Streetwear has emerged as a powerful force in the global fashion industry. Originating from the streets of urban cities in the 1980s, streetwear represents a unique blend of countercultural rebellion, sportswear aesthetics, and artistic expression. This style movement transcends traditional fashion boundaries and is characterized by its edgy, casual, and often eclectic approach to clothing. Streetwear has not only become a significant fashion trend but also a cultural phenomenon, with enthusiasts worldwide celebrating its diverse styles and the ethos of individuality it promotes.
Within the streetwear realm, various styles have emerged, each with its own distinctive elements and influences. One of the most iconic is the "Skate" style, which draws inspiration from the skateboarding subculture, featuring oversized tees, baggy pants, and skate shoes. "Hypebeast" style, on the other hand, centers around exclusive and sought-after brands, emphasizing limited edition releases and rare collectibles. "Athleisure" blends athletic wear with street fashion, combining comfort and style through sporty silhouettes and performance materials. Additionally, "Vintage" streetwear enthusiasts gravitate towards nostalgic pieces from past eras, embracing retro logos, graphics, and thrifted finds. We've taken these styles, and many more, and brought to you the best brands from each below.
Learn more about the history of Streetwear here.
Streetwear, a prominent fashion subculture, emerged in the 1980s as a fusion of urban style, skateboarding, and music influences. It originated on the streets of Los Angeles, where skaters and surfers began adopting a casual, rebellious aesthetic characterized by baggy pants, graphic tees, and sneakers. Shawn Stussy, a key figure in streetwear history, gained recognition for his handcrafted surfboards and signature logo, which became synonymous with the early streetwear movement. The 1980s also saw the rise of brands like FUCT, Vision Street Wear, and Supreme, which embraced the countercultural spirit of streetwear and helped shape its identity.
In the 1990s, streetwear continued to evolve, with hip-hop culture playing a significant role in its development. Notable figures like Run-D.M.C. and the Wu-Tang Clan popularized streetwear brands like Adidas and Timberland, further solidifying the connection between music and fashion. Japanese designers such as Hiroshi Fujiwara and Nigo brought their unique interpretations to streetwear, leading to the global recognition of brands like A Bathing Ape (BAPE) and Fragment Design. Streetwear's global appeal continued to grow, with artists like Kanye West launching fashion lines, such as Yeezy, and major fashion houses collaborating with streetwear brands.
In the 21st century, streetwear became a dominant force in the fashion industry. Influential designers like Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Demna Gvasalia (Vetements, Balenciaga), and James Jebbia (Supreme) gained mainstream recognition. Luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton embraced streetwear elements, while streetwear brands expanded their reach through limited releases and collaborations. Social media and online culture played a pivotal role in the rapid spread of streetwear trends, making it a global phenomenon. Today, streetwear remains a dynamic and influential force in fashion, continually evolving while retaining its roots in urban culture and self-expression.
Streetwear is a style of clothing and fashion that originated in urban culture and is characterized by its casual, comfortable, and often edgy or hip-hop-inspired designs. It often includes elements such as graphic T-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, and accessories like baseball caps. Streetwear blends a sense of authenticity, self-expression, and a laid-back aesthetic, making it popular among youth and fashion enthusiasts around the world.
The unofficial founder of streetwear is often credited to Shawn Stussy. In the early 1980s, Shawn Stussy was a surfboard shaper and artist from Southern California. He gained recognition by creating handcrafted surfboards featuring his signature scrawled logo, which was a fusion of his last name, "Stussy." He transitioned from surfboards to clothing when he started applying his distinctive graffiti-style logo to t-shirts and other apparel. Curious what brands are similar to Stussy? We put together our 'best-of list' for brands similar to Stussy here.
You can shop for streetwear at a variety of places, both online and in physical stores. For online options, we put together a list of popular streetwear-focused websites like SSENSE, Hypebeast, Grailed, and StockX as they offer a wide range of streetwear clothing, sneakers, and accessories, including both established and emerging brands. Additionally, many streetwear brands, such as Supreme, Off-White, and Palace, have their official online stores and regularly release new collections there. If you prefer physical shopping, major cities often have streetwear boutiques and specialty stores that carry a curated selection of streetwear brands and limited releases, we've created a best of shops here. You can also explore streetwear sections in larger department stores or check out streetwear pop-up shops and events, which can be a great way to discover unique and hard-to-find pieces while immersing yourself in the culture.