Exploring the Rise of Streetwear
Streetwear has become increasingly popular among both men and women, with its presence in fashion shows and widespread exposure. This movement has evolved from its origins, but what sparked its beginnings and why has it gained such popularity?
What is streetwear?
Streetwear has gained immense popularity among both men and women in urban areas. This casual style of clothing, often associated with skateboard culture, continues to grow in popularity. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of unique streetwear shops catering to this trend.
The Origins of Streetwear Fashion
The creation of this movement is generally attributed to Shawn Stussy of Stüssy, a small surfboard company that started printing logo t-shirts in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Shortly after starting to sell his t-shirts, he decided to partner with accountant Frank Sinatra Jr. to create the Stüssy label that we all know and love today.
Their clothing contrasted with the typical neon surfwear that other brands were promoting. Stüssy's clothing was dark, had a vintage look, and began to gather a following. When they were picked up by retailer UNION, they experienced even greater success. These shirts became synonymous with a certain California lifestyle and were later distributed by other specialty boutiques and department stores.
A growing popularity that has been increasing for over 20 years
The 90s were a pivotal time for streetwear, especially when its popularity spread worldwide. The Japanese brand A Bathing Ape was founded in 1993 and played a significant role in this movement. As streetwear started gaining influence in New York, the opening of the first Supreme store on Lafayette Street in 1994 coincided with it.
Supreme strategically displayed clothing on the store's perimeter, leaving the central space empty for people to skateboard while shopping. This unique approach helped Supreme gain popularity not only for its clothing but also for its Thursday "drop" schedule. The brand began accumulating fans in the skateboarding and hip-hop communities, and its weekly delivery schedule became a key element of the streetwear culture, serving as a social gathering for like-minded young individuals.
Weekly releases have helped propel streetwear into the mainstream and become a fascination for fashion professionals. This successful formula of limited production has been imitated by luxury retailers like Barneys to create a sense of urgency among consumers. Streetwear has also made its mark on the luxury market through sales. In 2017, high-end streetwear brands contributed to a 5% increase in global luxury personal goods sales. This movement was popularized and primarily embraced by the younger generation, and it continues to capture their attention. Luxury fashion houses are starting to cater more to this demographic, but streetwear still holds a strong appeal for young consumers. Collaborations with other brands have been another key factor in the increasing popularity of streetwear over the years. Louis Vuitton's highly anticipated collaboration with Supreme during their Fall/Winter 2017 runway show showcased a range of accessories, from sunglasses to sports bags, that created a frenzy among consumers and kept the fashion media captivated. The global influence of streetwear, which originated from New York hip-hop fashion and California surf-skate culture in the 1990s, continues to grow.