kim Jones of Dior and Hiroshi Fujiwara aka ‘the Godfather of Harajuku’ are all examples of streetwear fashion designers who are connecting with the youth culture in this way.
Those looking to build their own streetwear style can start with classics such as oversized hoodies and sweatshirts in a range of colours. These can be paired with jeans and trainers for a casual but stylish outfit, or worn under a bomber jacket or even a sports blazer. A baseball cap or a bucket hat in either a simple logo design or a more intricate floral print can complete the look. Add some coloured sunglasses and a personalised watch to finish off the look. These accessories will give a personal touch that makes it look like you’ve put a lot of thought into your outfit.