Guest post by Vicky Layton
1994 was the year when skateboarding shop and clothing brand Supreme moved its first steps within the fashion industry. Almost 30 years later, the now world-renowned streetwear brand can boast itself of having reshaped the entire fashion industry. What is luxury streetwear and why brands and designers are always chased by big clothing company in order to release the flashiest clothing line of all time? Let’s break it down in a simpler way.
Recent History: The Virgil Abloh’s Paradigm
Virgil Abloh is a man that needs no introductions whatsoever. Starting from the fact that he was Kanye West’s creative director and current CEO and founder of the well-renowned streetwear brand OFF-White, Abloh has opened doors to the mainstream for all the indie designers who had extravagant pieces of clothing. By embracing a very niche approach to fashion, Virgil is now Louis Vuitton’s creative director, which will surely boost his presence and the demand for luxury streetwear even further.
Streetwear And The Fashion Week
Saying that streetwear (in general) is a considerable part of the entire clothing market is an understatement: if we break down the recent development of brands renowned for their sense of finesse (Gucci, Louis Vuitton to list a few), we can easily see the fact that they are all investing their time in producing streetwear pieces. This year, Milan Fashion Week was dominated by such pieces, confirming the streetwear hype.
The “Drops” Concept And Limited Edition Collabs
The original winning business approach Supreme had was all related to selling unique products that wouldn’t have been available again. This entire concept (today named “drops” by Hypebeasts) is a well-consolidated business plan that many brands like OFF-White, Anti Social Social Club and Bape are using in order to achieve success with pre-orders and what is called “drop day”, with big queues outside their shops, especially if the new line heavily relies on collaborations between famous designers.
The E-Commerce Factor
When it comes to streetwear, the brand’s online presence is basically everything. Whether if it’s done by using influencers, endorsers or other forms of advertising, we’ve seen the rise of many different luxury streetwear brands just via Instagram, especially the ones who are heavily relying on their accessories line. Designer trucker caps brands are the best example when it comes to this, being generally accompanied to oversized tees, branded tees and other well-known pieces of clothing, they highly increased their brand awareness by solely using online channels.
From Gucci to Louis Vuitton, everyone is embracing OFF-White and Supreme’s business model. What we can expect in the near future is indeed a deep focus from other “couture based” brands on the matter.
About the author: Hi! My name is Vicky, I’m a fashion designer, running enthusiast and occasional model. Fashion is and will always be my passion and I also love sports. I am currently doing an internship but I would love to open my showroom soon!