What once was considered the humble aesthetic of sweatpants and athleisure wear has now turned into the new phenomenon of fashion. This style is known as ‘streetwear’ has become quite common in the fashion world.
Often referring to jeans, t-shirts, sweatsuits and sneakers, Streetwear found its roots in Californian and New York hip-hop and skate culture in the 70s-80s. Originally, streetwear was seen as a rejection of the glitz and glamor of high-end fashion. Today, it encompasses elements of hip-hop fashion, modern high fashion and haute couture all while promoting comfort.
Streetwear differs in every part of the world and while the idea is generally the same, the execution from city to city and country to country is completely unique.
While it is impossible to avoid mentioning things like K-Pop, Korean beauty routines and Korean dramas, young Korean people are using their clothing choices to demonstrate their newfound freedom. Korean street style is a combination of both hip-hop and punk culture. While combat boots, piercings, bondage collars and leather jackets are seen as a mindset and a sign of rebellion in the United States, Koreans use these pieces to enhance their outfit and purely for their visual appeal.
Japanese streetwear draws much of its inspiration from Western culture. More specifically, the streetwear aesthetic in Japan is known as Harajuku. The Harajuku aesthetic uses looser-fitting clothing, vintage American style garments and modernized Japanese garments. Each brand and person interprets the Harajuku aesthetic slightly differently as the style was not based on a piece or style of clothing, but rather the mindset to dress differently and live differently. In addition, Japanese clothing brands tend to reflect a rebellious and youthful mentality.
Streetwear in France found itself following the United States lead and had arrived in France in the 90s. French rappers, who were inspired by the hip-hop movement in the United States, had a significant impact on the Streetwear movement in France. The French market specifically focuses on sustainability and there is an awareness about it among young people who want to make a change. As a result, this has caused a lot of their streetwear trends to be focused on being more sustainable and open-minded.
Similar to France, Streetwear in London is based on how rappers in New York used to dress and early hip-hop. In addition, streetwear in London is heavily based on skate culture. Core pieces include distressed t-shirts, printed t-shirts, rock culture and band t-shirts and bold colors and patterns.
New York City, United States
Streetwear in New York City is drawn directly from the hip-hop and skate culture. Brands such as Supreme are an attention grabber and are often seen on the streets of New York City. Unlike other cities and countries, New York City focuses more on designer brands rather than standing out as an individual and focusing on sustainability.
Streetwear may be getting harder to define, but one thing is for sure…It is not going anywhere.
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