How Street Culture in Fashion Came to Be and How It’s a Major Force to High Fashion Now

People around the world embrace their culture proudly; they wear it upon their sleeves and are not shy from any opportunity to showcase the street culture of their roots. The street style of a region is known as an invention of the culture of that area rather than the mainstream fashion industry. With time, streetwear style has taken a new form of ubiquitousness and is becoming more and more dominant in society.  Street style has always existed but not until the mid-1960s that people came to value the significance of street culture more. 

History of Streetwear 

The history of clothing is parallel to the history of identity. Streetwear has represented the street culture, community identity, and subculture cohesion. Streetwear style is believed to be born out in the late 1970s in New York City and the 1980s with Los Angeles surf street culture elements. The inspiration of the early 1970s and 1980s came from Japanese street culture fashion, heavy metal, new wave, do-it-yourself hip hop and punk aesthetic, and co-existing sportswear legacy. 

Part of early street style inspirations emerges from workwear fashion brands, like Dr.Martens, Adidas, Fila, and Schott NYC. The primary root of streetwear style is linked to realism and the passion to express some meaningful intention. The evangelists who initiate the movement are the founder of skateboard Supreme, the founder of surfboard Stussy, James Jebbia. 

Designer Dapper has given rise to the streetwear style by adding a luxury touch to it. By this, you can see how the initial history of street style male-dominated and that male supremacy in fashion also popped up into the masculine look of early street style. Similarly, In Japan influential Djs and designers, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Nigo play a huge role in spreading street culture in fashion. Then came the 20th century, which was mostly characterized by a strong correlation between street style and fashion. 

Dapper Dan

Streetwear style unfolded a common social practice by sociocultural groups that represented a street culture that eventually became an important element of the mass fashion industry. The formula was simple: people prefer T-shirts and hoodies because that’s what they like and that’s what they think represents their personality well. Streetwear-style clothes can be called uniforms of comfort and self-expression. Common sportswear that was popular as the contemporary style was a product of the street culture of that time: bomber jackets, hoodies, leggings, track pants, and sneakers. Most of these are a revival of 1990s baseball caps and bomber jackets.

How Culture Influences the Fashion Industry 

Embracing every new style that is trending in the fashion industry is important to look good and stay up to date with fashion. But how the culture and fashion are correlated with each other? Fashion and street culture are two sides of the same coin and go hand-in-hand with each other. The more you learn about the fashion of a region you learn the culture of that specific area you are talking about that merges into fashion over time. 

Culture does influence the fashion industry. All over the world, there are various cultures whose people follow different fashion trends and none of the two are even the same. Culture is dynamic just like fashion that evolves and changes with time. If we talk a bit more specifically we can call it a street culture that most influenced fashion rather than the norms of a locality. 

People make sure fashion accessories and apparel must meet the criteria of the street culture they are living in. Culture impacts the choice of fabric and design as well. Simply, what people choose to wear or what their fashion sense is, mostly the prestige of their strong local identity and geographic location. 

Street culture is shown vibrantly on clothes people wear and how they caress the history into fashion. Just like “Afghan Vintage Kochi ‘‘ represents the Tajiki street style, a tribe of Afghanistan, a “traditional grab” woven in long strips and sewn together, is a unique Ethiopian attire. Similarly, “Saree” and “lehenga” are the two most popular street style clothes of Indian women. If we talk about Nigeria, a 3 piece embroidered outfit, “agbada” worn by Nigerian on their cultural events.

Culture is Major Force Behind Modern Fashion 

The moment people know about the importance of culture they understand the future of global consumerism after all the fashion industry is all about making cultural statements. The fashion industry runs on the tagline: to be different and unique. The fashion industry is becoming more expensive with time in the United States, around 250 billion dollars are spent only on fashion accessories: bags, jewelry, shoes, etc. Where the new trend of the fashion industry is concerned, culture is an essential part of it. Clothes are a source of nonverbal communication which tells others who we are and where we belong.  

Culture is now a major force that runs behind the fashion industry. From Global consumerism to macro in micro-trend in fashion all influence mannerly by street culture. It is important to know the apparent shift in consumer lifestyle through fashion which is influenced by culture.

Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami

Street Cultural Pervasive to High fashion

It’s becoming difficult to differentiate between cultures streetwear as certain styles from subcultures are quickly adopted at mass levels all around the world—thanks to social media.  For example, Tokyo’s teenage Harajuku girls who dressed up in a particular way, their dressing become the sole representative of American singer Gwen’s clothing line as well as his world tour. 

Likewise, the best example of street culture becoming more pervasive is the emerging popularity of the Korean Street style. Apart from government support and affordability of Korean street style, factors like adaptability and marketing are making it spread worldwide.

Over time, a subculture is not limited to a region or country, it’s widely spread all over the world and the internet has a major role to play in it. Now, the question arises if the continuous spreading of street culture worldwide is economical? Or is there a need for segregation among street cultures of different countries?