Street wear for some is defined by the more well-known brands such as Adidas, Nike and Puma. For me they are sports brands but not street wear? What demonstrates street wear in its purest form and where can we find such a label or brand.
My research led me to a fabulous book entitled “Cult Street Wear by John Sims” who showcases 32 brands that have changed the face of street fashion.
For me I was intrigued by The Hundreds and OBEY.
The Hundreds launched in 2003 and have looked to reshape how street wear is defined by introducing their own niche market through defined slogans and meanings adorning their lifestyle tee-shirt range. The surf style of the 1980’s and the skateboarding apparel found in the 1990’s have carved the way for The Hundreds to be a sought after cultural phenomenon offering footwear as well as men and women’s street wear. Check out www.thehundreds.com
OBEY founder Shepard Fairey found fame and fortune originally spray-painting t-shirts with stencils. Using graphics to demonstrate his viewpoint, whether through billboards or advertising on the streets of Australia, Japan and the UK – he built a name synonymous as a street graphic artist. What makes Shephard different from others is that his political viewpoints pave the way for content different to that in the marketplace, as showcased in his tee-shirt designs. He is a graphic artist with a difference, who has collaborated with the likes of Adidas, Hasbro Toys and Pepsi. Check out www.obeyclothing.com
If you are interested in buying any of these labels in New Zealand, you are out of luck when it comes to The Hundreds, as unfortunately they only sell on-line, outside of the United States. Popular www.karmaloop.com is a great site to check out though.
OBEY is sold in NZ, at Illicit Street wear, located in K’Road in Auckland. Check www.illicit.co.nz for more information. I’ve had a look on the website and would love to buy the Trapeze Knit Top and perhaps the Flag Stencil Dress from OBEY. They are waiting patiently on the wish list for now.
Currently my favourite street-wear fashion is G-star (www.g-star.com) who I think do the most fabulous jeans ever. I like the slightly off-beat stitching and skewed pockets, the wide belt loops and the detailing and fabric (that lasts a lifetime). Their tee-shirts are quite plain and tend to have a subtle print (if there is one) which suits me just fine. The fact their hoodies and jackets tend to cater for my long arms is a bonus and they wash up as good as new.
Street wear is certainly becoming a fashion statement of its own and it won’t be long before more designers will start recognising that this sub-culture hidden underground is now surfacing and becoming more popular than ever.