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What Is The Story Of UK Streetwear?

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If we consider streetwear as clothing worn casually by subcultures of urban youth and only acknowledging its worldwide growth from the 1990’s, In the UK it should begin at Criminal Damage. We’ve also added Gym Shark as a parity point, although they aren’t streetwear in the sense of they have an enormous impact in the development of athleisure wear to the fashion.

Dates are provisional since the only source for this information is the brands themselves and when the businesses became to a limited size (usually when they started making enough money to warrant the change, or in some instances before the growth). Also, I’ve worked for a brand that stated that they were founded in 1984, since that was the year in which he was born therefore I’m not taking this as a literal statement.

For Drippy tracksuits head on over to

However, the growth and development of the streetwear culture was stunning, heavily in the hands of Japan, USA, Japan and France.

“The Bedroom” Brand Era

2014 was the golden era of UK streetwear. It was an era of bedroom brands, which was started by Sik Silk that introduced new designs and new designs for tracksuits and t-shirts. The fashion industry was reinvented fast with a quick turnaround of production in order to provide in-demand designs. There were also smaller repeat orders for the most popular designs.

The year of the tracksuit was marked by Hera who redefined jeans for men, Couture Club and MDV who both brought streetwear into modern fashion, and 11 degrees and Gym King made the basic tracksuit to the forefront as part of the everyday wardrobe.

It was Black Friday 2016, but that’s not the only most important event in the history of streetwear. With every brand recording massive sales during the height of popularity for streetwear.

Fashion is changing with the seasons

Fashion trends are not always unique and, much like sample songs, they are usually influenced by previous seasons. While younger generations may not be aware of the source of the fashion trends, they are often a result of styles that were used by grandparents and parents and may even be in the closets of older generations.

The editor advised me to start in the ’80s and the rise of MTV and pop culture beginning with fashion. And he said “the internet changed the way we shop for the better in the 90’s. In the past, kids were street urchins who had dirty faces and were not fashionable.” And , he ought to be aware, he’s Gen-X.

However, fashion is not new since Denisovans were living in caves millions of years ago. I’d guess that the first fashion fad was to sabre a tooth tiger to death in order to make it appear more attractive to women with the fur of a risky animal. Fashion is in fact based on people who want to appear good-looking to show off their wealth , and attract a partner.

In the years following fashions were reserved to wealthy people, while the poor made their own clothes to wear. The story of history is told through literature and art. We are aware that the Romans and Greeks were wearing tunics and fashion saw an upwards turn during Victorian time with magazines that showcased the fashionable how they dressed. If they were delivered via ship then the UK was among the first countries to receive the items from Paris which was the one of the fashion capitals of the time.

The ancestor of haute Couture is Englishman Charles Frederick Worth, who founded the House of Worth in 1858 and was the first person to put a label on his clothes. The concept was elevated to new heights in the following century with designers such as Christian Dior launching his first collection in 1947.

I’m afraid I’ve been missing a lot here. Film and pop stars have always had an influence on fashion throughout the 20th century. However, this article focuses on streetwear that only became worldwide in the 1990’s and is defined as trendy, casual clothes that was worn by the urban youth culture. This trend accelerated towards the close in the second half of 20th century thanks to the growth of disposable wealth as well as the internet’s ability to empower the entrepreneur who is independent and facilitates immediate global marketing.

Without further delay Here is a quick review of the past of fashion and street wear across the UK.


This is for the Editor to review this story from the POV of a young child at the time.

In the beginning of 1982 UK children had three TV channels. They played in the streets until the sun went down in hand-me-downs of their older siblings. When you had luck, your siblings were the same gender. My favorite was an Nike Air Jordan jumper my brother had left an iron in the back, which meant I was obliged to wear it with an outfit.

In the past, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Umbro, Converse, Lacoste as well as Gucci, Levi, Wrangler Tommy Hilfiger, and Wrangler were the top brands. Donnie as well as Mark Wahlberg in New Kids on the Block danced in high-tops and Adidas tracksuits in shell suits. Also, of the course Marty McFly wore Calvin Kleins in Back to the Future.

Music is the main influencer of fashion We all know this. The 70’s Punk taught us that there is no standard and showed that anyone can have an apparel brand. Rap and Hip-Hip showed us to mix and remix any genre and still be original.

MTV was launched in 1981 and began playing music videos in a loop to hip kids as well as their pals but it didn’t make it to the UK until SKY TV in 1989. In the meantime, it was the punk era of the 70s period that most likely defined an alternative culture. The era was filled with Whitney, Madonna, Boy George, Tiffany and Cyndi Lauper pushing the colorful style of the decade in the music industry.

I grew up just a distance of Camden Town in London, in which there was a lot of leather jackets and ripped jeans that Bros took on in the latter half of the 1980’s. Of course, thanks the films Terminator as well as Top Gun, Raybans were the preferred sunglasses.

“If you really want to label the streetwear as such, it included vibrant synthetic fabrics and baggy t-shirts, baseball jackets, lycra, with double denim. The decade was fun to be in however, it was a disaster for fashion.”


It’s over for the editor.

My impression of ’90s style was more minimal than the vibrant 80’s even though Fresh Prince of Bel-Air does not suggest otherwise. Camden Town and subsequently me were swept into Gangster Nirvana and rap styles. Blur as well as Oasis influence, with jeans T-shirts, hoodies, and trainers. Sky TV were taking over the soccer field and brands like Criminal Damage were coming in.

The key to the game was the advent to the world wide web. It was dial-up, but it was incredibly slow in comparison to contemporary standards. You were interrupted the moment someone rang the home phone. However, it opened the world. I was experiencing conversions with international users on social media platforms such as which was pre Facebook.

Then, the surf culture of the USA was catching my the forefront of my. It was a good thing that roller-blading while singing ‘woahhh bodyform for you was replaced by the baggy clothing and skateboards from LA. In the theory of things, NWA arguably introduced Californian Streetwear to the world in the latter half of the 80’s, however, it was still a niche and political. I’d say that 1991’s Film Boyz in the Hood was more influential in the world in addition to Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Eminem more popular street gang rap. The Hip Hop is the main driver behind high-end jeans and baseball caps throughout the UK.

Honourable mentions of fashion are given to vibrant windbreakers Vans, Sketchers, Fila, Hush Puppies, Timberland and Doc Martens. Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, Big baggy MC Hammer pants, Reebok pumps. Tie Dye T-shirts and moon boots.