14 September 2011

What is 'Street Wear'?

This is a post written by urban street wear critic Victor Von who is also a new contact of mine. Follow him on Twitter @Clotheslineup

Feel free to comment too 

CP xo

Street Wear by Vicor Von

When people ask what kind of clothes we make, its always difficult to explain exactly what we do. Usually my answer goes something like, ” well… Street Wear”. Which of course doesn’t mean much at all. I face this question  as a fan and a Street Wear critic with a certain style of critique and persona which has been dumbed down to appeal to the “snap it up” culture of today, anyway enough about me.
The truth is ‘Street Wear’ is a “grab all attention” definition for a multi-billion Dollar market. However the word doesn't capture the dynamics of what street wear was and what it has become. The word is dirty for some in the fashion world, like what Hip Hop was to music even though it accounts for most of the revenue generated in the fashion industry.
Street Wear is so broad as its inspirations are diverse there’s the extreme sports connection such as skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding, surfing etc. However it may also be packaged as a pursuit of graphic design or any other form of art, even music. Brands ethos’ range from the “screw you” youth culture to the DIY anti authoritarian movements. So what is it really?
It has been underground and anti industry in attitude but at the same time mainstream and over branded when it comes to making its money. It is the true expression of the masses and is fuelled by grassroots foundations however vast its corporate power may be. It is and always has been Simple, Comfortable, Functional, Practical and the most imitated clothing to date.
Every brand starts with the T-shirt (Tee), the canvas on which anything is possible. Colours are not seasonal shapes are not in or out. The T-shirt is the ultimate gallery where your values and brand ethos can come alive. The screen print is the brush the street is your audience.
Worn by teenagers, collected by middle aged men dreaming of their youth. It is a story of clothing, of a movement as big as Hip Hop for those who care to pay attention. Unlike Hip Hop it is constantly referring to the past throwing up old trends screaming for us to remember it and respect its history. It is the pigeon that broke out of the hole and continues to rake in Billions in revenue worldwide on a annual basis. Its greatest strength is the lack of recognition it gets from mainstream fashion wish keeps it jabbing harder and harder. It is creative expression at its peak and it continues to evolve.
‘Street Wear’ is all these things and much more and I am not ashamed of the name like some.
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