Is the Streetwear Market Headed for the Mainstream?
Gone are the days when people could casually dismiss streetwear as the typical look of twenty-something-year-olds in the rebellious phase of their lives. Today, streetwear is everywhere. It’s on iconic and influential singers like Kanye West and Tyler the Creator. Everyone from Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber is rocking streetwear, and that’s when they are not creating lines of their own. So, is streetwear popular? Definitely. But does that mean that the hip-hop-inspired industry is going mainstream? Read on to find out.
The Supreme Investment
Anyone with a decent understanding of streetwear knows Supreme. It’s the line that causes congestion in downtown Hollywood every Thursday as hundreds of young fans line up to get their share of bargained-for Supreme graphics and cocktail entitlement t-shirts and jackets.
Well, what some might not know is that Supreme has the backing of one of the world’s largest private equity firms, The Carlyle Group. For a hunky part of the company’s stake, investment firm The Carlyle Group put down some serious cash to push the U-based streetwear label on the global platform.
If endorsement by such influential investors does not make streetwear mainstream, not sure what will. Maybe the Supreme collaboration with fashion icon Louis Vuitton?
Streetwear brands rely on heavy social media presence for their sales, hence the industry’s name hypebear. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the imprint of streetwear. Jazzy retros, insanely printed tees, customized ready-to-wear pieces, the streetwear culture is everywhere.
Streetwear fans say it's because the industry means different things to people. A man who lives in the ‘burbs likes it because his youthful days were grounded in hip-hop, 16-year-olds because it is a form of self-expression. One could also argue that it's because today's most influential cultural icons rock and make streetwear. Kanye West has Yeezy, and those who know Drake know of his OVO line. There are many other examples, but these ones show how resonant streetwear has become with being cool these days.