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Streetwear’s popularity spells lucrative business for brands

"Streetwear has been constantly evolving and shaping the fashion industry in unexpected ways. Offering something for everyone; from high to low, casual to chic, streetwear is an important segment of fashion business today. For example, the market for US urban streetwear in 2015 was valued at about $80 billion by Statista. And a study by Bain & Company last October revealed, high-end streetwear helped boost global sales of luxury brands by 5 per cent. A takeaway from the sportswear segment, streetwear is the favourite buzzword in fashion today. From heritage houses to fast-fashion brands, retailers and big-budget investors, everyone wants has a stake in steetwear. Almost half a century old and hyper commercialised, street fashion is all about youth culture in its truest form and youth culture sells. In fact, its global mainstream dominance has democratised the entire fashion system."

 

Streetwears popularity spells lucrative business for brands 002Streetwear has been constantly evolving and shaping the fashion industry in unexpected ways. Offering something for everyone; from high to low, casual to chic, streetwear is an important segment of fashion business today. For example, the market for US urban streetwear in 2015 was valued at about $80 billion by Statista. And a study by Bain & Company last October revealed, high-end streetwear helped boost global sales of luxury brands by 5 per cent. A takeaway from the sportswear segment, streetwear is the favourite buzzword in fashion today. From heritage houses to fast-fashion brands, retailers and big-budget investors, everyone wants has a stake in steetwear. Almost half a century old and hyper commercialised, street fashion is all about youth culture in its truest form and youth culture sells. In fact, its global mainstream dominance has democratised the entire fashion system.

Growing popularity, lucrative for business

Streetwear category, which started decades ago, is now witnessing a huge growth, despite the advent of manyStreetwears popularity spells lucrative business for brands 001 new players, luxury collaborations, and high-end designers. Today, as everyone aspires to look unique and exclusive, streetwear caters to their needs by offering limited drops or releases by reputed brands like Nike, Supreme and Johnny Cupcakes

The popularity of streetwear can be gauged from the fact that Supreme that started out as a skate brand in New York and never held a runway show, won the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award last June. In fact, the brand’s recent sale saw jackets, sweatshirts, and the coveted Madonna “Justify My Love” T-shirt sell out in seconds. The Madonna tee retailed on Supreme’s site for $48, sold out in all colorways, and was reselling later that day for $250 on StockX, the ecommerce resale marketplace. And as retail analyst and insights director of Edited Katie Smith point out, the shift toward more comfortable and functional clothing has led to an increase in activewear as a trend. But with a saturation point in activewear, consumers went looking for the ‘new cool’ and turned to the street. She says streetwear has a similar casual aesthetic, with a wider and less sporty silhouette.

In India, the popular ‘street’ brands are fairly new not more than five years old. These include: Noughtone, Sahil Aneja, Huemn or Theorem. Being fairly new incumbents, these brands are yet to make a mark and will take a long time for them to shake the designer fashion system that continues to be dominated by ethnic wear designers. However, top designers are incorporating street influences to give a fresh spin to their work. For example, designer Narendra Kumar went all out on sport influences, using ‘fakes’ as the main theme for his last collection. Similarly, more traditional Indian wear labels like Ritu Kumar and Anita Dongre, embraced sporty accessories like elongated belts on saris and bum bags and sneakers with everything in collections.

Cotton the preferred fabric

A number of brands incorporate a significant amount of cotton into their streetwear offerings. However, the Supreme Fall/Winter collection also included denim, a cotton corduroy shirt with flannel hood, printed and oxford button-front cotton shirts, and cotton twill shirts and pants. The brand prefers to stick to natural fibres.

The Yeezy collection of luxury labels Kanye West has also been cotton-rich from the beginning. The Kanye and Adidas Originals Yeezy Season 1, launched in February 2015, featured high-priced, oversized jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, and leggings. According to Monitor Survey, around 92 per cent of consumers prefer clothes made from natural fibers like cotton and 66 percent of them willing to pay more for them.

Adding luxury to streetwear

In recent years, luxury labels like Gucci and Burberry have joined the category. Other labels like Louis Vuitton are also adding streetwear designers to their brand. There are loads of collaborations happening at the highest levels like Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang, Topman x Vision Streetwear, Off-White, and Jimmy Choo. This mixing of high and low brands and price points is been done with great effect. These collaborations lend a taste of luxury to shoppers without harming the reputation of the designers. Luxury labels will continue to offer streetwear because that’s what the consumer wants, bringing their designers recognition among these young buyers.

 

 
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