Street style has revolutionized the fashion industry and social movements throughout the years.
Whether you like athleisure, are a fashionista who creates looks from the thrift shop, are a lover of luxury clothing, a fan of loungewear, street style has no limits.
Street style differs tremendously throughout different parts of the globe and is most often seen in major urban centers. From hip-hop artists or your favorite celebrities, elements of this approach are a form of expression and self-identity.
In this article, we will be talking about the history of street style, and the importance of street style for social movements.
The History of Street Style
Clothing rationing and regulations affected fashion in the Second World War. Raw materials and resources were scarce when it came to civilian clothing, as prices were high. Despite the war and difficult times, fashion survived.
Just like the name says, the street style originated from the streets and not the runway – like other trends we see out there.
The term refers to a broad spectrum of fashion approaches that intersect, and diverge from mainstream fashion thinking. It doesn’t follow current trends. By combining different styles and making them unique, street style enables individuals to flex multiple identities.
Clothing and style have become important factors in social movements because of street style.
Street Style In Youth Culture
American style streetwear has become popular within the realms of hip-hop, social media, and skateboarding culture. Street style can be many things to people. It could be casual, fun, mixing cultures together, it could be about music, and creating different styles.
Youth culture has played a crucial role in street style. It has become an inspiration for big brands, as they once struggled to keep up with it. Street style is now recognized by major designers as high fashion. It took years for major luxury houses to create luxury streetwear.
Street style, unlike other types of fashion, does not cover just one style of dressing, but it encompasses a whole range of styles.
Street Style In Luxury Fashion
In 2018, CFDA Awards crowned Supreme as the menswear designer of the year. The brand beat out notable designers Calvin Klein, Virgil Abloh, and Tom Ford. This was a big win for the company, which is most known for being a small skate brand that makes clothing and accessories.
From targeting youth culture, skateboarding, and hip-hop in general, Supreme is a billion-dollar company whose items increase in value once they sell out. This brand has changed fashion forever.
Supreme is one of the most well-known “streetwear” brands for almost two decades. Their lineup of brand collaborations is extensive and quite impressive. Supreme has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, Champion, Commes des Garcons to name a few.
One of the most notable fashion designers that come to mind when talking about street style, is Virgil Abloh. He is the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton and the CEO of Off-White.
Abloh has been awarded various prizes like the British Fashion Awards Urban Luxe award and International Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. Abloh has been praised for being a pioneer in the street style movement.
The street style industry has grown into a major component of the fashion industry. With the rapid transition towards luxury fashion, luxury has become street level.
The Importance of the Style In Social Movements
Throughout history, from the suffragette movement to the Black Lives Matter T-shirts worn, clothing and style have played an important role in social movements.
Historically, activism and fashion were always linked to bringing about social change. Social movements have gained visual currency through certain clothes through the ages.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States, the Suffragette movement fought for the right of women to vote.
The Suffragette movement was able to use fashion as a political and campaign tool.
Instead of heavy Victorian-style dresses, they wore pants. Women started wearing pants that they weren’t supposed to wear, which marked a new era for women. As a result, they chose to present themselves as strong, independent women instead of adhering to traditional expectations.
In the 1960s, the mini skirt rose to prominence. The piece was seen as an expression of political dissent, an act of rebellion.
Black Panther Party & Fashion
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. During the fight to oppose police brutality, the organization adopted a uniform: blue shirts, black pants, black leather jackets, and black berets. The Black Panther Party revolutionized fashion and mainstreamed Black culture for decades to come.
The Black Panther Party influenced the rise of anti-capitalist and anti-war movements. Among other things, they also called for social awareness and gender equality.
Black Lives Matter changed fashion forever in 2020. Due to the George Floyd protests against police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement rose in 2020. This was an event that triggered anti-racism protests across the United States and across the globe.
Since the protests in 2020, you can still see people wearing BLM tee shirts, accessories, and masks being worn with the acronym, “BLM” on a daily basis. By wearing BLM on your clothing, it demonstrates a clear message; that Black Lives Matter.
From the streets to the runway, street style has come a long way in the fashion industry.
In other words, the clothes you wear can take on an art form and have been a tool for communication for decades.
Iconic past protests and its street style fashion have made a great impact on social movements. The clothing you wear can reveal a lot about your personality. Anyone can wear street-style clothing. It’s all about how you feel in your outfit.
What’s your style? Let us know on our Instagram @Fashinnovation.Nyc
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