Streetwear, which has its origin in hip-hop music and the skaters from California, has become a favorite fashion trend for most people in the main cities all over the world. The fashion brand developed as part of hip-hop culture portraying freedom and individuality. It was also a way of helping the Black American people of 70’s and 80’s express themselves freely. The fashion brand has now developed gradually over the years with every decade having its different trends. Originally, streetwear was a brand for the hip-hop stars and enthusiasts only. The trends have now changed with almost everyone identifying with the label.
What Contributed to High-end and Low-end Distinction
The 21st century marked a time when streetwear took a whole new turn in the fashion world. More hip-hop artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West began developing personal brands while other streetwear designers merged with high-end luxury fashion designers in 2000’s. The popular baggy streetwear trends of 90’s and early 2000 were still common among the hip-hop enthusiasts. However, this did not last long since people dropped the baggy pants for tight colored ones while women became more open to showing their skin. This meant that popular streetwear labels of the time like Fubu and Cross Colors had to find ways to compete with other leading luxury brands in the market.
High-end Vs Low-end Streetwear
The growth of more labels in the streetwear brand and increased competition with other luxury brands came with a distinction between the high-end and the low-end street fashion. The high-end versions are famous on the runways while the low-end brands are more popular with people with a liking for more affordable items. Artists of other music genres like Taylor Swift are adopting the streetwear brands of all kinds while hip-hop rappers such as Hakeem Lyon of Fox’s show Empire has embraced expensive streetwear brands like Givenchy and Rick Owens.
The rise of the high-end streetwear has attracted a large client base from Europe, Asia, and most states in the United States. However, this does not mark the end of low-end streetwear brands. Below are some of the distinguishing factors between high-end and low-end street fashion brands.
The 90’s and early 2000’s labels like Fubu and Sean John have continually decreased in popularity among the high-end streetwear, but they remain relevant among the low-end streetwear fashion enthusiasts. The newer brands such as Balmain, Margiela, and Givenchy have alternatively grown in popularity lately with most of them getting mentions in most rap songs. The popularity of the brands in cities has also increased their demand. The rising demand for a product is equal to a higher cost of the item, which limits the affordability to high-end consumers.
Some of the low-end labels currently include Puma, Nike, Converse, Vans, and Urban Outfitters. High-end streetwear designers and labels comprise of A$AP Rocky by Guess, Blasson (jewelry line) by Pharrell Williams and Louis Vuttion, Gocha Rubchinskiy, and Supreme. Favorite brands of 90’s and 2000’s like Adidas, Cross Over, and Burberry (2002) have earned a place in the high-end streetwear.
The high-end streetwear comes at a higher price making it a fashion label for the celebrities and few people. However, their prices are lower than that of designer brands like Gucci or Diesel. The low-end streetwear, on the other hand, comes at an affordable price for all items. A majority of the streetwear items fall into this category, so getting one should not be a problem.
There is a tendency to associate the high-end streetwear with better quality than the low-end street fashion. However, it is possible to find an item from the low-end brand with a better or the same quality as the high-end one. Therefore, quality of an item does not determine the price when it comes to street fashion. Some people may produce copycat items, which are of poor quality and come at a lower price than the original piece. The copycat items are not a representation of the original high-end, or low-end streetwear and buyers should avoid it at all cost.
Popularity of the Label
The promotion of a brand by famous artists and celebrities in their videos or events dates back to the times of Biggie and his favorite Coogi sweater. The current streetwear trends are no different since labels like Givenchy have earned many mentions by many artists and rappers. Association of a brand with famous personalities has contributed to the rise of most labels to the high-end category in the fashion industry. This is because most celebrities are the trendsetters in the street fashion industry due to their high influence on their fans. The low-end streetwear may receive little or no attention by celebrities meaning that they will remain in that category regardless of their quality that sometimes beats some products ranked as high-end.
The fashion shift has contributed to a significant change in how hip-hop stars wear a different kind of streetwear brands. People now enjoy wearing different high-end fashion labels, for example, Tom Ford paired with Gucci. However, celebrities and fashion enthusiasts are now open to combining a streetwear brand like Bape with Gucci for a more appealing and stylish look. Low-end streetwear has not received so much of a change although the trends are shifting each day from the traditional baggy clothes and gangster-like look to the more subtle version of branded tees and tighter pants. Some low-end streetwear labels have teamed up with other luxury fashion brands to retain their significance in the market and sometimes attract clients of a high-end origin.
The impact of streetwear in the current fashion industry is hard to ignore. More people are converting from designer and solid colored clothes to exciting and stylish streetwear brands that bring out more of the wearer’s attitude. Both high-end and low-end streetwear have also become quite common in places where workers do not require wearing a suit every day. Remember that a low-end street fashion might be of a better quality than the priced high-end streetwear one. Therefore, you should consider shopping from both categories if the quality is your number one priority.