"Business of Fashion" Asks: Is Streetwear a Trend?

Will high-fashion's love for streetwear last?

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Complex Original

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The intersection of streetwear and high-end fashion has never been more prominent as it is today. Designers, stylists, and even luxury retailers have accepted this fusion with open arms, giving much-needed validation to a genre that was often disregarded for its underground roots. But how long will the industry’s infatuation with streetwear last? As more and more brands tap into the aesthetic, will streetwear lose its, well, street cred?

These questions prompted Business of Fashion to look deeper into the topic—asking whether or not this particular style will stand the test of time, or if it’s simply a passing trend. The general consensus? High-end streetwear will likely endure.

“Streetwear—understood as a cultural phenomenon and not a trend—is certainly destined to last,” Antonio Cristaudo, marketing development manager of Pitti Immagine, told BoF. “Streetwear stands out from other passing trends.”

Perhaps it’s a reflection of the decline of formal dressing among men. Even events like Pitti Uomo, a tradeshow that was often associated with traditional formalwear, has shown signs of relaxation by incorporating brands like Marcelo Burlon's County of Milan and, more recently, Hood By Air. And we can’t forget about upscale streetwear brand Pigalle, which debuted its Fall/Winter 2015 collection at Palais Garnier last month.

But maybe these designs are something completely different—designs that shouldn’t even be labeled as “streetwear.”

“If you ask Stéphane [Ashpool] from Pigalle, Shayne [Oliver] from Hood By Air, Astrid of Astrid Andersen, Marcelo Burlon of County of Milan, or Virgil [Abloh] from Off-White, I think they would resoundingly say that they are not streetwear brands,” said Matthew Henson, our very own fashion editor. “It’s a new genre. It’s luxury sportswear and deserves to be labelled as such.”

Though there are obvious streetwear components within the clothing, many industry experts agree that describing these garments as “streetwear” is just plain lazy. It’s something more—more prestigious, more considered, and definitely more influential.

If you’re waiting for this trend to fade, don’t hold your breath.

[via Business of Fashion]

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