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Last Updated on 5th December 2022
Streetwear has been a fashion staple for decades, but it has recently experienced a major surge in popularity. From the catwalks of Paris to the sidewalks of Tokyo, streetwear is everywhere.
It has become a global phenomenon that has infiltrated every aspect of fashion and culture. Every day, we see people of all ages and backgrounds wearing it, from celebrities to everyday people. But how did streetwear become so popular?
Streetwear is a unique style of clothing that combines elements of street culture, sportswear, and high fashion. It is a style that is constantly evolving, blending different elements to create something new and exciting.
Its fusion of different cultural influences, its ability to transcend generations, and its association with celebrities have all played a role in its growing popularity. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a global trend, this is how streetwear became so popular.
How it all started
Although most of the well-known streetwear companies you see now got their start in the 1980s, it wasn’t until recently that they truly began to take off. It was believed that building a fashion brand on a specific persona or activity was a clever way to access an entirely new market.
Many of the biggest names in streetwear have their roots in California, which has long been a mecca for men’s urban clothes. And they all started with casual clothing focusing on t shirts, hoodies and baseball caps.
Although the first streetwear items were created many years earlier, it wasn’t until the 1990s when it became a worldwide phenomenon that it was referred to as a trend or fashion style. Since then, it has changed dramatically, going from a few labels to thousands of streetwear brands for this kind of fashion, and it looks like it will just keep expanding.
The greatest sports brands in the world, like Nike or Reebok, were merged into what we now refer to as streetwear back in the 1990s when hip-hop musicians and other inspirations gained notoriety for the athletic wear they wore. Only now, this is not only applicable to sportswear but has been expanded to include other brands and styles.
Since all the styles seem to be slightly entwined today, it isn’t a style issue. You can be dressed up and casual, as well as sporty and elegant, at the same time. In terms of fashion in 2022, there are no restrictions or constraints, and that is wonderful. Being a part of the community and feeling good is important.
The part played by millennials in this fashion phenomenon is one of the things that has to be discussed. Young adults in their 20s, or millennials, were the first to embrace this street style revolution and the top streetwear brands today are considered major players in the fashion industry. It is more of a way of life for them and the main points of this way of life are: being simultaneously comfortable and stylish, with pieces that can stand alone.
This movement grew to be so influential that it even appeared on the runways and began to dictate and drive fashion trends. That has effectively flipped the process of creating, presenting, and selling new fashion to consumers.
Why has it become so popular
Major influencers have gotten involved
Streetwear Designers like Vigil Abloh and Raf Simons were able to develop their own takes on street style thanks to roles as creative directors at high end fashion brands Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and Prada . By using luxurious fabrics to make streetwear-style pieces, they are fusing high fashion with streetwear to create a more upscale offering.
Celebrities are currently moving away from their usual glamorous attire in favour of upscale yet informal streetwear. In fact, it’s possible that streetwear wouldn’t be as popular as it is now if celebrities hadn’t been willing to adopt it.
Integral part of influencer culture
People’s perceptions of fashion are greatly influenced by what they see on social media, and models and influencers are frequently recognised as the ones that set the standard for what is “on-trend.”
When celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid are spotted wearing expensive streetwear, you know it’s popular in the market. Because of this, many streetwear companies like working together with other designers and celebrities to increase their visibility and spread their designs among a wider audience.
This is a crucial component of streetwear because it lets people look stylish without having to feel horrible about their financial situation. There is always another option. Streetwear has also been included in high-end fashion labels like Gucci’s items since they realised it would increase sales.
No matter how much money a person makes, they can look beautiful and feel good about themselves thanks to some brands, like Zara, which simply produce identical or similar items at significantly lower prices.
It’s the lifestyle
Millennials and people of generation Z enjoy the idea of appearing casual in their attire. Young individuals are drawn to the “I don’t care” attitude and they desire freedom. They are liberated from the pressure to appear and behave a certain way, which is why streetwear brands are so well-liked among them initially and later everyone else. It’s the lifestyle that they love.
It’s comfortable and sustainable
Finally, sustainability is a crucial factor. Luxury labels haven’t given this aspect much thought, but it appears that streetwear has forced them to start doing so after teaching them about the benefits of sustainable wear.
The most important thing is to wear clothing that is flexible, comfortable, and allows you to go about your daily activities without having to stop and think about what you’re wearing. However, it’s also crucial for a company to be environmentally conscious if they want acceptance from their customers. This movement places it as a top priority.