PRLog - Aug. 27, 2014 - LOS ANGELES -- Streetwear clothing famously started out in the in Los Angeles in the 1970s, being associated with surfer communities before becoming connected to hip hop culture in subsequent years and spreading across the US to places like New York and Chicago.
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Through it all, the heart of streetwear has remained in L.A., but the geographic reach of the style has been getting longer all the time. In autumn 2012, the prominent streetwear brand Rocawear, which was partly founded by Jay-Z, expanded into European markets for the first time, tweaking the Los Angeles streetwear look to better fit the sensibilities of young, urban consumers in Britain.
Streetwear has cross the Pacific in recent years, as well, making its way to such cities as St. Petersburg. And interestingly, it hasn’t so much been carried there by investors as it has picked up cultural traction and made an impact on local designers. Russian companies like Anteater make their own variations on hip hop-influenced streetwear, to be sold to local consumers.
For the first time, streetwear can be said to be a truly international phenomenon, and not just because West Coast trends have been picked up in other markets. Los Angeles streetwear bands don’t just unilaterally set the tone for imitators in New York and abroad. Local designers have created local takes on drop crotch pants, tattoo clothing, and other hallmarks of streetwear, but they have also conveyed those alternatives back to the original markets.
At the end of May, a China-based streetwear company, Boyz New York, opened in the Fairfax Avenue area of Los Angeles, a major hub for modern and high-end streetwear fashions. Boyz New York specifically aims to combine the established streetwear looks with a uniquely Asian style.
This sort of cultural exchange is naturally impacting the demographics of local markets for streetwear in LA and elsewhere. Once the calling card of particular subcultures, streetwear fashions are apparently becoming more of an expression of individual style regardless of one’s social or ethnic background or other tastes.
“There are a lot of people shopping for streetwear who you never would have expected to wear this stuff ten years ago, or even five years ago,” says Mischa, of Mistaken Clothing, a Los Angeles-based streetwear retailer. “The kind of clothing we sell used to define a community; now it defines a generation.”
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