Street wear is the mash-up of casual clothing influenced by hip hop, skateboarding and graffiti culture. It’s also the look favoured by many modern celebrities, from Drake to Usher and even Virgil Abloh. It can be hard to define, but you can often spot a streetwear look by the bold prints and bright colours it incorporates. It’s not just for young people either, our research suggests millennials and Gen Z shoppers are increasingly drawn to this style.
The most obvious way to rock a streetwear style is with trainers, which you can easily combine with dark wash jeans or cargo trousers for a cool yet practical outfit. But if you’re looking for something more stylish, then layering a bomber jacket or a hoodie over a T-shirt and adding some ripped jeans can give your look a contemporary edge.
If you want to really make a statement, you can opt for baggy tees and hoodies in oversized fits and patterns that aren’t afraid of being a little weird. This is a nod to the subcultures from which streetwear has emerged, and it gives you an opportunity to show off your own individual style.
One of the most popular streetwear brands around is Japanese label BAPE, founded in 1993 by DJ and fashion designer Nigo. Its iconic camo print and bizarre design motifs (shark hoodie, anyone?) have made it one of the most coveted streetwear brands around.
Other streetwear favourites include Carhartt WIP, which combines workwear-inspired designs with urban styling and collaborations with artists and musicians. And then there’s cult-brand Kith, which blurs the lines between concept store and retailer and is beloved of sneakers lovers everywhere.
When it comes to shopping for streetwear, we’ve discovered that consumers are extremely discerning and highly responsive to authenticity. They prefer to buy products directly from the brand’s store or website – 53% of them in fact – rather than through a third party. Having access to hyped products conveys the retail outlet’s knowledge and prestige within the sector, which is important to these shoppers.
Of course, the ultimate aim of any good streetwear outfit is to add your own twist. So, we recommend experimenting with new and emerging labels that fly under the radar, like Aime Leon Dore’s easy-going urban wares or stripped-back pieces from Acne Studios. Or go for a more experimental look with Cactus Plant Flea Market, whose tees and jackets feature asymmetrical typography and vibrant graphics inspired by 80s music and pop culture icons.