The Streetwear Brands Breaking The Mould
In case you missed it, Kanye West is a designer now. That means that streetwear – once confined to the actual streets and urban scene – has fully infiltrated men’s luxury fashion and is changing it from the inside out.
Givenchy has long kitted out prominent hip hop stars, but which brands are doing something new at ground level? Behold, these more affordable labels that are taking the sector back to its humble roots.
The Footwear Brand: Spalwart
Spalwart is making the same trainers they always have, with all the same moulds and machinery that were used back in the 1950s.
Specialising in minimal, Chuck Taylor-esque low and high tops, as well as traditional running silhouettes, the Swedish brand is set to become your go-to for everyday sneakers that don’t cost the earth.
But that’s not all. Due the vintage production methods used and the Spalwart’s ‘incorporating mistakes’ philosophy, you’re certain to get a pair that’s full of character and completely unique to you.
Available at spalwart.com.
The Denim Brand: Element
A true skateboarding brand that started back in 1992, Element specialise in hard-wearing apparel and footwear that is built to withstand the rigours of daily wear.
“Element pants are so underrated,” is typical of the comments you’ll see written about the brand in the review section of many online stores – and we’re inclined to agree.
With a wide variety of washes and cuts available (we highly recommend the slim taper fit in indigo rinse), there is something for every personal style. These are tough, rugged jeans that are built to endure skating falls, and the best part is they won’t empty your wallet – with prices starting at just €65 (approx £47).
Available at elementbrand.com.
The T-Shirt Brand: Blood Brother
Not familiar with Shoreditch-born brand Blood Brother? You should be. Founded in 2011, this growing menswear label has quickly become a favourite amongst those who like their streetwear injected with a healthy dose of artistic flair.
The label’s T-shirts, in particular, are some of the best on the market. Available in a wide array of patterns and fabrics, Blood Brother has taken the humble graphic tee and given it a new lease of life as a sophisticated piece of streetwear.
Crafted from high quality jersey with strong seams and even stronger detailing, each T-shirt is designed and created in the brand’s East London studio. Prices start around £30 for a simple logo style.
Available at blood-brother.co.uk.
The Hat Brand: HUF
American brand HUF was founded in 2002 by former professional skateboarder Keith Hufnagel, who looked to assimilate into one label what he felt epitomised skateboarding, streetwear and sneaker fashion.
Starting out as a small San Francisco boutique that specialised in T-shirts, sweats and accessories, the label is now stocked at retailers across the globe and is one of the leading names in the sector.
Although HUF’s apparel and footwear is well worth exploring, it’s the label’s headwear that has become a firm favourite with streetwear connoisseurs. Expect baseball caps in a wealth of high quality designs, patterns, colours and materials, along with casual bucket hats for trend-seekers.
Available at size.co.uk.
The Skate Brand: Dime
This Canadian brand is more about skateboarding than it is clothes, as those in the know will quickly tell you.
As if to prove the point, Dime has only just got ’round to launching its own webstore recently, and its Facebook page has skate videos on heavy rotation rather than lame attempts at marketing its own products, which always sell out quickly regardless.