Streetwear is one of the fastest-growing areas in the fashion scene. According to Business of Fashion, the international streetwear industry was worth around $300 billion dollars in 2017 alone.
The phenomenon has its roots in sneaker culture, California skateboarders, and Japanese street fashion. It’s roughly defined as casual and comfortable clothing worn by followers of popular culture.
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Top-Tier Streetwear Brands 2023
Nowadays, the style is taking the world by storm with renowned designers and brands vying to create unique and innovative designs. In what follows, we explore some of the most renowned names behind top-tier streetwear.
Founded by legendary Japanese fashion designer Jun Takahashi in the 90s, Undercover is a brand that has gained widespread recognition due to its bold, fresh, and youthful style. Prior to launching the brand, Takahashi formed part of the tribute band “Tokyo Sex Pistols”, inspired by the British punk rock band The Sex Pistols. Undercover, whose motto is “we make noise, not clothes”, has a signature style with clear influences of punk culture and Japanese streetwear.
Undercover has gained an international following and strong acclaim among streetwear enthusiasts. This has led to remarkable collaborations with brands such as Nike, Supreme, Clockwork Orange, Off-White, and nonnative.
American designer Rick Owens founded his own label and named it after himself in 1994. Known in the fashion world as the “Lord of Darkness”, his groundbreaking collections boast a gothic aesthetic with influences of glamorous grunge, rock-and-roll, and sportswear.
Rick Owens’ cult-like status has led its collections to major department stores like Barneys. The brand has also partnered with Adidas, Birkenstock and Co, and Converse. The partnership with the latter saw Rick Owens venture from high fashion into the world of streetwear and sneakers.
NEIGHBORHOOD has its roots in Harajuku Tokyo, a small district of backstreets renowned for colorful street art and youthful fashion. Founded in 1994 by Shinsuke Takizawa, NEIGHBORHOOD creates premium apparel that combines a motorcycle and military style, workwear, streetwear, and Native American themes amongst others.
What is distinctive about this brand is its experimental nature as it explores various cultural references and plays with different design methods.
The brand’s influence has reached long and far since its foundation, securing numerous collaborations with the likes of Adidas and Nike.
Junya Watanabe MAN
In 1994, under the umbrella of COMME des GARÇONS, designer Junya Watanabe founded his namesake label. Watanabe has gained acclaim for his avant-garde style, particularly his bold cutting concepts and use of innovative draping techniques. His brand is characterized by high-quality vintage workwear and military uniforms for men, which boast layered fabrics and unique and complex patterns.
Throughout the years, Junya Watanabe has collaborated with brands such as Porter, Brooks Brothers, and outdoor outfitters The North Face.
SVD is one of the leading providers of luxury and streetwear. Founded in the heart of Barcelona, SVD has decades of experience in the fashion world. Nowadays, its digital store offers an extensive catalog of renowned designers and emerging brands.
In their signature collections such as SVD FOUNDATION SERIES, SVD Decade, and SVD Cool Kids Club™, we encounter a remarkable balance of practicality and style as well as groundbreaking collaborations with renowned brands and multidisciplinary artists.
To date, SVD has physical locations in Barcelona and Madrid, and is getting ready to open the next top-tier streetwear store in the Dubai Design District this winter.