The trend was already in the air for quite a few seasons, but during the recent spring/summer 2018 menswear shows, as seen at Pitti Uomo, within Milan's menswear shows, but also in Paris and London, the real must-haves seem to be sporty and rapper-style inspired tracksuits, better if mixed with roomy shorts and comfy sweatshirts or hoodies. Roomy, boxy and oversize seem to be the real cool. Side stripes on trousers and sleeves, huge logos and visible patterns are here to stay.
Prestigious brands with a great past, like for instance, Burberry, have launched their newest collab signed by Gosha Rubchinskiy, who already surprised by revamping sports brands that were cool in the ‘80s and ‘90s a year ago when he showed his collection for s/s 2017 at Pitti Uomo. During the recently held June 2017 Paris shows, Valentino opted for sporty inspired looks, Vuitton reinvented surfer looks. In Milan, I’M Isola Marras revamped basketball tank tops and shorts. Andrea Pompilio played with huge logo tops. Marni mixed huge striped motives in the same outfit and Diesel Black Gold reinvented nylon windbreakers transforming them into cool coats, playing with stretch trousers, converting them into sexy urban fashion.
Also younger upcoming new brands, who presented in Milan, have taken a clear streety direction. Palm Angels and GCDS, for instance, showed how colorful sporty looks are the real must. The newly relaunched Frankie Morello, has mixed inspiration from the surfing, biking and street life worlds for a new unique and fresh menswear collection.
A sense of belonging
If so many designer brands have taken this step, they probably feel that iconic brands like Stüssy, Supreme and Carhartt have evolved through the years while keeping faith to their own identity as they have always expressed some true young and free-spirited lifestyle with an own clear DNA, taste and passion that owed respect. They have set a revolution in lifestyle and young fashion in the '80s exactly as jeans did in the '70s.
Sabina Zabberoni, owner & executive buyer of the luxury stores Julian Fashion of Milano Marittima, Italy, has recently redesigned her men’s store in order to sell more brands such as, for instance, Nike, Puma, Reebok, and contemporary ones such as MSGM, GCDS, Common Projects and Maison Kitsuné. “Streetwear is a dominating trend right now. It’s a perfect and very versatile companion for our frenzy lifestyle, but it also expresses an image that is comfy and glamour at the same time,” commented Zabberoni. “Though also many of these products’ prices are competitive,” she says underlining another aspect that is becoming increasingly important today. Zabberoni also thinks that streetwear brands clearly express a sense of belonging: “By simply wearing a streetwear piece – be it a t-shirt or a pair of shorts – the fashion addict can immediately identify with this world,” she points out implying that many recent fashion brands were no longer able to express any specific lifestyle while this new trend does.
Who started it first?
The invasion of streetwear entering pret-à-porter is a huge phenomenon. Despite, it’s hard to say where it originated from, many new high-end brands’ creative minds are strongly rooted in the streetwear culture. Among them we can name Shane Oliver who designs Hood By Air, Virgil Abloh for Off-White, Marcelo Burlon for his Marcelo Burlon County of Milan and Stephan Ashpool for Pigalle.
An area where this new streetwear fashion grew and developed in is Los Angeles, as authentic street fashion culture originated here. “This trend has a great appeal among high-end fashion fans. Many brands are drawing inspiration from the streetwear world as they see that such products sell really well,” commented Antonio Cristaudo, responsible for marketing and development at Pitti Immagine. Differently from authentic brands, prices for this new generation of high-end streetwear fashion are generally high. “One would never expect that a fashion fan of this trend is ready to pay 900€ for a tartan shirt, but it happens. And brands and stores are aware of this,” he explains implying that even if products are essential in their look and not very elaborately constructed they are often made with fast forward thinking materials and innovative fibers, most often lent from the sports world, but also with very good cottons, being worth their price.
Revamping streetwear in a higher market context seems to rejuvenate it. These relaxed, young and cool aesthetics seem to be bringing a new vitality to the men’s and no-gender market. Despite usually trends originate from the women’s world, this specific trend originates from a male and unisex world. And some trendy interpretations can also perfectly fit the women’s market as sees in the last collection of Diesel Black Gold, reinventing sporty outfits and denim pieces for cool women who want stay tuned with today’s zeitgeist.
Surely not everyone will be able to wear oversize colorful or loud logo pieces – especially if not fit slim or beyond their 50s. It cannot be the new black, but it sets a new direction that will inspire many for some time.