The Rise of Streetwear and it's beginnings
Posted on 08 September 2017
The rise of streetwear has been well documented. From it's beginning in rap culture to surfwear brands like Stussy and Louis Vuitton's collaboration with Supreme, streetwear keeps evolving and here's how it all got started.
The Hip-Hop Story: Insights into the Popular Culture
Widely popular for Rap music, Hip-hop has become both, a prime tool for the youth to let out their frustration and a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing at an amazing pace. Although hip-hop is widely considered a music genre developed by African Americans, however, it is a complete culture that has been embraced by many people across the globe.
Hip-hop has developed rapidly from being a means of letting out frustration by using words and music, to a symbol of modern urban way of living with its distinct expressions and apparel.
Hip-hop Apparel Over the Years
Although, the primary developments have taken place in menwear, the hip-hop style has also affected women’s clothing significantly over the years. The loose clothing style that is one of the most prominent features of the hip-hop culture, was introduced in the 1980s. In the 1990’s, oversized white t-shirts as well as hockey shirts became a prominent symbol of the hip-hop culture. The early 2000s saw the hip-hop culture adopting baseball caps, bandannas, as well as hooded sweatshirts, which are otherwise called ‘hoodies’. T-shirts with bold and colorful graphics are also a major part of the hip-hop streetwear fashion.
Jewelry also became widely popular in the culture. In fact, whenever the words ‘rap’ or ‘hip-hop’ are uttered, an image of a person wearing a number of luscious gold chains comes to the mind. Many celebrities who have achieved fame by embracing the hip-hop culture can be seen sporting pieces of sparkling jewelry.
The distinct way of clothing, however, is just one of the many components of the hip-hop culture.
Painting bold and colorful texts in different patterns on the walls throughout cities became highly popular among the youth by the year of 1975. Cities in the United States including Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens saw youngsters painting names and imagery on subway cars and walls. For obvious reasons, these practices were not welcomed by the authorities that took strict measures against them. However, the restrictions did not stop the art of graffiti from spreading throughout the world, and soon graffiti could be seen displayed in major art galleries in the United States, Japan and across Europe.
Graffiti, in its early days, started to get associated with the hip-hop culture and could be seen in parties and gatherings where hip-hop music was played. Many of the hip-hop DJs and break-dancers were themselves graffiti artists.
The Art of B-Boying
B-Boying, otherwise known as break-dancing, is considered to be one of the most fascinating styles of dancing. Essentially a style of street dancing, B-Boying originated mainly among African American and Puerto Rican youths. This type of dancing perfectly streamlines with the hip-hop music genre.
B-Boyers used many different dance techniques that were not popular elsewhere. Locking, freezes, spins and popping were some of them. As the popularity of break-dancing increased, there were groups formed that performed in public. They were accompanied by DJs and graffiti artists, which further strengthened the hip-hop culture and brought the major elements together.
Today break-dancers can be seen performing in hip-hop streetwear across the world, pleasing the audiences with their dazzling moves.
Undeniably one of the most popular components of the hip-hop culture is rapping. A genre of music that has taken the world by storm.
Rapping came into existence from a combination of MCing, which is a type of vocal delivery in a rhythmic way, and Jamaican ‘toasting’, which involves chanting speech according to the beat of the music playing.
The art of rapping became increasingly popular and one of the best methods for the DJs to engage a crowd during a performance. DJs started experimenting with the ‘breaks’ in their music to synchronize with the rapping.
Rapping also became a tool for the frustrated youngsters, who could express themselves while entertaining people at the same time. Today rapping is one of the favorite genres of music worldwide, with songs topping the charts every now and then. Rappers have made huge fortunes with their ability to break and rhyme perfectly. Some of the most prominent rappers, who have gained great fame and wealth, include Jay Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Snoop Dog and Lil Wayne.
DJs can literally make a large number of people dance using their fingertips. As the hip-hop culture began spreading, more and more DJs started to appear. They started using two turntables simultaneously, in order to create different effects without stopping the music.
The popularity of DJs also grew very quickly and many of them started playing on the streets, which soon turned into block parties that are still a major part of the hip-hop culture.
Today, DJs continue to entertain large crowds using their ever-advancing equipments and techniques and sporting great streetwear, ensuring that the music never stops!
The Future is Bright
As hip-hop culture has spread across the globe, and with new technology and talent arriving in the scene, the future of hip-hop culture and it's fashion and streetwear are ever evolving and changing.