Fashion is all about trends. However, the fashion world looked completely different 5, 10 or 15 years ago, compared to what it looks like today. What’s the reason behind this? The answer is simple: nowadays, fashion is more about inclusivity and diversity, than it is about anything else. Apart from that, there is also another very important factor that people seriously take into consideration: in order to look good, you need to feel good. And you need to feel comfortable. This means that it’s not enough for people to wear clothes that look beautiful, but rather feel comfortable, trendy and help them stand out from the crowd.
This is where we come to a phenomenon that’s called streetwear. What is streetwear, when did it arrive into the fashion industry and why is it so popular? Let’s dive into it.
Streetwear is something you could call casual pieces of clothing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be casual. Recently, high-end brands have started to produce high-end streetwear which means that this is a mixture of multiple elements, all with the same idea: being dressed in outfits that are great for doing everyday chores (with a little extra touch). However, one thing is sure: hoodies, sweatpants, t-shirts, jeans – this is the core of the definition of streetwear.
Although the first streetwear pieces have been made a long time ago, nobody called it a trend or a fashion style until the 90s, when it became a global hit. From that moment till today, it only evolved tremendously, from only a couple of brands to thousands of brands for this type of fashion, and it seems like it will only continue growing.
Back in the 90s, hip hop artists and other influences and celebrities broad popularity to the sports clothing they used to wear, is exactly how they incorporated the world’s biggest sport brands such as Nike or Reebok into what we call streetwear today. Only today, as we’ve previously mentioned, this is not limited to sports clothing, but it’s expanded to multiple brands and styles.
Streetwear can be simply defined with one sentence: if it’s comfortable, then that’s it!
Today, it’s not a matter of style, because it seems like all the styles are somewhat intertwined. You can be sporty and elegant at the same time, and you can be dressed up and casual. There are no limitations or boundaries when it comes to fashion in 2024 and that is a fantastic thing. It’s a matter of being a part of the community and feeling good.
One of the things that has to be mentioned is the role of millennials in this fashion phenomenon. Millennials or people who are in their 20s, were the first to embrace this streetwear revolution. For them, it is more of a lifestyle and the main bullet points of this lifestyle are: being comfortable and stylish at the same time with pieces that individually speak for themselves. This movement became so powerful that it started dictating and driving trends – even making it to the runways. Thanks to that, the very process of designing, producing, and presenting new fashion to the customers (who would then accept it), has been reversed! This is why millennials choose streetwear over other styles and fashion directions.
What’s special about streetwear brands is the fact that they are completely independent from the global fashion industry, and they don’t depend or rely on big retail systems. There are multiple websites where you can purchase pieces of your liking, and that are being promoted by young influencers on social media. It’s how fashion now works. Or at least this segment of it. But is it the only reason why this type of fashion is so popular among Millenials? Most certainly not. Here are the top reasons for its popularity among millennials:
1. It’s a Part of the Influencers Culture
Since social media are so popular and millennials and gen Z use them that much, the most common thing you’ll see are streetwear pieces. Everyone’s wearing them, which makes you wanna wear them too. As a matter of fact, you’ll hardly find anyone in this age category who doesn’t have at least a couple of streetwear pieces. Some of the most famous influencers on social media as well as media in general such as music artists, reality show stars, actors etc, all promote the same fashion movement. This is the number one reason why someone would decide to get that cool hoodie they saw on their favourite public figure.
2. It’s Affordable
According to redlebelarmour.ca, you don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money in order to look great. This is a very important aspect of streetwear because it allows people to look amazing without having to feel bad that they can’t afford something. There’s always an alternative. Even to high-end fashion brands such as Gucci who incorporated streetwear into their products because they realised it’s going to drive their revenue. Some brands such as Zara for example, simply produce the same pieces or lookalike pieces, that are much affordable but allow people to look good and feel good about themselves no matter how big their income is.
3. It Is Considered Cool
Having an interesting hoodie or fantastic sneakers has become more important than having a designer bag or a high-end fashion piece. Being cool is now linked to dressing cool. And what makes you more cool than wearing a t-shirt with a strong message to people around you or a print of your favorite artist?
4. It’s the Attitude
Millennials and gen Z people simply like the idea of looking like they didn’t put so much effort in their outfit. It’s the I don’t care attitude that is tempting to young people. They want to be careless, they want to be free. Free from the pressure of having to look and act a certain way, and this is why streetwear is so popular, firstly among them but then among everyone else. Sweatpants and t-shirts are not only reserved for gyms and working out. As we previously mentioned, it’s a lifestyle.
5. It’s the Comfort and Sustainability
Finally, a very important aspect is sustainability. While luxury brands never paid that much attention to this factor, it seems like streetwear has taught them and forced them into starting to pay attention to that. Wearing clothing that is comfortable, flexible and allows you to do your everyday tasks without having to think about what you’re wearing is the number one thing, but it’s also important for a brand to be aware about the environment if they want to be accepted by their consumers. It’s where this movement makes it a number one priority.