It’s no secret that the streetwear industry is male-dominated. So often when looking at its timeline, women’s names are omitted. While streetwear has certainly made strides forward and is maybe more gender-fluid than ever before in 2021, it didn’t happen overnight. Plenty of women have played a pivotal role in forming the category and moving it ahead over the years.
Camella Ehlke’s Triple Five Soul was speaking to a young, artistic, and creative female consumer when mainstream brands weren’t in the ‘90s. Lanie Alabanza-Barcena’s HLZ BLZ offered a refreshing take on women’s apparel, abandoning the common “shrink and pink” method in favor of edgier, in-your-face messaging in the 2000s. Melody Ehsani parlayed the success of her eponymous line into multiple Jordan Brand collabs and is now the creative director of women’s at Foot Locker where she will help a larger corporation speak authentically to women. And those are just a few examples. It’s still a struggle for women’s streetwear brands, who are forced to compete in a crowded market and with fast fashion companies, but many of these brands pushed female-first messaging before it became a trend.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we decided to take a look at some of the often overlooked women and women’s streetwear brands that have impacted the market in a big way. Here are the pioneering women’s streetwear brands.