Following the cancellation of Jacket Required's July edition, moving forwards the menswear portfolio will be curated by Karen Radley, Founder and MD of Scoop. This new edit of menswear collections will mirror the premium line-up of Scoop's women's fashion labels and will be part of the show's exciting September 2021 edition.

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24 September 2019

The streetwear revolution

If streetwear isn’t on your radar by now, it should be. To the untrained eye, urban fashion is the antithesis to the sleek city styles and tailoring which is native to London. And, whilst that may have been the case once upon a time, streetwear’s come up in the fashion world and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Streetwear as a sector is enigmatic when it comes to a one term fits all kind of description. By nature, it is dynamic, ever-changing and always contemporary. It is an offshoot of many of the most familiar subcultures, and with so many influences, it’s not always easy to define.

Elements of punk, hip-hop, skate culture and sportswear have found their way into the streetwear trend as we know it today and whilst it may seem like a 21st century mainstay, it’s actually been on the rise since the ’70’s.

Californian brand Stüssy has been credited as the pioneer in streetwear as we know it today. Founded in the early ‘80’s, it brought skate culture in line with an artistic and sartorial approach to off-duty fashion.

Since then streetwear brands like Supreme, Palace and Off White have joined the fold, gaining the status of cult brands in their own right. And the Hypebeast contigent hasn’t gone unnoticed by the biggest names in high fashion.

Catwalk giants like Balenciaga, Givenchy and Hermes are all bringing the streetwear staples – trainers, hoodies, graphic tees and tracksuit cuts – onto runways around the world, whilst Louis Vuitton stepped it up a notch, collaborating with Supreme for their AW17 show. And, with streetwear designers making the move to high end brands, the conversation’s not as one-sided as it seems; as Highsnobiety put it, “streetwear and luxury fashion are now the same thing”.

That’s not to say that there’s no place for the classics on catwalks and in closets. As we saw at London Fashion Week just a few days ago, tailoring is still very much “in”. However, following the demand for new and modern, even the classic two-piece suit is undergoing a transformation and it’s becoming more and more common to see pairings of tailoring and trainers as part of the new work uniform.

So why the cult following? Two reasons. The first is the subculture vibe that the trend has been born from. The whole premise of streetwear is based on a tribal sense of belonging; the clothes you wear are a mark of your allegiance. The second is almost the opposite. It is the sense of exclusivity. Streetwear brands have mastered the art of “limited edition” and building hype around a product. Brands’ fans will literally queue around the block for the chance to buy the latest piece or get their hands on the newest collaboration. Jarring though they may be, the element of belonging and that of exclusivity go hand-in-hand, creating an elite brand army wearing the latest styles.

As is to be expected, this is a trend that’s really come into its own in the Age of Instagram. Social media has brought streetwear to the masses enabling them to keep up with the latest release, pop up or flash sale. What’s more, since the digital era has changed the way we work, it’s changed the way we dress for work too; flexible and remote working have engendered a new, more relaxed work uniform, that’s allowing for this “smart, but not too smart” look to flourish.

Jacket Required is a fashion collective bringing together some of the most exciting brands of right now. Bringing a curated selection of premium menswear as well as choice womenswear and lifestyle to the Old Truman Brewery, join us in Shoreditch for the AW20 edition on 22nd and 23rd January.

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Source: “The evolution of streetwear” article by Fast at UCLA
Source: “How streetwear restyled the world – from hip-hop to Supreme and Palace” article by Lauren Cochrane, The Guardian
Source: “It’s official: streetwear and luxury fashion are now the same thing” article by Alec Leach, Highsnobiety
Source: “Streetwear tribes: from hypebeasts to fun dads” article by Morwenna Ferrier, Mr Porter
Source: “How social media took streetwear into the mainstream” article by Shareen Pathak, Digiday