Why is everyone talking about streetwear?
Streetwear as we know it today originated in the ’90s， which has become a global language. Streetwear has risen in mainstream fashion over the past few decades. As streetwear establishes itself in the mainstream fashion market, driven by the force of consumers, it is clear that the genre can no longer be reduced to an “urban style” or something not-applicable to established fashion Maisons. Streetwear is the true voice of the fashion consumer, which makes for an indispensable expression that should be reflected in contemporary fashion brands and their product portfolios.
It is important to view streetwear as a movement, not as a trend because it is a cultural phenomenon. 90’s graphic tees, loose-fitting jeans, and statement sneakers were created purposefully as an expression by their consumer: the rapper, the skater, and the rebel. In the ’80s and ’90s, many traditional brands would not dress some musicians or sports stars, so the community had no choice but to make their own clothing and define what fashion meant to them. Virgil Abloh expressed this community shift in an interview last year: “I grew up in the 80s and 90s and in that generation we had our own idea of what a fashion designer is, and we had our own idea of what a musician was”. Still today, streetwear is lead by a close-knit group of musicians, skaters, artists and now social media influencers, who create clothing and curate looks for themselves as an act of self-expression, culture, and community knowledge. Streetwear will always seek to embark upon new grounds and break outdated practices as consumers are increasingly conscious about issues related to equality and sustainability. Therefore, openness to cultural phenomena and a transparent approach to the related issues, is the key to the streetwear consumers heart, worldwide
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a thriving world of upstart designers pushing the style into new directions — the market is so big now that underdog names have a real shot at making a viable business out of their creations, scroll down to check our list of streetwear brands to know in 2023
Credit to Stüssy
When talking about streetwear, a brand that has pioneered, shaped and continues to evolve this fashion style and community is Stüssy. Born in California's surf culture, the brand's collections embody an effortless coolness, blending laid-back West Coast vibes with a touch of urban edge that have truly become synonymous with streetwear aesthetics.
Calfiornian surfer and creator of Stussy, Shawn Stussy is often said to have been on the starting line of the street fashion scene when he began signing his name onto his handcrafted surfboards which became hugely popular in the California surfing community. From this, Shawn started to create t-shirts and hoodies with the signature “stussy” logo printed on the front and the rest is history!
Stüssy's pieces feature their iconic logo, graphic prints, and a fusion of skate, surf, and music influences. From their essential hoodies to their playful accessories, each design reflects the brand's commitment to embracing subcultures and capturing the spirit of youth, making it a timeless favorite for those seeking a touch of California's sunny attitude.
Established in 1994 and founded by James Jebbia, Supreme is a skate and clothing label that started out from a boutique store on Lafayette Street, Manhattan. Embodying the then downtown and skate culture, it was a hit amongst the neighbourhood kids and the skating community. While the brand continued to explore streetwear and make a mark over the years, it also kept garnering a devoted fan base that loved their apparel and accessory offerings.
Credit to Supreme
Credit to Supreme
Supreme are the kings of Streetwear drops and every Thursday a new “drop” of Supreme items are released and every week these “drops” sell out within seconds.
It was a few years back when the label partnered with Louis Vuitton and took street style to the global fashion scene. The buzz around the collection created a strong demand for the pieces thereby making this collaboration an instant success. Not only did it put streetwear at the forefront of luxury fashion, it also got found the brand a permanent footing.
Over the decades, Supreme has expanded into a global community of people who resonate with this style of skaters, punks and hip-hop. It went on to collaborate with other industry leaders including Nike, The North Face, Undercover, KAWS, Jean Paul Gaultier and others.
3) FEAR OF GOD
Credit to Fear of God
Fear of God was born in 2013, coinciding with its founder Jerry Lorenzo's attempts to reconnect with his faith. The essence of the American streetwear brand is contained in a book he read as a child with his parents, My Utmost for His Highest, a religious writing by Oswald Chambers. Lorenzo often spoke about how these readings inspired him to create his brand.
Fear of God, defined by the designer himself as a luxury streetwear brand, is an expression of his lifestyle and aesthetic, far removed from the commercial machinations and seasonality of fashion presentations. The style of the Fear of God garments is heavily influenced by what Jerry Lorenzo grew up with as a child; there are references to the 1980s by the guys from The Breakfast Club, to the 1990s with the looks of Kurt Cobain and Allen Iverson and baseball. This mix of references results in plaid flannel shirts with side zippers, oversized bomber jackets, baggy shorts with hems left raw, striped T-shirts, and the ultimate understated (or eternal to stay on brand) designs of luxury smart-casual.
Fabrics come from Japan and Italy and alternate with vintage pieces, creating timeless clothes and shoes that are easy and comfortable to wear every day and whose luxury is recognized in their aesthetics, garments, and prices. The designer calls it a solution-oriented style because anyone could wear these pieces without thinking too much about it, all the while counting on the fact that Fear of God’s tailored looks gives the wearer almost a feeling of exhilarating monastic lightness. Fear of God continues to redefine what it means to embrace casual luxury streetwear, making it a go-to brand for those who seek refined comfort and understated sophistication.
