Fashion: Leaving Street-Wear in the Dust

Bring flowers and pay your respects at the casket because streetwear has died…or has it?

Fashion news outlets have reported that streetwear and high fashion have blended so close together that eventually there will be no telling the difference between the two.

“Streetwear, which emerged in the 90’s, was inspired by New York Hip Hop and California Surf Fashion. This style of dress is focused on comfortable and casual garments,” said sophomore Jessica Candido.

Popularized in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, hoodies, sweatpants, oversized jackets and other types of streetwear clothing have enhanced their recognition in recent years.

One reason for the rise in popularity is due to celebrity influence.

“I think streetwear has become popular over time due to the influence of A list celebrities adopting this style, such as Ariana Grande and Kanye West. This has resulted in an increased demand and more companies jumped on the opportunity to produce this type of wear,” said Candido.

Over time, streetwear has sprinkled materials of high fashion into its style. It seems that the crossover was caused by the adoption of brands such as Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton making relaxed materials have a higher quality look.

According to BluFashion, “Streetwear is more luxury style due to the high-end fashion brands that have collaborated with streetwear brands. That is why the style of streetwear is slightly changing, gradually becoming more expensive.”

Due to this drastic change in style, some believe that streetwear is on its deathbed.

Virgil Abloh, designer and CEO of fashion house Off-White, believes that the end of streetwear is not too far in the future.

In an interview with Fashion Week Daily, Abloh said, “I would definitely say it’s going to die. Its time will be up. In my mind, how many more t-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers?”

With interest in streetwear waning, Abloh thinks the next trend will take a more nostalgic turn.

In the same interview, Abloh said, “There are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them. I think that fashion will go away from buying a box-fresh something; it’ll be like, hey I’m going to go into my archive.”

While Abloh believes vintage will make a sudden return, others believe that a different style will be streetwear’s successor.

“If streetwear were to die, athleisure would probably take over,” said sophomore Jenna Seggio. “Everybody wears it. You would go to class and see everyone in yoga pants and sneakers.”

Designer Dapper Dan disagreed with the popular view and argued that streetwear is still very much alive in the fashion industry. In an interview with Footwear News, Dapper Dan said, “Streetwear doesn’t define itself the same to everybody. It’s all over the place. It’s everywhere.”

Born Daniel Day, Dapper Dan made a name for himself in 1982 when he launched Dapper Dan’s Boutique mixing the style of the Hip Hop world with high fashion clothing. He is known for designing wardrobes for artists, including Jay-Z and Salt-N-Pepa.

Whether you are convinced streetwear has taken its last breath or believe it is around for the long haul, the fashion industry is constantly revolutionizing the way in which all people show off their style.

According to Head of the Fashion Marketing and Merchandising Department, Prof. David Bloom, “Fashion always repeats itself in a more modernized form. It keeps moving. There are various drivers to this. Covid-19 is a driver. Culture, music and dance are all drivers. Looking at the products of ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, it always looks back and repeats itself.”

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