With its beginnings as a specialised fashion originating from the skate and hip-hop scenes, streetwear has gone a long way. All demographics, from teenagers to high-end designers, have embraced what was previously a subculture trend in fashion.
Streetwear first appeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a fashion influenced by Southern California’s skating and surf scenes. Graphic t-shirts, large hoodies, and baggy pants from companies like Vans, Stüssy, and Thrasher were mainstays of the subculture.
In the 1990s, streetwear found a new home in the world of hip-hop, with rappers like Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac Shakur sporting baggy jeans, Timberland boots, and snapback hats. Streetwear became a symbol of the hip-hop lifestyle, with brands like FUBU, Roca wear, and Sean John catering to this growing market.
The early 2000s saw the rise of “hypebeasts” – a term used to describe streetwear enthusiasts who coveted limited-edition releases and collaborations between brands and designers. This led to the emergence of new streetwear labels like Supreme, Bape, and Palace, which created hype and demand for their products through scarcity and exclusivity.
Over the past decade, streetwear has continued to evolve and expand its influence on fashion. High-end designers have embraced streetwear, with luxury labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga releasing their own versions of streetwear staples. Streetwear has also become more gender-neutral, with unisex clothing and oversized silhouettes becoming more common.
Despite its mainstream success, streetwear still retains its counterculture roots and rebellious spirit. It continues to be a platform for self-expression and individuality, with its wearers making bold fashion statements and pushing boundaries. The evolution of streetwear from subculture to mainstream trend is a testament to its enduring influence and relevance in the world of fashion.