We all know how much the internet loves memes; there’s a meme for everything. We have more than our fair share of memes in men’s fashion. One meme that has been plastered on my facebook and twitter timeline with the slogan, “Swag is for boys, class is for men”. The meme features a collage of teenagers in baggy basketball jerseys, t-shirts and sneakers and contrasting are “well dressed, dapper older gentlemen” in shirt, ties and suits.
While an internet meme is surely meaningless, what is a cause for concern is if you’re a fan of streetwear fan and how the genre is seen as classless, second rate, and at the bottom of the hierarchy in menswear. There is no denying that streetwear suffers from certain stereotypes. Images of teenagers in triple XXL t-shirts, baggy jean shorts, and oversized jerseys is still linked with the industry. While most streetwear brands are priced significantly lower than its high fashion counterpart, it’s often associated by being “cheap” due its lower price points.
What gets constantly overlooked and deserve more credit is how influential streetwear has become with its’ integration in menswear. Think about all the trends from fitting sweat pants to high end sneakers to the contrasting of black and white; these are all trends that have streetwear roots and are now co-signed by GQ magazine. To classify streetwear as only for lower class and hip-hop listening teenagers with no fashion sense is simply ignorant. There are brands at the forefront that have become influential and integral in menswear.
Here are three examples :
Ronnie Fieg’s Kith NYC is often hailed as the most influential streetwear brand today. Having a lifetime’s worth of experience in the sneaker industry, Fieg decided to open Kith, a sneaker boutique. Along with selling limited edition sneakers, Fieg designs a wide selection of apparel under the same name, Kith. It offers a clean and minimalist approach to streetwear. The brand is most known for their Mercer pants, a military inspired cut pant with cuffs at the ankles to help highlight your kicks.
Chris Stamp’s Stampd LA is a west coast based streetwear brand with the focus on monochrome streetwear based off of sportswear silhouettes. Stampd LA offers a minimalist take on the modern day sportswear. Stampd takes hockey and baseball jerseys and strips them of their gaudy logos replacing them with modern fits.
Brooklyn We Go Hard
Brooklyn We Go Hard (BWGH) is a French based brand that is giving streetwear some European flare. Founded by David Obadia and Nelson Hassan, the Parisian based streetwear brand offers the best of both worlds. The brand takes the technical aspects of high fashion and fuses them with the raw energy of streetwear offering unique jackets, shirting, and graphic t-shirts.