Posted on by Amber Wyche

What is streetwear? And when did it become a “thing.” I read one definition that said streetwear is clothes you wear on the street. But that could be anything, right? According to the Oxford dictionary, streetwear is casual clothing of a style worn especially by members of various urban youth subcultures. Streetwear used to be more than just clothes; it was an expression, a sense of community for us by us, until it was high jacked by luxury fashion houses. “Streetwear to me is young T-shirt brands,” says Diamond Supply founder Nick Tershay. Now you see the streetwear culture being intimidated on runways during the biggest fashion weeks. Streetwear is no longer a movement, it’s a trend. Any true streetwear connoisseur knows that exclusivity was what made streetwear special. So who invited the big dogs to the private party? And how long do they plan to stay? It was in the 2000s when we first saw luxury brands making an inroad to the market with brands like Gucci and Burberry making appearances in hip-hop films and videos. Appearances then turned into collaborations with Gucci x Supreme, Fila x Fendi, and Stussy x Dior to name a few. Then collaborations turned into these brands stealing our whole steez by creating limited pieces, or “drops” and using social media to create a cult-like following. Now, what once made streetwear unique just isn’t so unique anymore. Streetwear used to mean something to the devoted youth who were committed to certain brands. Those were the days, when if you had a brand that stood for something, people who shared the same values rocked with it. Small brands didn’t need endorsements from celebrities or “influencers.” Nowadays people are more swayed by the hype rather than the product. Streetwear was never meant to go mainstream. It was meant for groups of likeminded people to have lifestyle brands that represented their core beliefs and expressions. Streetwear was meant to be personal. It’s was meant to be ours, and we want it back.