Fashion trends evolve all the time. In recent years, a lot of people have been taking to donning what is called streetwear, a quite stylish interpretation of street graffiti and even gangster life. How this rough and tumble environment has become the influence for the clothing preference of high-class fashionistas is very remarkable, and looking into its development as a fashion style is really quite worthwhile.
The origins of streetwear took place in the late 70s when people were very aware of and involved with social and political issues. This was also the time when punk rock was starting to develop, further encouraging the general feeling of independence and a need for social reform among the young people of the time.
During that time, the punk rock style of music was starting to branch into hiphop and rap culture. It just so happened that most of the fans of this music style were surfers and skaters, and influences of their music could be seen on their surfboards and their t-shirts. One of the pioneers of this type of streetwear was actually a surfer from Laguna Beach, California, who was already quite well-known during the time, named Shawn Stussy. Together with his rise to fame, the popularity of this style grew as well. Today, his signature is still considered to be one of the best brands of streetwear all over the world.
Although the first proponents of streetwear were mostly California surfers, it was not long before the rest of the population would start getting interested in the graffiti inspired Stussy creations. In fact, by the middle of the decade, many other companies had already started their own brands targeting not only the surfer market but skaters as well. Soon, these two styles would merge, resulting in the kind of streetwear that is still very much in fashion these days.
Following the rapid spread of streetwear popularity in the United States, young people from other countries immediately became interested in this new style of clothing as well, especially the youth of Japan. Because of this, Japanese clothing manufacturers began designing their own versions of streetwear, coming up with apparel infused with anime and other trademarks of Japanese pop culture. Young people embraced this fashion style with fervor, usually even adding their own unique accessories for an added touch of uniqueness to their outfits.
During the start of the 90s, Europe was the only continent that had not yet been captured by the streetwear trend, but that was soon to change. By the middle of the decade, the style had completely taken over, with manufacturers based in several countries all over the world. Big companies began to dominate the scene, eclipsing the market of smaller and lesser known manufacturers.
Despite the wide availability of these mass-manufactured streetwear, many people were and are still attracted to the novelty of customized and totally unique outfits produced by smaller companies. There are a few exceptional commercial brands that do stand out from the rest, but few would contest the better quality and originality commonly associated with apparel produced by smaller manufacturers.
When streetwear was first conceptualized, most of the clothing was designed for men. In recent years, most brands have introduced more feminine outfits, some even daring to produce evening dresses and business suits that have the unmistakable trademark of urban life. With everyone going gaga over this style of clothing, there is no doubt that streetwear will be around for many years to come.