Fashion / Fashion Feature

10 hyped streetwear brands to that you need to know

streetwear brands

While we will always enjoy the elegance, glamour and consideration that is devoted to runway shows, there's no denying the hold streetwear brands continue to have out in the field. Originating on the streets of New York, London, Tokyo and Paris; this new wave of dressing was the catalyst of a social and sartorial phenomenon that saw graphic t-shirts, oversized hoodies and worn-out sneakers stake their claim as 'fashion'. And boy, did they succeed.

Nowadays, it's almost impossible to scroll through social media or head to your local supermarket without noticing the impact streetwear has had on our approach to dressing. The logos are big, the colourways often polarising, and the items always, always sold out. So, who are the key players that rule this space? Below, we've rounded up 10 of the most noteworthy streetwear brands and their claim to fame.

 

1. Supreme

 

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Regarded as one of the most instantly recognisable streetwear brands across the globe, Supreme's red and white colourway and logo takes the cake as one of the most popular brands in the history of street style. Founded in 1994 in New York's SoHo neighbourhood, the American skateboard and clothing label has not only cemented itself as one of the most coveted brands in history for the fashion elite, but has also made its way into the realm of luxury fashion. Supreme has collaborated with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Rolex, as well as celebrities such as Travis Scott and Kate Moss to name a few. The reason for Supreme's success? The label basically invented the concept of "drops" – releasing new items in highly-limited numbers across an extended period of time. Just a few years back, the company was given a billion dollar valuation, and I guess the rest is history.

 

2. Palace

 

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The US has been the birthplace of many great streetwear labels; but the UK certainly held its own when Palace debuted on the streets. The brand, which placed the UK firmly on the map for lovers of streetstyle, was only launched in 2009 – but has grown to become the country's most prominent skateboarding and streetwear label. The London-born brand is the brainchild of Lev Tanju, and was founded with the intention of becoming Supreme's twin flame. Now, Palace, which can be identified by its triangle logo holds a place of its own in London's gritty skate scene and beyond. Think tracksuits, baseball caps, and the occasional snakeskin loafer and velvet smoking jacket for a touch of streetwear glamour.

 

3. Noah

 

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If you find yourself wanting to participate in the hype that is streetwear, but aren't quite sure that OTT logos and $1,500 pullovers are quite your thing, Noah is the brand for you. The more sophisticated, paired-back older sibling amongst streetwear brands, the NYC brand puts a preppier feel on the skater aesthetic. Founder Brendon Babenzien, who was previously the creative director of Supreme has created the ultimate skate park meets Ralph Lauren love child and it works. Hoodies, oxfords, rugby shirts and just about everything in-between.

 

4. A Bathing Ape

 

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At the forefront of Japanese streetwear is A Bathing Ape – or as most people know it, BAPE. A killer streetwear brand with a Japanese fusion, founder Nigo (real name Tomoaki Nagao), established his now covetable brand from his obsession with sneakers, toys, and in-your-face graphics. The DJ and fashion designer cemented BAPE's place as an OG streetwear brand mainly thanks to his bright, multi-coloured camouflage prints and shark hoodies; making a piece of his almost impossible to miss.

 

5. Carhartt WIP

 

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Originally, Carhartt – especially in the States – was considered as nothing more than a durable workwear brand. That was until the brand made its way over to Europe, where it took on a different life as Carhartt WIP (Work In Progress). The alter-ego-esque division of Carhartt first launched in 1994; combining the rugged aesthetic of the original brand with contemporary, streamlined design. Anyone who's anyone is sure to have a pair of the brand's cargo pants in their closet.

 

6. Awake NY

 

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What sets Awake NY apart amidst the streetwear noise are the brand's standout graphics. Founder, Ditto Angelo Baque, also another former Supreme director, looks to the biggest streetwear trends and emulates them through his design. The ultimate indication of street sensibility, if you will. Awake NY is currently responsible for creating some of the most in-demand items across a range of jackets, hoodies, jeans and sweatpants.

 

7. Ambush

 

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Beginning as an experimental line of jewellery, drawing inspiration from innovative pop art and a distinct Tokyo aesthetic; Ambush has since evolved into highly sought after offering of unisex pieces. In the ready-to-wear space, you can find pieces that range from more polished silhouette styles, to oversized puffers and cut-out sweatshirts. Ambush has had its fair share of collaborations too, working with a list that includes Louis Vuitton (Kim Jones), sacai, UNDERCOVER, Off-White, SHU UEMURA, Nike, CONVERSE, Rimowa, and GENTLE MONSTER.

 

8. Off-White

 

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Virgil Abloh's brand Off-White is no stranger in the realm of streetwear brands, but it was his tongue-and-cheek branding that really set his label apart. Off-White is just as much about the irony of owning expensive streetwear, as it is about creations themselves. Relatively new on the scene in comparison, the brand became a favourite of the younger crowd, but clearly had legs – soon, becoming one of the few streetwear brands to be a runway regular. Aside from the ongoing sneaker partnership Off-White has with Nike, the brand has also ventured into the realm of homewares, working with Ikea on multiple occasions too.

 

9. Kith

 

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What first began as a retail space stocking some of the most coveted names in the sneaker and streetwear world, Kith has since expanded to create a brand of its own; becoming just a part of the streetwear phenomenon thanks to its always covetable, and sometimes wacky collaborations. Street style maven and footwear don Ronnie Fieg is the brains behind the multi-phaceted brand, serving up an offering of the latest sneakers and apparel.

 

10. CDG Play

 

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For those with an appreciation for fashion history, you would know that Japanese-founded Comme des Garçons is known for its outlandish, avant-garde and unique designs. The brand's subsidiary, CDG Play is anything but. Instantly recognisable for its iconic bug-eyed heart logo; the brand focuses on wardrobe staples, like Breton tops, hoodies, and logo tees. Perhaps, its most successful collaboration has been with Converse; redesigning the brand's long-standing All Star design with a CDG Play touch. Almost always out of stock, it's a once-in-a-lifetime shot getting your hands on this streetwear brand.

 

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