If you were new to streetwear and looked up its definition, you’d probably come across something along the lines of casual clothing that is the daily wear of urban city dwellers.
There are a myriad styles, trends and brands that represent the urban masses yet only some brands can get called streetwear.
What sets streetwear brands apart are their roots, the lifestyle they represent and the story they tell. A lot of streetwear culture was born out of functionality and ground up from small communities. A major influence on the streetwear culture’s aesthetic comes from skate culture and skate fashion going back to the 80s and 90s. Skaters in the west coast had their own distinctive style – a representation of their personality and their assertion of being misfits and rebels. Ripped jeans, shoelace for belts, graphic printed t shirts was their pledge of allegiance to skate culture. Brands like Supreme, Vans, HUF and Thrasher, to name some, catered to their community, providing them skate decks, accessories, heavy rubber sole sneakers and media. What made brands like Thrasher, HUF, Palace and RIPNDIP revered by the skate community was not just the functional purpose they served, but also the fact that they were founded and worn by skaters themselves, cementing their place in the community.
Streetwear has since drawn inspiration from hip hop, sneaker culture, street art, military aesthetic, Euro-street, Japanese fashion and continues to expand its influence and inspiration.
With the rise of social media, rappers looking to rep brands with street cred and with sneaker and High fashion brand collaborations, streetwear has made its way into mainstream fashion.
By 2017, the Streetwear culture had made its way across the globe, through flagship stores, streetwear multibrand stores, reseller apps and websites funded in the millions, even instagram channels! Almost every country, India included, has more than a few homegrown labels heavily influenced by the ethos of streetwear. When one looks up streetwear available in India today, the choices are far from limited.
The Indian streetwear market and consumer is as diverse as the country itself. For those looking to cop exclusive collab hype pieces there are a number of plugs and reseller platforms, where as homegrown labels like NBNW, Space Biskit, NoughtOne and Jaywalking offer their own unique take on streetwear. For those seeking to get their hands on streetwear classics like the Hundreds, Staple Pigeon and Stussy, shopcapsul.com, India’s first multi-brand streetwear store is what you’re looking for. Apart from these labels that largely cater to the streetwear and subculture community, global trend feeders like Zara and H&M have also joined the streetwear bandwagon with their urban wear collections.
The rise in streetwear is unavoidable. It’s only a matter of time when streetwear takes over the mainstream fashion in India.
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