Streetwear has been an extremely disruptive fashion trends over the last few years however it is easy to dismiss as a flimsy trend. It comes down, it seems to hoodies and sneakers but eventually, people will get bored of them and move on as they do with all other things that is trendy.
But streetwear is much more than that, argues a new report by Strategy&, the global strategy division of professional-services giant PwC, and Hypebeast, a streetwear-centric media company and retailer. It can be described as an fashion which combines graphic-heavy hoodies T-shirts with casual American sporting wear, references to military like M-65 jackets, puffers and, of course, sneakers. However, it’s not about any specific item. It’s more the result of huge cultural shifts as well as a profound shift in the power balance between consumers and brands.
The growth rate isn’t slowing down also. Strategy& and Hypebeast surveyed 763 individuals from the retail and fashion sectors, and 76% of respondents said they believed streetwear would continue to increase dramatically over the next five years. “Streetwear doesn’t represent an actual trend in fashion it is a fashion element of a wider popular culture shift that spans fashion music and art,” the report says. “Whether or not sneakers will remain an enticing fashion is not the point. The mindset that is driving the rise in popular culture is likely to not change.”
This mindset places a high value in authenticity, and also trusting other like-minded people, who are mostly on social media today, instead of using traditional sources like fashion websites or magazines. The customer with this mentality is typically young, is a lover of hip-hop and is willing to invest money on casual and exclusive clothing that convey a sense of understanding. This creates a streetwear culture that is “democratic,” the report states, as the public decides what’s fashionable. “The difference between modern streetwear and fashion in general doesn’t boil down to the size of a sneaker or an accessory, but to the person who drives the fashion-making process,” it says.
In this sense streetwear is an example of a wider trend, where power has been transferred from corporations to consumers. The global consulting firm A.T. Kearney has described the shift as a change away from the “affluence” model, in which money could buy access and access to the world, to an “influence” type of model.
The fashion industry was historically based from the top the top: Gatekeepers, such as brands and gatekeepers like editors held the majority of the influence and information and spent huge amounts spreading that information to the public. However, social media and the internet allowed consumers to have their own channels and reach and let communities develop around common interests and values. The peer group began to become more important than gatekeepers.
Streetwear was designed for this type of fashion, Strategy& and Hypebeast note. It emerged as a part of a counterculture which embraced artists such as Jean-Michel-Baquiat as well as Keith Haring, as well as rap culture that, the report says it was the driving force in the emergence of the movement. The clothing component emerged in the surf and skate scene of California Then it moved towards New York during rap’s early times, and absorbed an enormous amount of influence, before major figures from cities like London and Tokyo took it on.
The brands involved, including Stussy, A Bathing Ape and Supreme did not seek out traditional channels for retail for distribution, like finding outlets within large department stores, in which they could sell their merchandise to the general public. The brands focused their efforts on selling directly to people who were like them, and pioneered the now popular “drop” method where they introduced a limited number of products into shops. Since they came from the same cultural background as their customers They knew the people they were selling to.
In the end, as the internet grew more popular online, this audience became an online community that was able to coalesce in forums like NikeTalk, BapeTalk, Strictly Supreme and Sole Collector which were where people exchanged information and also bought and sold items. These forums have largely dwindled however, the same kinds of activities occur via Instagram and resale websites on an even larger scale which has created a huge consumer movement that’s been growing exponentially as the popularity of streetwear as well as the culture which fuels it have taken off.
Hip-hop, with strong ties to streetwear has evolved into the predominant music genre within the US and is expanding to other countries such as China. Streetwear brands like Supreme have gained a lot of traction in the world of mainstream fashion. Even luxury brands have no other choice but to watch. Fashion designers with roots in streetwear such as Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones are now one of the most successful in fashion, directing male wear in Louis Vuitton and Dior, respectively. The connections to modern art are still strong as well, with famous artists like Daniel Arsham, Kaws, and Takashi Murakami.
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They are the ones that streetwear buyers still look at to get their inspiration. The study surveyed more than 41,000 people around the globe most of them from Asia, Europe, and North America, and found that insiders from the industry, musicians as well as contemporary art were who were considered to be the most influential in the world of streetwear. They were ahead of influencers on social media and celebrities as well as athletes and athletes.
Hypebeast doesn’t have a perfect record in describing the impact of streetwear: It’s a publicly traded firm which stands to gain from the growth of streetwear. However, it has gotten to the point it is today through being the most authoritative source of news about streetwear and being aware of its customers.
This audience loves to shop. Of the more than 41,000 customers interviewed 54% of respondents reported spending between $100 and $500 for streetwear each month.