Trends and styles are constantly changing. Needless to say, streetwear has been changed and re-invented numerous times. From JENCO and Fubu to Supreme and Off-White, streetwear has stayed within the realms of its origins. Hip-hop and skate culture is still just as prevalent as it was two decades ago. However, over the last decade we’ve seen an integration of “high and low” pieces. Streetwear stans began adopting brands like Supreme into their wardrobe supplemented with higher end pieces like Saint Laurent Paris. Steetwear brands have taken notice of these phenomena and have begun implementing higher-end designs in their products. In the last few years we’ve seen the conception of new brands that are adding slim fit trousers and turtleneck sweaters along with their graphic tees to create a new genre of streetwear.
1. Craig Green
You probably haven’t heard of Craig Green or it’s reputation for making the sickest quilted pieces ever. Craig Green made its debut in 2013 and has gained instant momentum since. Green has gained immediate recognition in Britain due to his insanely emotional LCM shows and unique takes on classic menswear styles. Thanks to more progressive stores in the states like Carson Street, Opening Ceremony, and Dover Street Market, Craig Green has finally made it stateside. Craig Green became widely adopted by members of the streetwear community due to his interesting takes on classic streetwear staples. You could have no sense of style and own one Craig Green jacket and automatically be more stylish than Kanye himself. Having a denim jacket, quilted bomber, or jersey t-shirt from Craig Green will more or less make you the coolest kid around (if you can afford it).
2. Our Legacy
Although its label reads “1980-81,” the brand was established in 2005 in Stockholm. Still, the brand looks like something straight out of the 80’s/90’s. Staying true to its streetwear roots, Our Legacy began as a line of t-shirts incorporating vintage sensibilities rooted in prep and utility. However, in 2008 the brand unveiled its first full RTW collection. In the last few years, Our Legacy has found a way to reach out to nearly everybody in the menswear community. Each season the brand releases their contemporary takes on timeless classics in the form of slim fitting suits, shawl zip shirts, linen shirts, over-dyed tees, and orthopedic style sneakers. It’s relaxed silhouettes, innovative fabrics, and technical designs help to being streetwear into a new age. Definitely one of the more affordable brands on this list, Our Legacy’s spectrum covers everybody from wannabe dads (me) to the classic streetwear nerd.
3. N. Hoolywood
Think of a more “Japanese” take on Our Legacy, but at the same time, all the more original and dope. The child of Daisuke Obana, a fetishist of 20th century America and former student of Cooper Union, N. Hoolywood incorporate Obana’s love for old military garments and workwear with a modern twist. Taking cues from almost every decade since the 20th century, N. Hoolywood manufactures the sickest baseball, denim, and leather jackets around. Not to mention, the brand utilizes a classic “Japanese” relaxed fit, as well as fabrics sourced from the land of the rising sun. For the modern streetwear fan, N. Hoolywood releases technical jogger pants, pullovers and collaborations with some of the biggest streetwear names out there (think Wacko Maria, Converse, and Fragment). With the brand only sold at a handful of stores in the US, N. Hoolywood should definitely be on your list of #grails.
4. Yang Li
Rooted in technical athletic wear and inspired by basketball, Yang Li is the odd embodiment of neo-streetwear. Using a palette of black and white, the young Chinese designer has found perfect harmony between high-end outerwear made from v rare Italian fabrics, and graphic tees with an Undercover-like motif. Li found his inspiration while working under the esteemed fashion god Raf Simons and has taken his designs to the next stage of menswear. The brand has also continued to stay true to its roots in streetwear with a Vans collaboration, reimagining the classic Sk8-Hi in a lux crocodile print. While your friends are scheming for Raf Simons, stay ahead of the game and come through to Opening Ceremony or Carson Street and cop a “Wander” tee or cropped trousers and be a cool kid.
5. Stone Island
Bruh Stone Island has been around forever, but it’s never really gotten the recognition it deserves. The brand has had several collaborations with the streetwear giant, Supreme, but the streetwear community will never truly appreciate Stone Island’s roots. Established as an Italian sportswear brand back in 1982, the brand has made its mark using remarkable dyes, complex fibers and textiles, and a revolutionary design process to make some of the best coats on the face of the earth. While it will always be remembered as a sportswear brand, Stone Island has changed the game by bringing technical expertise to the streetwear game. If you couldn’t cop the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration, head over to their web store, and drop a cool g on a jacket you probably don’t need.