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15 Best Streetwear Brands of Today

15 Best Streetwear Brands of Today

We see a new definition for “streetwear” today. Now it’s a marriage between street fashion and luxury. These two would have seemed unlikely to unite a decade ago. Check out the full list of the 15 best American streetwear brands around today.

15. Undefeated

“As one of L.A.’s true streetwear OGs, there’s little to say about Undefeated that hasn’t been said. While co-founders Eddie Cruz and James Bond are well known for sneakers, their in-house line, which was launched over a decade ago, helped Undefeated become a lifestyle brand. Season after season they’ve produced streetwear basics and managed to bring as much energy to their apparel drops as their sneaker releases by partnering with the likes of Timberland, Bape, and Union on capsule collections. And the core line is more than graphic T-shirts. “

14. Carhartt WIP

“Carhartt’s trendy streetwear sub-label Carhartt WIP (Work In Progress), which started in Europe in 1989 and expanded to North America in 2011, offers modern takes on Carhartt’s workwear staples, which have been around since the late 1800s. After Carhartt WIP opened up distribution to North America, the brand has been consistent in providing streetwear basics with subtle design details that update the pieces.”

13. Aimé Leon Dore

“Aimé Leon Dore is a New York-based streetwear brand that’s a modern embodiment of Polo Ralph Lauren’s preppy garb filtered through ’90s hip-hop. Founded in 2014 by Teddy Santis, the label is delivering elevated sportswear pieces that are rooted in New York City culture. In a time when premium sportswear is so readily available through numerous brands, Aimé Leon Dore still manages to set itself apart with a greater focus on finer materials and intricate details that can be fully appreciated when holding the product.”

12. Awake

“Awake is yet another New York-based label started by a former Supreme employee, Angelo Baque, who was previously the brand director before leaving the position in 2017. The similarities are there, too. Since 2012, Awake NY has dropped seasonal goods inspired by the cultural diversity of the Big Apple. The centerpiece is its basic logo T-shirt, and, as to be expected, Baque flips the logo from collection to collection. Sometimes it’s as simple as making the lettering reflective. Other times, Baque shows off his branding in a more playful way by plastering it onto a basketball or a piece of flan. Iconic women of history have also recently become a common theme in Awake’s collections, with designs showcasing Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and former First Lady Michelle Obama.”

11. Rhude

“Back in 2012, young designer Rhuigi Villaseñor managed to get a paisley print T-shirt on Kendrick Lamar (before he was that Kendrick Lamar). Shortly after that, Rhude amassed a cult following for its distinct yet comfortable pieces, but it might have experienced its most significant rise in 2018. The West Coast brand, which takes large inspiration from vintage styles, can be seen on everyone from Ben Simmons to Future these days. Its T-shirts are emblazoned with bold graphics like screaming eagles and unicorns, while other options show off a classic streetwear go-to, logo flips of iconic branding like Marlboro and Honda Racing.”

10. 424

“Guillermo Andrade, who opened his 424 Los Angeles boutique in 2010, is one of the designers expanding what streetwear can be. With his shop, which is stocked with brands including Helmut Lang, Greg Lauren, and Henrik Vibskov, he helped bring luxury and craftsmanship to Fairfax Avenue, which is known for stores that mostly sell graphic T-shirts, sneakers, and hoodies. Andrade, who has no formal design training, first started making sneaker crowns, tiny pendants inspired by cufflinks that adorn sneakers. This offered a glimpse of Andrade as an innovator with an acute attention to detail. Those accessories developed into a 424 jewelry collection and finally an apparel brand that launched in 2014. From the start Andrade, an immigrant from Guatemala who was raised in the Bay Area, has used his personal experiences to inform the line. This is typical in fashion, but Andrade tells deep, nuanced stories with eye catching designs and graphics.”

9. Golf

“In its infancy, GOLF acted as a merch line of sorts for a young Tyler, the Creator and his Odd Future crew when their influence infiltrated the legendary Fairfax Avenue in the early 2010s. Known for its bright colors, cat logos, and sometimes controversial graphics, Tyler’s early clothing reflected him: an off-the-wall, cockroach-eating teenager who captured the rap community’s attention back in 2011. As his music transitioned to a more mature space with his 2017 album Flower Boy, GOLF evolved with it but remained very authentic to Tyler. The bright colors and playful graphics are still present, but have been dialed down and improved upon.”

