It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I found myself diving into the world of fashion, and what drew me to streetwear was its deeply invested roots within hip-hop culture. Growing up the rise of artists like Kanye West (Adidas) and Pusha T (Playcloths) into fashion icons, and having modern artists like A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott not afraid to be apart of hip-hop and take fashion seriously, it showed me that it was ok to go against the grain if you’re passionate about something. From simple looks like elongated tees and ripped jeans to distressed crewnecks and skinny moto denim, streetwear is ruling the world of modern fashion right now with its unique style. From its humble beginnings as an gritty underground subculture dating as far back as the last 70’s, the aim of streetwear has always been to connect fashion with the cultures most invested in the youth. Whether it be music, skate culture, or a multitude of other aesthetics, brands have made it their business to appeal to the new generation. We’re gonna take a look at today’s most dominant brands in the game. These are the frontrunners of the culture, or have been on a huge come up in the past few years, in no specific order.
Probably the most popular brand on this list, Preme has had a stranglehold on streetwear almost since its inception. Although it exists as a skate brand, team and all, the NY based brand is known for selling out nearly instantly when it comes to it’s apparel, with people lining up as early as two weeks before release in front of their stores is New York, LA, and their newly opened Paris location. The brands also known for frequent collaborations, working with other brands, artists, and musicians. Probably the most coveted collection in recent years was fall 2015’s Supreme x Jordan Brand collection, containing a few apparel pieces as well as a Jordan 5 basketball shoe. Preme also recently released a Black Sabbath collection, and puts on yearly capsules with The North Face as well as Vans. You can hit up supreme here and pray that there’s something left in your size.
My personal favorite on the list, The Hundreds is a brand that has been able to maintain its relevancy and staying power by constant adapting to the game. Rather than grow stagnant by putting out the same styles season after season, they constantly drop the illest capsules and unique interpretations of modern trends. By themeing some of their collections, it allows them to develop fresh looks from different inspirations. For example, co-founder Bobby Hundreds‘ love for the Back to the Future film series led to a collections pieces so dope and well done that I had to cop a few things for myself. They go beyond just a brand, running one of the most well done lifestyle and streetwear blogs through their shop. You can check out The Hundreds here.
Around since the mid 90’s, 10 Deep is an example of getting better with age, with the high quality pieces they put out leaving you hungry for more. Although not a skate brand, I was first introduced 10 Deep in various skate shops scattered around my hometown, as many of the tees and shirts the brand has put out have a certain appeal to skate culture. As years past, they’ve shifted to a more high level streetwear that’s still affordable. All their collections offer something different, from unique patterns to simple clean minimalist logos. Visit 10 Deep here.
New York bred Stussy is another 90’s brand that has blossomed into a power house. Stussy is all about clean, with their tees showing on simple logos being especially popular. Most of their pieces are of a monotone color scheme, which is main theme for the brand, spreading their name with the cheaper tee shirts to attract towards the more expensive, jackets, hoodies, and other pieces. Part of Stussy’s popularity comes from attracting fashionable skaters, and the small number of collabs they do, their most recent being with Dutch brand Patta. Peep Stussy here.
Fear Of God:
The youngest brand on this list, FOG has already shown that it’s nothing to mess with. Only on it’s fourth total collection, they came on the scene in 14 and haven’t slowed down since, already becoming one of the most popular high level streetwear brands out right now. The small capsule they released at Pacsun last holiday, an assorment of pieces and a slightly lower price point than their normal store, sold out almost instantly. Poised to go anywhere at this point, FOG is well on their way to establishing themselves as one of the top brands in the game. Check FOG out here.
The brand from across the pond that took streetwear by storm. Based out of the UK and only around for a few years, Palace is no normal skate company. Focusing heavily on apparel, Palace has already been able to push out a shoe collab with Reebok on two models and an apparel capsule with Adidas, which dropped last winter. Taking notes from supreme by mixing skate and fashion culture, the brands American following is almost just as big as its London following. The aesthetic within their pieces is well executed, blending typical skate clothing with the minimalism of high fashion. Check Palace’s summer 2016 collection here.
A Bathing Ape:
A Bathing Ape is arguably the most dominant and definitive force in streetwear right now. Japan’s BAPE has been a staple in fashion for years on years on years, leaving many of today’s most popular brands to take notes. Showing crazy endurance and evolution throughout the years, the brands from brightly colored, oversized t-shirts and wild Nike air force one rip offs to the streetwear powerhouse we see today. Collabs with brands like Puma, Champion, and even a Dragonball Z collection have all sold out instantly. Even if you aren’t familiar with BAPE or streetwear in general, you still might recognize their cartoon monkey logo, known as Baby Milo. The brand has been rapped about by artists for years, partly what’s lead to its grasp on streetwear. The Godfather of the modern streetwear game, Bathing Ape sits comfortably at the top, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. Check out some BAPE pieces here.