By Ethan Hamilton/reporter
Streetwear is a fashion trend that has been on the rise among college students. It started in the ’90s in surfing subcultures that quickly gained traction and expanded to skateboarding, hip-hop, hypebeasts and the youth.
“Me wearing Vans or like a nice skater-backed hoodie can change my mood to make me feel more positive on days that I don’t,” NE student Jake Bugarin said.
“Streetwear fashion is contemporary, usually casual clothing that is worn by urban youth subcultures,” according to inverseculture.com.
Streetwear fashion is an article of contemporary casual clothing that connects different subcultures such as hypebeasts, hip-hop culture, surfing and skateboarding culture. A hypebeast is a person who follows a specific trend or style for the goal of impressing others.
Slowly more local shops and boutiques have adopted streetwear and its many applications in fashion.
“I can tell you that streetwear has certainly influenced some of the mass market brands that we carry here in our store,” co-owner of Pax + Parker, Winston Parker Ley said. “Our denim lines incorporate streetwear aesthetics into their seasonal collections with straight-leg, wide leg, distressed, joggers, etc.”
Streetwear’s model of success has much to do with the dominance of hip-hop. Many hip-hop artists collaborate with existing brands and haute couture to create streetwear clothing.
“Travis [Scott] Cactus Jack’s collab with Nike was really dope to see because the mainstream brands are starting to invest into that kind of fashion,” TR student Khizr Adtani said.
Musicians such as Pharrell Williams and Rihanna have started to create their own clothing lines in conjunction with the merchandise they sell at concerts.
A big moment for streetwear culture was when Kanye West started his YEEZY fashion line after his collaboration with Nike that created a shoe called the Nike Men’s Air Yeezy 2 SP Red, which retailed at $245. Now, they are being sold for upwards of $10,000.
“It’s new and exciting. It makes me feel cool and unique when I put on a new pair of Adidas ultra-boost sneakers on,” SE student Ethan Philips said.
But West isn’t the only influencer who has been involved with streetwear. Since hip-hop has begun sponsoring streetwear by mentioning them in songs and modeling them, streetwear has become more global than ever and have finally gained attention from many of the big fashion houses in Europe.
At this year’s New York Fashion Week, streetwear was on full display with a variety of European fashion houses taking their own spin on streetwear.
“They do a really good job of finding influencers that kids like me follow,” Bugarin said. “I think mainstream brands and streetwear brands have shown a willingness to work together that is really cool for those interested in their art.”
Streetwear is open to all who wish to participate in it and a major contributor to helping grow streetwear are people known as hypebeasts.
A hypebeast plays a large part in the world of streetwear by constantly buying different items that others hold to a high value so that they gain attention. They will usually go to events like Sneakercon and get limited edition items of clothing, which is a convention where sneaker enthusiasts and hypebeasts meet up to buy and sell streetwear, but more specifically, sneakers.
“When I first heard about people going to clothing releases and conventions, I didn’t understand it like at all, but as I heard more and more about it, I grew used to the idea of it,” Adtani said. “But now I hear some of my friends talk about it and get really excited, and who knows, maybe I’ll go one day.”