The Culture of Streetwear

Posted by Michael Ventresca on

V4 Sugar Skull Tank top, St. Mark’s, New York

The culture of streetwear is a thriving and ever developing form of fashion. It's appealing and unique style has started a movement in the fashion industry. Elements of sub cultures such as surfing, and hip hop play a Vital role in the evolution of streetwear. The expression of Exclusivity and originality is what makes it so distinct.

The Birth of Streetwear

The birth of streetwear began on the west coast during the 70's and 80's. It's creativity and designs derived from a variety of different sources. Shawn Stussy was one of the first pioneers to help develop the streetwear scene. In 1980 he began printing and selling graphic t shirts along with his hand crafted surf boards. The influences of surfing, skateboarding, punk, hip hop, graffiti and Japanese street fashion had an immense impact on this movement. Streetwear is a category which is difficult to define. There are no guidelines or rules in terms of style and design. The art and influences are in a constant state of change but the existence of street culture remains static. Streetwear is notorious for its bold graphics and self expression. It is also infamous for being outspoken and sometimes even crossing the line. Expressing political opinions and controversial topics comes with the territory. Unique and creative designs contribute to the originality and distinctiveness to the culture. The concept of exclusivity is a key attribute. Limited access to these brands provides value and legitimacy on the streets. They are traditionally sold in particular boutiques. Selective availability is what distinguishes mainstream fashion from streetwear. Streetwear is known for its comfortable and casual style of clothing. It covers a wide range of products and items. The most common articles of clothing are t shirts, tank tops, jeans, hoodies, sweatshirts and sweat pants. Accessories are also a key component in terms of street fashion. Hats add the finishing touches to an outfit. Snapbacks, fitted hats, 5 panels and beanies are some the most popular styles. Other accessories such as backpacks and sun glasses are a considerable addition. The culture of streetwear has evolved a great deal since the 80's. Its popularity and the growth of the Internet has altered and developed it in many ways. During the early stages of development It emerged as an underground scene. Today streetwear is embraced by society and recognized all around the world.


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