Over the last few decades, streetwear has become a major genre within the fashion industry. The style emerged during the 1990s with the rise in popularity of the Hip Hop and skateboarding scene in America. In more recent years, however, Japanese street style has become hugely influential with bold avant-garde, and haute couture looks.
Streetwear has become one of the biggest industries in fashion due to its versatility. Whether you want to rock a laid-back look to the shops, something cool in the club or something to get you pumped for the gym, an element of streetwear can be found in every aspect of life.
This clothing genre is unique in the sense that you don’t need to spend loads of money on an item of streetwear, but you can spend more for higher quality. If streetwear is an integral part of your aesthetic, Slingo wants to help you look stylish with the best streetwear brands out there.
In this piece, we'll list and discuss some of the best streetwear brands on the market and what the brand brings to the table that could add so much value to your wardrobe.
For more fascinating content about fashion and lifestyle advice, don't forget to check out the Slingo lifestyle blog!
Supreme is perhaps one of the most iconic streetwear labels on the market. While the brand started as a small skate label based in New York, it has grown to ridiculous heights.
It all boils down to how they marketed themselves. The streetwear label was clever about selling its products by releasing them in limited numbers, making them extremely exclusive. This caused fans of the brand to queue up for days to get one of its products, even if it was a brick, a crowbar, or an ashtray.
The Supreme box logo hoodies are some of the brand's most popular products, usually costing around £130. The brand does not regularly restock items, and its clothes and other products usually sell out in the blink of an eye, so if you’re eager to get your hands on some Supreme, you’ll need to be quick.
2. A Bathing Ape (BAPE)
Founded in 1993 by a Japanese designer called Nigo, A Bathing Ape (BAPE) rose to prominence in the early 2000s. Thanks to numerous rappers like Biggie, Lil Wayne and Kanye West regularly dressing in BAPE's clothing, the brand had a massive impact on youth culture, with countless teens flocking to buy anything with a BAPE label.
Although the brand's influence began to fade over the years, BAPE can still be seen around today, with influencers rocking a pair of Bapesta sneakers. BAPE’s popularity may be on the rise again, so it may be worth shopping around now before stocks rise!
If you're after a killer streetwear brand that won't make you look like a stereotypical skater, then Noah is the brand for you. Since its launch in 2005, the husband and wife duo, Brendon Babenzian and Estelle Bailey-Babenzian, have been making sophisticated streetwear that moves away from teen-angst portrayals.
Before launching Noah, Brendon Babenzian spent over a decade designing clothing for Supreme, where he learned about the market and what young people were yearning for. The brand began targeting fashionable young people who wanted more of a mature look. From their Leather Bomber Jackets to their Solovair Tassel Loafers, Noah is a fusion of vintage and modern styles that can help keep anyone’s outfits looking fresh and on-trend.
And do you want to know the best part? Noah is completely sustainable, so you can support this brand without feeling guilty.
This UK-based streetwear label is relatively new to the streetwear world. However, it has made a big splash in its ten short years on the market.
Palace’s streetwear takes great inspiration from British football and rave culture with cargo bottoms and bucket hats. The brand has also collaborated with various brands, from fashion giants like Gucci and Ralph Lauren to more out-of-pocket brands like Stella Artois.
Tapping in and celebrating the rave culture and music scene of England, Palace also has collaborations with Happy Mondays and Elton John, making this Palace a truly unique and exciting brand to follow.
Patta, like many of the other streetwear brands on this list, had humble beginnings. It was created by Edson Sabajo and Guillaume 'Gee' Schmidt, both big players in the Dutch hip-hop and nightlife scene. During this period, the pair also discovered their love for sneakers and began business together to honour this obsession.
Graphic design enthusiasts will love Patta’s graphic tees and clothing with bright colours, big logos, and loose cuts. The brand began by creating printed logos on T-shirts for friends and family, where the business soon blossomed into the powerhouse streetwear brand it is today.
Patta is a black-owned brand that celebrates the unconventional.
6. Heron Preston
From the music and fashion collective known as Been Trill, Heron Preston has become synonymous with streetwear. With its signature bright orange branding, the company has become a significant force in the contemporary fashion industry while maintaining its cult-like status.
