The Evolution of Global Youth Culture Streetwear Fashion Trends—A Quick Recap of ’06 + What to Expect in ‘07
By Label Networks, international reporters: North America, Europe, Japan
Everyone wants a piece of style, even if it’s simply wearing a unique belt buckle or owning a coveted sticker posted carefully on a beloved beat-up car. The growing fascination for personal style among 13-25-year-olds last year had reached a new crossroads and the evolution of this movement moving into ‘07 includes a distinct trend: Streetwear styles are quickly evolving into the ironic high-end, such as deconstructed sweaters; premium denim, sneaker footwear. In essence, upper urbanwear, which also has gained the monikers of street couture, and fasual (fancy casual) depending on where you live.
At Label Networks, we are always busy attending to the climate change of trends and are ever-alert to the taxonomy of the risible. The best way to describe this dramatic arc of change in streetwear’s evolution in the past year, with glimmers of where things are headed, is through examples of the cultural differences and the street fashionistas behind the movement itself.
North American Key Streetwear Traits:
- All-over print hoodie in new graphics and styles seemed on it’s way out (and borders being so), but got a face-lift when worn as a high-end item paired with premium denim, sports coat, skirts, ascots
- Rocker Chic Geek: A post-gender look, this combined music-inspired retro styles such as Adam Ant-esque ruffled sleeves and artiso high collars—now moving into full-on Flock of Seagulls style
- Stovepipes: No longer a skateboard niche, stovepipe denim with sports jackets and Converses are street chic
- Latino or cholo-inspired upper urbanwear styles that include Rock-a-billy, short jackets, pumped-up Dickies (the anti-denim), high-end Carhartts
- Vintage night-gowns with accessories + boots inspired by the band The Like came to the forefront last summer, and intends to stay a while longer
- Punk rock and urban style such as the deadly wicked apparel from designer Jeffrey Sebelia who represents the new American crop of upper urbanwear that’s got a de-constructed vibe: Think Cosa Nostra—Sebelia’sstyle inspirations that come from mixing horror and fashion, including stenciled punk graphics, layers of leather stitched in two-tone patches, little black dresses with raw hems, denim and leather (his medium of choice) converging a passion for art, music, and emerging cultural phenomena.
European Key Streetwear Traits:
- Creative collectives are on the rise, such as Kitsune--a fashion house and record label, including British graphic design studio Abake and the Parisgroup Gildas Loaec who runs the record label and manages Daft Punk.
- Hedi Slimane influences that encapsulate the new generation of men looking for finely tailored urbanwear pieces that are sometimes borderline post-gender hit new heights in ’06, but isn’t going away soon.
- Upper urbanwear denim such as Evisu, with their dark denim bib one-suits, cigarette-leg pants, as well as Diesel, Levi’s new lines including ‘80’s vintage and green jeans, and even Wranglers—part of the new cowboy-chic/Americana so loved by the Japanese (and of course, Americans).
JapanKey Streetwear Traits:
- The ultimate mash-up of streetwear couture, Japan continues to push trends with hints of déjà vu—the re-seen, but new based on how it’s all put back together and slightly altered: Top new mash-ups include ‘70’s early ‘80’s vintage, including vintage stores, mixed with curl-toed boots—even elongated Converse sneaks—Shibuya/Beyonce styles; NYC hip-hop influences; + indie rocker chic.
- Denim pants on the rise—even worn among the kawaii girls in Shibuya which is changing the landscape for fashion in ’07.
- Rocker geek chic including tight stovepipes, indie rocker hair, punk or metallic accessories—mostly on guys, but evolving into its own Japanese rendition on both genders.
- Jun Takahashi’s Undercover label with camo and cropped pants without the denim—instead using deconstructed parkas or wool coats and pants—new guy to watch.
- Visvim, the Japanese anti-sneaker sneaker continues to make waves in upper urbanwear footwear and plague insider sneaker-freaker websites like Hypebeast, Kick-fiend, and Beinghunted. Look for more from them.