The Rise of Streetwear Fashion – Ungrounded Apparel

Posted on by Hugo Aguirre

Streetwear is a style of street fashion established in Californian surf and skate culture. It has developed to incorporate components of hip-hop fashion, Japanese street fashion, and present-day haute couture fashion. In 2011 Complex Magazine named Stüssy, Supreme and A Bathing Ape as the best streetwear brands.


Streetwear normally fixates on easygoing, comfortable pieces, for example, jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, and sneakers.

The movement is by and large acknowledged to have been born out of the Los Angeles surf culture of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Brands included BlauGrun, Ocean Pacific, Hobie, Off Shore, Gotcha and Life's a Beach. Nearby surfboard creator Shawn Stussy started offering printed T-shirts highlighting a similar trademark signature he put on his custom surfboards. At first offering the things from his very own vehicle, Stussy extended sales to boutiques once these became popular.


Stüssy's turn into exclusive sales solidified the standard meaning of streetwear: taking "a multi-faceted, sub culturally different, Southern California way of life based T-shirt brand and [mimicking] the constrained feel of a top of the line luxury brand....those are the two most essential segments of what makes a brand streetwear: T-shirts and exclusivity.


Early streetwear brands took motivation from the DIY aesthetic of punk, new wave, heavy metal and later hip-hop cultures. Established sportswear and mold brands joined themselves to the rising early 1980s hip-hop scene, for example, Kangol and Adidas.


Nike's catch of prospective ball hotshot Michael Jordan from opponent Adidas in 1984 ended up being an immense defining moment, as Nike ruled the urban streetwear sneaker market in the late 80's and early 90's. Other apparel brands, for example, Champion, Carhartt, and Timberland were closely connected with the scene, especially on the East coast with hip-hop acts, for example, Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep wearing the look.


The mid to late 90's saw the professional American sports franchises have a huge impact on the look of the scene, from the Los Angeles Raiders and Chicago Bulls caps and jackets in the early to the oversized team jerseys.

With the advent of "bling" culture, the turn of the century saw an increase in established luxury brands beginning to make in roads into the market such as Burberry, Gucci and Fendi all making appearances in hip hop videos and films. The most popular shoe of the era was the Nike Air Force One, immortalized in the song by Nelly.


Brand launches by the CEOs of record companies pursued, with Russell Simmons of Def Jam propelling his Phat Farm label, Sean Combs of Bad Boy with Sean John, and Jay-Z and Damon Dash of Roc-a-Fella Records propelling Rocawear. Rap whiz 50 Cent a couple of years after the fact propelled his G-Unit clothing label, with the sneaker rights given to Reebok.