This is one of the reasons the brand is still considered to have "street cred.” It’s not a brand that cares much about becoming “mainstream”, as the trademark orange branding, oversized cuts and quirky motifs demonstrate.
7. Cav Empt
Cav Empt was created by Toby Feltwell and SK8Thing in 2011 after the pair had worked for BAPE and Billionaire Boys Club for a few years prior.
‘Cav Empt’ comes from the Latin phrase ‘caveat emptor’, which translates to ‘let the buyer beware’. It is believed that the reason for the name came from the Philip K. Dick book ‘Ubik’, where the phrase is written as a tattoo.
Science fiction plays a huge part in the brand's identity as it explores society’s internet use through graphic design and fashion.
With such a niche, Cav Empt can carve its way into streetwear and present some current trends. Considering how new this brand is compared with others on this list, many people view the band as underground, which only adds to its allure.
The brand focuses on Japanese utilitarian styling, distinctive prints, and futuristic details. Cav Empt will be one of the best streetwear brands for you if you don't want to fall in with the crowd.
Nike is one of the most popular fashion brands in the entire world. This American powerhouse was founded way back in 1964 and has always been dedicated to sportswear.
But as time changes, so do societal opinions. In recent times, sportswear can now be viewed as streetwear depending on the item of clothing and the occasion you choose to wear it.
The brand gets its name from the Greek goddess of victory, and Nike has certainly ticked a lot of boxes for people over the years.
Offering clothing catered for golf, skateboarding, basketball and hockey, for example, Nike has become a multinational company. Its famous tick logo and Air Jordan shoe campaign with Michael Jordan are some aspects that make Nike truly iconic in the sports and streetwear world.
9. Billionaire Boys Club
Billionaire Boys Club was created by Nigo in collaboration with Pharrell Williams, which allowed the brand to gain notoriety much faster.
Like many streetwear brands on this list, Billionaire Boys Club takes a lot of influence from 90s fashion. However, "outer space" is another theme that Williams and the brand like to explore.
The brand releases colourful, playful and distinctive clothes for nearly any occasion. This is why many consider it to be one of the best street-style brands on the market at the moment.
Quite a few people in the industry consider Off-White to be one of the best streetwear brands around. This is because the brand redefined what streetwear could be.
Off-White was one of the first streetwear brands to feature on the red carpet, and it's easy to understand why. Virgil Abloh, who created the brand, interned at Fendi with Kanye West before becoming the creative director of Louis Vuitton.
This made Abloh one of the most influential figures in the fashion world, which is likely why his streetwear made it to fashion week runways.
11. Brain Dead
The Brain Dead brand is quite different from many other streetwear brands on this list. Brain Dead doesn't have a famous founder with credentials in the industry or lots of financial support. However, this has not stopped the brand from making a name for itself in the industry.
In just over five years, the founder of Brain Dead, Kyle Ng, has helped create a streetwear brand that customers can't seem to get enough of. Brain Dead's clothing often features loopy prints and unique graphics that are oddly charming.
FAQs About Designer Streetwear
Does Balenciaga make streetwear?
Balenciaga has made a lot of streetwear clothing items, but recently, the brand seems to be moving away from it. This isn’t to say we won’t expect some elements of streetwear in the next few years, but Balenciaga’s main focus seems to be on tailored haute courte instead.
What kind of people wear streetwear?
Streetwear is mainly worn by people who follow popular youth culture and want to stay in line with fashion trends.
If you’re looking to try out some new styles, streetwear is a great aesthetic to incorporate, as there are many layers to it. You don’t need to be a stereotypical skater or hip-hop artist to wear street clothing.
Is streetwear still popular?
Streetwear fades in and out of popularity, but it will never look unfashionable wearing. And if it does, you can easily use those clothes for other purposes.
An understated piece of streetwear can stay fashionable for years to come or even make a resurgence like 90s clothing.
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The lifestyle blogs from Slingo will let you in on some of the best luxury brands you could invest in. Take a look at some of our recommendations below:
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