Streetwear culture has been growing and evolving since the early ’80s, with a mob of young fashion designers and enthusiasts injecting their attitude, creativity, and sense of style into the scene. What started as a subculture has since become a global phenomenon, influencing mainstream fashion and attaining a huge following in the process.
From Kanye West to Theophilus London, streetwear’s appeal cuts across all kinds of demographics, with fans donning their favorite labels’ clothing and designers hitting runways season after season with their interpretations of streetwear fashion.
Here are some of the most significant streetwear brands, designers, and fans who have had a significant influence on the scene.
Founded in the early nineties in New York City, Supreme quickly established itself as the quintessential streetwear brand, gaining a cult following for its utilitarian, skate-inspired designs, logo, and collaborations. With the likes of James Jebbia at the helm, the brand consistently surprises with innovative collections and unique collaborations, bringing about timeless pieces that personify the brand’s ethos.
Born in the eighties, Stüssy was one of the pioneers of surf culture wear, and its name became synonymous with real street style. Mixing surf, skate, and punk aesthetics, the brand thrived, with its influence felt across many other subcultures. Even today, Stüssy remains a ubiquitous cult brand, continuing to push boundaries with their designs.
Founded in 2013 by Virgil Abloh, Off-White has quickly become a go-to label for fashion-forward men and women alike, and this subsequently led to Abloh’s appointment as artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear. Combining industrial and streetwear design elements with a luxury twist, Off-White’s signature diagonal stripes and bold graphics have become iconic in their own right.
When Kanye West launched his Yeezy Season One collection in 2015, it caused fashion enthusiasts to take note and served as a further confirmation of streetwear’s growing influence in the mainstream fashion world. Since that time, Yeezy has been at the forefront of streetwear-inspired luxury fashion, with Kanye’s success in fashion paralleling his career as a musician and media personality.
Since the ’90s, Pharrell Williams has been one of the defining celebrities of the streetwear scene. An artist in his own right, Pharrell has collaborated with brands such as Adidas and Billionaire Boys Club, bringing about diverse, boundary-pushing collections. He draws style inspiration from Japanese streetwear and vintage fashion, allowing him to produce unique and timeless designs.
In conclusion, these streetwear icons have helped to shape the apparel industry and streetwear culture as we know it today. The importance of streetwear lies in its ability to reflect people’s preferences, beliefs, and inspirations, and its expanding influence in the fashion industry allows for creativity and inclusivity to continue to prosper. Looking to the future, there’s no telling how streetwear will continue to influence fashion and business in tandem, but one can bet that these icons will remain at the forefront.