Streetwear is seen everywhere in modern life, such as in the media being worn by celebrities and in day-to-day life. Most people will also incorporate streetwear into their own personal style on some level. But what would fashion look like if streetwear never gained popularity? This is the hypothetical question that we will be going over in today’s blog post and we will be exploring lots of different things that might have happened.
So let’s start with the basics with the question what is streetwear? Streetwear is a style of casual clothing and footwear that became extremely popular in America in the 90’s. Even though streetwear became popular in the 90’s, it was born in the 1970’s and 80’s through designers such as Stüssy and Nike. The movement was driven by skaters and surfers with great influence from punk rock and hip hop culture. Since then loads of streetwear designers have emerged such as Off-White, Supreme, A-Cold-Wall and BAPE, to name a few.https://www.skillshare.com/projects/iLL-Anti-Social-**UPDATED-1128-Unfinished-Legacy-Fvck-12/85128
Supreme is probably one of the most well-known modern brands in fashion, but would it have been the brand it is today if streetwear wasn’t popular? Probably not… Supreme still would have gained popularity with the skateboard community, but it would be unlikely that it would attract the massive audience that it has today. This is because the skateboard community is tiny compared to the overall audience that streetwear attracts, so it most likely would have remained the skateboard shop in NYC and not grown any further.
Supreme thrives off the hype that it created from the streetwear community and it’s how they have created their brand image of exclusivity. Without this hype they wouldn’t be able to sell their products at such a high price and generate the volume of customers to sell out their products. In this hypothetical, there would be no way Supreme would have gained the popularity that it has today.https://hypebeast.com/2019/2/supreme-nyc-new-york-lafayette-st-relocation-190-bowery-address
Nike and Adidas are incredibly big in the streetwear community, with items such as Nike Air Force 1’s and Adidas tracksuits becoming a staple in streetwear fashion. If people didn’t wear streetwear, then Adidas and Nike wouldn’t be marketing their products at that community instead they would create mainly sportwear. This means that items such as Air Force 1’s wouldn’t have been created and Adidas’ tracksuits would only be worn for sports. Therefore, we would see much less of these popular brands and they would target the general public less and focus on creating high quality and innovative sportwear. They might also have branched out into other sports such as equestrian and water sports.https://news.nike.com/news/sf-af1
One idea is that fashion would be smarter and less casual, with people dressing up more when they are meeting up with friends etc. This is because streetwear is predominantly stylish yet comfortable clothing, such as hoodies and t-shirts. So lets say that these items of clothing were not being worn out to events as much and only being worn as loungewear then people would have to find alternatives. This means that people would often dress like older generations and wear shirts and knitwear to more casual events.https://tomandlorenzo.com/2019/06/alexander-mcqueen-spring-2020-menswear-collection/
Wearing trainers to all events is extremely common now-a-days and this is because of brands such as Nike and Adidas. They have been creating sneakers that are meant to be worn on a daily basis rather than just for sport. Before streetwear, in the 60’s and 70’s people wore smarter shoes such as dress shoes or boat shoes. However, in the 80’s people started to wear trainers and Jordan’s due to basketball. So if streetwear was never popular, then people wouldn’t wear Jordan’s and casual everyday trainers wouldn’t have been popular. Therefore, it would be common for people to wear smarter shoes with more casual outfits, instead of wearing the classic trainer that is seen in modern life.https://www.vogue.com/article/prada-for-adidas-collaboration-superstar-bowling-bag
This idea is probably the most realistic idea for this hypothetical question. If streetwear never became popular and brands like Supreme and Off-White never surfaced, then most likely another trend that is similar to streetwear would have kicked off. This is because the younger generations don’t want to dress up every time they leave the house and meet up with their friends, they want to be comfortable and look stylish. This means that they would have come up with other fashion that would satisfy their wants in clothing. This would have taken a different form to streetwear because it wouldn’t have originated from the same place of punk rock and skateboarding.
It’s clear to see that fashion would look very different if streetwear had never gained popularity, especially in the younger generations. It is likely that life would look a lot smarter and have more similarities to fashion in the 1970’s. Please note that these are my personal opinions to a hypothetical question that I created. If you have different opinions then I would love to hear them! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our social media (@fredsfashion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Author: Freddie Ratsma
Published: September 2020