You Ain’t Streetwear
Did Karmaloop really kill streetwear? One of the most profound unanswered questions of the millennia. Plenty will argue that they were the main reason for the over saturation of generic brands into the market. Regardless of who killed what, one thing I have notice is the large emergence of clothing brands in the last few years.
Everyday clothing companies are popping out of the woodwork. Many of them claim to be streetwear but they are playing themselves.
Their idea of what is “streetwear” is erroneous. Just because the brand is associated with elements of hip hop, skate culture, pop culture and market it to a young crowd (16 -30) does not make it streetwear. It is simply a clothing brand: make the design, manufacture the clothes and sell them…. straight forward.
Additionally, the term “streetwear” is thrown around very loosely, to the point that I hate the word. Luckily, I have bathed in streetwear since I was a kid. I have seen brands rise and fall. You might be wondering then: What the fuck is streetwear?
To me, streetwear is when a brand has substance and it stands for something. That something usually opens up sensitive discussions that can be viewed as contentious.
Look at Freshjive for example. They used their clothing as a means to communicate their perspective on police brutality, animal studies and domestic violence. They use imagery to their advantage to effectively communicate with no fucks given. Obey, who is run by Shepard Fairy (search him up, he’s also an activist), uses his brand to promote his views on capitalism, antiestablishment, propaganda and secret societies.
In a sense, you begin to relate on a personal level with these brands and begin to feel part of their cause. Thats what streetwear is: standing for a belief and making sure not to compromise. It goes beyond the actual garments.
Nowadays, not enough clothing companies are willing to challenge the status quo or care enough to start discussions through their artistry. The focus is geared more towards staying trendy, selling units and making cool visuals without any foundation. However, get it how you feel, just do not claim to be streetwear because REAL ALWAYS RECOGNIZE REAL.