The origins of streetwear

The origins of streetwear


    Streetwear is actually a fairly common term in the modern fashion world. It refers to a distinctive style of street fashion, which has its roots in California culture and skateboarding, but also includes elements of hip-hop fashion, modern high fashion and haute couture. But where did streetwear come from? With modern fashion branching out into so many different and distinctive sub-genres, it can be hard to tell the fashions apart. But it seems that streetwear, or at least more broadly called urban fashion, is really here to stay!



    Streetwear is thought to have started as early as the late 70s. It was an exciting time, with the emergence of punk rock and hip-hop. As such, the streetwear brands of the late 70s and 80s borrowed heavily from the aesthetics of punk, new wave and heavy metal cultures.

    Many surfers and skateboarders also adopted this style by producing their own surfboards and t-shirts. Surfboard designer Shawn Stussy began selling printed t-shirts with the same signature as the brands he placed on his own custom surfboards. As Stussy became more and more of a cult icon, the popularity of his surfboards and clothing also increased.

    It is because of Stussy's notoriety that some might argue that streetwear has less to do with urban expression than previously thought, as it was a surfing company that was the springboard to the ultimate streetwear success.


    In the mid-80s, Nike dominated the urban basketball and streetwear market and other clothing brands such as Champion and Timberland were also closely associated with the scene. In the mid-90s, the advent of the "bling" culture led to an increase in the number of luxury brands that began to enter the streetwear market, such as Gucci and Burberry.

    At the end of the day, streetwear is generally seen as a grassroots movement. It's something that has no strict rules, and is constantly changing and evolving based on the street (or to put it in a slightly less trite way, external influences from popular culture and subcultures). Some claim that streetwear was born out of a reaction to mass-produced "mall" fashion styles and was a way for people to express themselves, creating their own styles to stand out from the monotony of the mainstream.

    And that may very well be true. But it's perhaps ironic that many mass-produced designs claim to sell "streetwear" in the sense that they simply display a distinct streetwear influence. With that in mind, it must be said that if you want to embrace an authentic streetwear look, you're better off buying from independent designers or seeking out more "alternative" markets ;)!

    That's exactly what we're getting at with the Chicken Streetwear project. An independent streetwear with young French and Asian designers. A mix between the Japanese oriental style and our occidental style. Two cultures but only one force, unique.




    So how do you categorize something that is constantly changing and evolving by its very nature? Since streetwear is a fluid kind of clothing, it can be difficult to pick out clothes in this style. However, there is something general that can be said about streetwear. It is often built around casual clothing and comfortable items, such as jeans and t-shirts, as well as hoodies and sneakers. All of it mostly oversized.

    And besides going back to the early days of skateboarding, surfing and hip-hop culture, streetwear is often influenced by 80s nostalgia. As a result, vintage t-shirts, patterned t-shirts, and 80's inspired logos are all the rage!

    So, if you want to switch to urban fashion and dive into the fantastic and vibrant world of streetwear, read on.


    While streetwear itself is hard to define, as we've already discussed, it actually seems to be used to describe a whole range of different trends.

    Streetwear is a luxury aesthetic, consisting of high-end pieces and expensive limited edition branded items, such as premium sneakers. On the other side, streetwear is a mix of punk, hip-hop, surf and skateboarder fashions. This juxtaposition between thrifty "do it yourself" style and high-end production of limited edition pieces is what makes streetwear so unique.

    So, in light of this, the key style tip would be to combine the "new and shiny", with the "old and tired". Try mixing basic H&M style clothing, such as ripped jeans, punk-rock tops and tees with unique and different Chicken streetwear style items like a quality printed sweater and a pair of sneakers. Asian fashion has been taking a big place in the streetwear world for a few years now. Let's not forget the huge Japanese brand "BA BATHING APE".


    Another aspect of streetwear is that it is often composed of loose and oversized items. This means you'll be combining comfort and style, so take advantage of this and don't be afraid to go big, by layering multiple pieces!

    Hoodies, tees and oversized jeans will look great combined in layers. Wear loose shirts with the buttons undone to keep everything nice and loose, and add an 80's inspired tee for color and detail. Think 80's and 90's hip hop style with a modern twist, and you have a pretty solid concept to start creating your streetwear look.


    The urban streetwear look is a great style to have in your wardrobe because it can look both rebellious and casual!

    It contains the impact of the punk-rock influence and yet can blend perfectly with the glamorous and sleek styles of high fashion. The fact that streetwear is inherently a hard-to-define genre means that there are countless opportunities to experiment with the style, as the look is constantly changing and evolving.

    If you want to incorporate urban elements into your look, follow the tips above, keep in mind the origins of streetwear and simply browse the different items available in our online store. You're sure to find a ton of inspiration just by browsing the collections and looking for key clothing and accessories to add to your wardrobe!


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