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From: New York City
New Yorkers loved the simplicity and boldness that was introduced in '90s-era Ralph Lauren and Nautica. The style propagated by these labels could be found all over the city, and especially with skaters who hung out downtown. ONLY NY got a quick start on re-appropriating the nautical and sportswear influenced designs, setting up shop in '97, and was definitely one of the key influences in spreading NYC street-oriented flair.
What worked for ONLY is that it never tried too hard to do something it wasn't comfortable with. It stuck with 5-panel, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and skate, and was successful at keeping things uncomplicated without ever being boring.