As we hit the halfway point of 2019, streetwear is still leading the conversation in fashion. The definition of streetwear, and how people categorize it, has changed, but designers who authentically embrace tenets of the culture and interpret them in their own way are winning. Earlier this year, LVMH said the company observed revenue growth in the double digits that aligns with the arrivals of Kim Jones, the creative director at Dior Men, and Virgil Abloh, who holds the same position at Louis Vuitton men’s. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director at Balenciaga men’s, who helped merge luxury and streetwear with his line Vetements, has put the French fashion house on track to surpass 1 billion euros in revenue for the first time this year.
Outside of the luxury conglomerates, there are brands like Kith, Rhude, and Pyer Moss that are extending their reach with strong product and storytelling, while long-established companies such as Needles and Dries Van Noten have found a renewed relevance thanks to a well-designed tracksuit and a nostalgic wave print. And Nike is continuing to stake its claim in fashion by working with most of the designers on this list, including Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo, John Elliott, Alyx’s Matthew M. Williams, Abloh, and Jones. The industry is changing month by month, and each brand on this list is adapting, and succeeding, in its own way.
Here are Complex’s picks for the best brands of 2019 (so far).