Like the gathering of the colorful Otaku culture in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, Broadway in lower Manhattan has become the new gathering place for small crews of fashion peacocks to strut their bright, colorful styles. Decked-out in multi-colored sweatshirts by popular streetwear brands Bathing Ape, 10 Deep, and Reason, groups of 13-24-year-olds flock to this area to see and be seen, which is setting off a new subculture of urban style.
Inspired by the 1990’s television hit “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Japanese super-cult brands, and a quirky West-Coast aesthetic, these urban young people are exploring new territory in bold color palates and hues. Sparked by past season’s obsession with flashy BAPE Sta sneakers, the new wave of urban streetwear is remarkably more playful than ever before. Unusual, feminine colorways and prints are everywhere, especially on hoodies and T-shirts. Though designer brands do play heavily into the look (ala Louis Vuitton), the overall consensus is that it’s OK to integrate street finds such as the Kanye Jesus pendant and the ‘90’s inspired canvas hat into the mix. For those without the cash to spend on the real deal items, DIY versions are also acceptable.
In terms of footwear, Air Force 1’s in unusual colorways such as pink and purple are most popular, though some prefer to keep footwear simple by opting for basic white Adidas, Puma, and Nike brand sneakers.