It's been 10 years since photographer Tommy Ton took that infamous picture of Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, Don C, Taz Arnold, Chris Julian, and Fonzworth Bentley outside of the Comme des Garçons Homme show (the shot that would later inspire Abloh to tell us they were “tourists” at the event rather than mainstays). But now, it’s a new reality at Paris Fashion Week. What was once exclusively dedicated to bigger luxury houses and front rows that were teeming with A-list celebrities is now dotted with newer designers and brands that have roots in streetwear and are, more often than not, connected to the Yeezy Alumni Network.

Although fashion on the runways is moving on from the streetwear aesthetic of heavy logos, hoodies, and T-shirts, designers like Abloh, Heron Preston, and Matthew Williams, who all started out designing Been Trill, are still making a lot of noise in Paris and at retail—LVMH revenue soared last year primarily thanks to Abloh’s work at LV and Kim Jones’ efforts at Dior.

This energy has helped break new ground for a new wave of designers, including Rhuigi Villaseñor of Rhude, Everard Best (better known as Ev Bravado) of Who Decides War, and Charaf Tajer of Casablanca. Years ago, the trade shows would have likely been where they introduced their brands, but Paris Men’s Fashion Week has turned into a hub for newer brands aligned with streetwear.

“We are brands. We're not streetwear brands.”

- Charaf Tajer of Casablanca 

“Showing in Paris during Men’s Fashion Week helps to amplify the brand on a global level and is also a great way for the designers to express what their brand is all about,” said Daniel Todd, senior buyer at Mr Porter, which carries both Rhude and Ev Bravado. “I don’t think it’s essential for brands to show in Paris—there are a lot of great brands that don’t and have very successful businesses—but I’m sure as two young guys, [Best and Villaseñor] felt like showing in Paris is a rite of passage.”

Streetwear might be their foundation or how they were introduced to fashion, but the frenetic energy that’s associated with the category along with serial collaborations is not what they’re aiming for. Instead, these designers want to build long lasting brands that don’t rely on hype.

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