Where it started, and where we are now.
Let’s take it back to Los Angeles, California in the 1980s during the hip hop and R&B uprising. The new wave lifestyles coming into play following the revolutions in music, fashion and arts from the 1960s called for a sense of comfort over conventionality in the contemporary trends of the late 20th century. Streetwear originated with a brand named Stüssy, a small surfboard company on the west coast of LA, when their printed logo t-shirts became casual attire for locals on the skate scene. This triggered a push for a more low-key sense of fashion in urban areas like California, New York and most major industrial cities. Streetwear initially consisted mostly of baggy sweatpants and crewneck jumpers and branded t shirts from the 80s through 90s which suited the various subcultures present in their society.
However, the turn of the millennium came with a demand for the glamorisation of streetwear. Paris Hilton sported (and widely popularised) the gem encrusted velour Juicy Couture tracksuit throughout the early 2000s, aka the most iconic outfit of our childhoods. Although the original tracksuit was fitted, mainstream streetwear remained baggy, oversized and with a daringly low waistline. The low waisted trend was prevalent in both men’s and women’s fashion, resulting in the sagging trend of men’s trousers. Celebrities engaging in streetwear trends has become all the more common in the uprise in ‘hypebeast’ culture, that stresses how luxury brands will increase ones social status. This means that luxury brands have developed aspects of their collections into streetwear styles as they have become more popular due to working class use; For example Yeezy by Kanye West, Louis Vuitton and Skims by Kim Kardashian.
Streetwear is intended for comfort, experimentation and a relaxed chic. Contemporary streetwear brands in 2021 such as Born to Stand Out are embracing modernity, unpacking and contradicting gender norms and the social expectations rooted in our society. Empowerment for the wearer is at the very core of BTSO’s values. In this way streetwear is being reviewed, rebranded and revolutionized to match with our ever changing society in relation to current issues that need to be addressed by the fashion industry.