In December 2019, Virgil Abloh made a harsh prediction that streetwear would die in 2020. "I would definitely say its gonna die, you know? In my mind, how many more t-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers." He commented that vintage fashion will take over in the next decade. I think we can all agree that vintage fashion is hot right now and has been in the past couple years. However, that does not mean that streetwear has met its demise in 2020.
For decades, streetwear has been relevant and brands like Supreme, Fuct and Stussy have laid down the foundation. They made it what it is today and continue to influence the culture and business. Now, it is time for the new generation brands like FTP, Public Housing Skate Team and V4NY to help carry the torch and shape what streetwear means for the future. Fuck the Population (FTP) is a provocative brand pushing the limits to what’s "socially" accepted. It made its debut in 2010 after getting banned from founder Zac Clarks', former high school. From there, it continued its daring and rebellious nature of not giving a fuck.Creating lookbooks portraying home invasions, drive by's with automatic weapons, and sex videos posted to Pornhub. Collections feature products reading, "Fuck The Population Terrorist Organization, Columbine Physical Education."They have stretched streetwears boundaries and opened the floodgates for other brands.Public Housing Skate Team is a Bronx based brand known for its "authentic hood skate wear". Deeply rooted in its community, the team gives a sense of hope to the youth in the Gun Hill area of The Bronx.
“The goal is to make public housing a pro team, where like a kid would wanna play for the Knicks where instead he's like, yo I wanna play for Public Housing” - Ron Baker. The Skate Team inspires the youth to turn the everyday struggle of living in Public Housing into a positive. You can find their products online including skateboard holsters, decks, and jeans.
V4NY is an independent streetwear brand that references itself as contraband. Its designs draw inspiration from crime and illegal activity in The Bronx and worldwide. It began showcasing its founder's artwork in 2014; depicting imagery from a world of corruption with a creative outlook. Negative aspects of life are transitioned and expressed through art. Whether it is insinuating a business front such as "V4GBL" or in your face like "Illegal Merchants". Other titles include: "Smugglers United" and Buy Sell Straight to Hell". These labels are displayed on merchandise ranging from ski masks to streetwear essentials such as hoodies, tees and hats. All products can be found on their online store only, at a limited supply.
NYPD Harassing V4NY during photoshoot in The Bronx.
NYPD Harassing V4NY during photoshoot in The Bronx continued....
As these streetwear giants continue to pave the way, they create the lifeline for the industry. While these young brands emerge, they breathe new life, shaping the culture. Their uniqueness and distinctiveness is what helps streetwear stay alive for years to come.