Founded in 2016 by Hong Kong-born siblings Sun and Stony, represents a subversive and boundary-pushing approach to streetwear. The brand's collections capture a retro futurism aesthetic, blending graphic prints, bold colors, and a mix of cultural references. SUN=SEN's pieces feature eye-catching graphics, unconventional silhouettes, and a celebration of art, music, and counterculture.
SUN=SEN uses elements of streetwear, loud colors and pop art, and combine them with eye-catching silhouettes to spread a sense of optimism to the world. SUN=SEN continues to be a driving force in multi-wear street fashion, offering a fresh perspective on style and a platform for creative sustainable expression. From their statement tees to their use of colour, each design reflects the brand's dedication to embracing individuality and challenging norms.
Credit to Kith
Founded by footwear industry expert Ronnie Fieg in 2011, Kith has become a powerhouse brand that seamlessly fuses streetwear with a touch of high-end luxury. It all started when Fieg began chasing the magic formula of collaborations. In his stores you can find both sneakers from the usual known Nike, Adidas x Clarks, Clarks, Timberland, New Balance, Red Wing and other collaborations.
Kith aims to shift the current state of the fashion industry whilst also aiming to operate under the philosophy of giving the consumer more than what they are paying for. Generally, Kith's pieces feature clean lines, elevated materials, and a focus on versatility. From their iconic collaborations to their essential basics, each design exudes a sense of understated coolness and a celebration of urban elegance. Kith continues to set trends and redefine what it means to embrace streetwear with a refined sensibility.
What began as a hub for selling men’s sneakers, Kith expanded in 2015 and also now sells their own range of both Men’s streetwear and women’s streetwear. As one of the few Streetwear brands to launch a women’s streetwear range. With Kith still continuing to establish itself within the streetwear scene, we expect to see more streetwear brands following suit and becoming more inclusive of women’s streetwear in future collections.
Credit to Ambush
Ambush is a Tokyo-based luxury streetwear brand founded by Yoon Ahn and her husband Verbal in 2008. It started as a dedicated jewellery brand and was famous for its oversized and attention-grabbing pieces inspired by pop-art with references to classic Tokyo aesthetics. The label created their first apparel collection during their accessories’ 2015 Paris debut for the models to wear as part of the entire look. It was in 2018, when they introduced their first runway presentation at the Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo and the rest is history.
Now a cult favourite among celebrities including Rihanna, ASAP Rocky, Lady Gaga and some of the biggest names in K-pop, Ambush is famous for its edgy designs, dynamic use of colours and statement-making denim and ready-to-wear pieces. Having collaborated with some of the most popular brands in the industry, the label enjoys an fame in the luxury streetwear space like no other. Some of its most notable partnerships have been with BAPE, Levi’s, NBA, Gentle Monster, Nike, Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton, Off-White and Moët & Chandon
Credit to A-COLD-WALL*
A-COLD-WALL* was founded by Samuel Ross in 2015. Imbibing London’s street culture and the tone of the working class in its weaves, the brand is inspired by material innovation and industrial design. Toeing the line between wearable streetwear and experimental haute couture, the label made a space for itself in modern luxury in a relatively short span.
Asymmetrical design and silhouettes, graphics and geometry combined together and use of fabrics such as nylon, canvas and technically-developed materials are a few elements that define the label’s collections. Having collaborated with other luxury brands such as Converse, Eastpak, Timberland and Retrosuperfuture, A-COLD-WALL* became popular for its innovative, functional and genre-bending design that was appreciated and accepted by all.
Credit to Human Made
Human Made is a Japanese fashion label, founded by fashion designer and music producer/DJ NIGO, in 2010. The Human Made journey is personal to NIGO, resulting from the designer’s desire to dig deeper into his fashion archives and create styles that resonate with him.
Human Made is well known for bridging the gap between Japanese fashion and classic American workwear. Human Made takes on sensible and wearable aesthetics, as the brand combines the best of vintage and street culture. Human Made is inspired by casual workwear Americana and prioritizes excellent craftsmanship.Each Human Made collection evokes heritage-driven aesthetics, accurately representing the best of mid-century Americana. Showcasing a more homemade, whimsical aesthetic, Human Made hits the right notes for the Japanese market, and over its decade-long existence, has emerged as a significant contender in America, largely owing to its continuous collaborations with adidas.
With streetwear just getting bigger and bigger within the fashion industry, investing in some original streetwear pieces is sure to up your fashion game. As spring and summer quickly approach, make sure you are looking your coolest by checking out some of these cool clothing brands which are set to be massive in 2023 and are sure to continue growing in the coming years.