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Global streetwear fashion - Simple Yet Complicated

Updated on February 3, 2013

Have you ever walked on the streets and been baffled by the attire worn by today’s teenagers? Simple as they may seem to some they can be complicated and beyond comprehension for many. Casual clothing, such as hoodies, jeans and jackets, are not only comfortable, but can make a fashion statement. This is what global streetwear fashion is all about. The idea is to dress in weird, but comfortable clothing that make a person stand out in a crowd. So the next time you see a teenage girl sporting a miniskirt with jeans or boys accessorising their low rise jeans with chains and bracelets, don’t go into a state of shock. These are teenagers, who are trying to make a statement through their clothing – streetwear.

However, streetwear fashion is not just restricted to teens. Even rock stars, rap artists, skateboarders and guitarists tend to favor it. In fact, there is a cult following for global streetwear fashion and you will be amazed how many fans are out there waiting for fashion trends to change, so that they too can make changes to their streetwear.

Origins of Streetwear Fashion

Streetwear fashion was born in the different metropolises of the United States. Cities, like Los Angeles and New York, have their own culture and that gave impetus to streetwear. However, it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s that surf culture of Los Angeles furthered streetwear fashion, when Shawn Stussy, a local surfboard designers, began printing his tag on t-shirts and selling them on the beaches of LA. It was from here that streetwear took off.

Initially, many renowned sportswear companies got into streetwear fashion and they drew inspiration first from punk culture and later from hip-hop culture. Names like Adidas, Kangol and Le Coq Sportif gave more credibility to streetwear fashion. Nike too joined the bandwagon and was the leader in streetwear sneakers during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Clothing brands, like Carhart, Timberland and Champion, dominated the East Coast with their streetwear fashion.

Streetwear Fashion Renaissance

While the credit for streetwear fashion goes to the subcultures of the different cities of the United States, it reached its zenith with Japan. Streetwear managed to break into mainstream fashion industry because of Japanese designers. Today, Japan is the ultimate Mecca for streetwear fashionistas and Japanese designs are imitated all over the world where streetwear fashion is popular. Some of the popular streetwear fashion styles include Lolita style, Gyaru style, Decora style and Onee Kei style. Tokyo’s Fashion Week takes pride in showcasing the latest streetwear fashion and the event attracts designers from all corners of the globe. Japanese streetwear brand, Bathing Ape, managed to make a splash in the U.S. market when it launched its brand in the country in 2004. Today, Bathing Ape’s camouflage clothing are not only difficult to get, they also cost a premium price.

Global Streetwear Fashion Today

While streetwear styles differ from city to city, there appears to be a common thread joining all the styles. Hip-hop and skateboarding cultures are the main inspiration for streetwear fashion combined with vibrant and dominating graphics and contrasting color schemes, which are known as colorways in streetwear fashion jargon. Today, global streetwear fashion is dominated by brands, such as The Hundreds, Surpreme, Diamond Supply and Stussy. This fashion trend and style is here to stay. It reflects the wearer’s individuality and lifestyle, so there is no way it is going to disappear, and the fact that it has become part of mainstream fashion, it will continue to evolve and get better with time.


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      Yaamini Radhakrishnan 

      5 years ago

      Quite classy. One should seriously try these streatwear


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