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Streetwear finding immense traction globally

"Forecasting firm Trendalytics has reported the evolution of streetwear from its start as a 1970’s California social movement defined by the laidback surf style of Shawn Stussy, the founder of Stüssy, into a mainstream global category estimated to be valued at $309 billion. That evolution has been fuelled by influencers—be it celebrities, athletes or the masterminds behind hype machine brands like Ronnie Kith and Virgil Abloh and the prevalence of social media as a branding tool for both brands and individuals. According to the firm, as digital natives with significant spending power, the millennial and Gen Z consumers have played an integral part in driving the growth of streetwear. The hunt continues for the most Instagrammable products, and consumers looking for unique and exclusive items are willing to pay."

 

Streetwear finding immense traction globally 002Forecasting firm Trendalytics has reported the evolution of streetwear from its start as a 1970’s California social movement defined by the laidback surf style of Shawn Stussy, the founder of Stüssy, into a mainstream global category estimated to be valued at $309 billion. That evolution has been fuelled by influencers—be it celebrities, athletes or the masterminds behind hype machine brands like Ronnie Kith and Virgil Abloh and the prevalence of social media as a branding tool for both brands and individuals. According to the firm, as digital natives with significant spending power, the millennial and Gen Z consumers have played an integral part in driving the growth of streetwear. The hunt continues for the most Instagrammable products, and consumers looking for unique and exclusive items are willing to pay.

A global phenomenon

Today, streetwear has become the urban uniform for people in New York, Tokyo, London and more. A new breed of cities are emerging which is lifting theStreetwear finding immense traction globally 001 growth of streetwear globally. These are Kazakhstan, Iceland, South Korea, etc. Kazakhstan, companies are quite fast in producing fakes by painting jean jackets, scribbling on white sneakers and making spoofs of popular logos. Iceland has all the vintage look and feel. Classic skate brands like Thrasher and Stüassy are paired with retro furry jackets and sweaters. In Nigeria, streetwear is a blend of Western fashion like jeans, T-shirts and Vans, and native elements like brightly colored and patterned cotton textiles.

In South Korea and Mexico, they have punk and rock undertones. Combat boots, leather jackets and piercings make up streetwear in Korea, while Mexico skews toward goth pieces, logo T-shirts and hats. Meanwhile, streetwear in the United Arab Emirates reflects hip-hop’s affinity for luxury brands. The report named side bags, snapbacks and colored sunglasses as key items.

Social media and influencers

In such a burgeoning growth, social media has a major role to play. Instead of relying on endorsed posts, important streetwear labels like Vetements, Bape and Palace Skateboards saw the most engagement from their own brand postings, Trendalytics said. The report highlighted that streetwear brands like Fear of God and Undefeated received nearly four-times the social actions per mentioned post than Adidas for the last year. While millennial celebrities like Zayn Malik, The Weeknd and Ansel Elgort have the highest total social post engagement from their branded posts, Trendalytics said top influencers gaining social buzz include surfers Laura Enever and Kelly Slater, each capturing more than 10-times the engagement per mentioned post than Kanye West.

Luxury marrying streetwear

Trendalytics stated that ’80s artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was known for combining high and low aesthetics by pairing streetwear and thrift store finds with formal wear, a style that still inspires streetwear influencers like Jay-Z and Kanye West. Meanwhile, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has a developed new fan bases through his long-running and colorful collaborations with Louis Vuitton and subsequent artwork collaborations with artists like Kanye West and Kid Cudi. The artist is also working with streetwear labels like Billionaire Boys Club. The impact of streetwear on luxury cannot be understated and that influence is poised to grow as the spending power of streetwear-loving millennials surpasses older generations. Luxury brands are prepping up for this shift by attracting young designers with streetwear roots.

Sneakers have become the new ‘It’ bag and brands are leveraging their popularity to appeal to the affluent, pro-consignment consumer. In appealing to millennials who came of age during the Great Recession, luxury is able to channel the appeal of appreciation, which they had already mastered with handbags, to sneakers.

 
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