8. Noah

​​​​​​”Noah, the brainchild of former Supreme creative director Brendon Babenzien, was originally founded in 2002 before it shuttered only five years later. Since making a comeback in 2015, following Babenzien’s departure from the box logo’d empire, Noah has remained at the forefront of New York streetwear. The brand focuses on niche areas of skate and surf culture, with its fair share of graphic T-shirts and hoodies, but blends these more casual offerings with traditional menswear pieces like rugby shirts and merino wool sweaters.”

7. Cactus Plant Flea Market

“We don’t know much Cynthia Lu, the founder of Cactus Plant Flea Market, because Lu, a former Complex intern who worked with Pharrell Williams on Billionaire Girls Club and i am OTHER, has kept a very low profile. But from the looks of her weird and trippy line, we get the sense that Lu has a unique perspective, which is always welcome in streetwear. Lu makes T-shirts and hoodies featuring bold puff print lettering, melting smiley face logos, off kilter placements and large embroidery that distinguishes her pieces from other lines. These psychedelic and unconventional graphics have appealed to some of the most influential men in style, including A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Kanye West, and of course Skateboard P. Lu even produced merch for Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s 2018 collaborative album, Kids See Ghosts—a hoodie from the collection that retailed for $175 last sold on Stockx for $405.”

6. Stussy

“While Supreme has taken the mantle as the biggest and most notorious American streetwear brand, it wouldn’t have anything without the innovation and foresight of Shawn Stussy. As ’90s contemporaries like Mossimo came and went, Stussy stayed the course, with the brand’s earlier days focusing on keeping tight control on product—using a retail mentality akin to Supreme’s current model. As the brand grew slowly over the decades, it became a blueprint for how to operate a massive business, while still maintaining its roots. Collections always include Stussy graphic T-shirts alongside paisley coach jackets and tie-dye fleece pullovers. This has led to collaborations with some of the best retailers, including Très Bien, Slam Jam, and Dover Street Market.”

5. Kith

“Ronnie Fieg has been cautious with how he’s built Kith. He started out by collaborating with off-the-radar brands like Asics and New Balance on limited edition sneakers that he sold out of David Z, the New York City sneaker chain where he worked from at 13 as a stock boy to his late 20s as head buyer. He broke out on his own in a big way with Kith retail stores in 2011, one in Brooklyn and one in Soho that were both attached to Atrium flagships. His apparel line began with a few pairs of “Mercer” jogger pants, but he’s steadily built the collection to be a full fledged assortment that focuses on high quality basics that are on-trend but classic. A denim bomber, for example, is lined with a Morrocan printed fabric and features a removable chest pocket, and parkas are made from Italian sheepskin.”

4. John Elliott

“John Elliott is another brand offering a new take on streetwear. Rather than plaster his pieces with bold graphics and logos like traditional streetwear brands, this eponymous line based out of Los Angeles is providing well executed takes on essentials like hoodies and sweats. Consider it a sportswear line heavily influenced by streetwear. The brand’s Villain hoodie is one of its popular designs: a classic hooded sweatshirt with zippers running up each side that’s perfect for layering. Its tailored sweatpants were another revelation that made it possible to walk around in comfort without looking like a lazy slob. Japanese-sourced custom denim is another signature offering from the brand that has been around since day one. But at its core, John Elliott is still the go-to option for a premium take on the “cozy boy” aesthetic that’s enhanced through his use of textiles. Hoodies and sweats are constructed from heavyweight French terry fabric with durability in mind.”

3. Fear of Gold

​​​​​​”Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God has been at the forefront of merging streetwear with luxury. Lorenzo is adept at understanding what the streetwear consumer wants but also giving them something they didn’t know existed. He creates new silhouettes and details that are frequently flipped and copied. For example, boxy-fit T-shirts, track pants with long drawstrings, and denim embellished with zippers at the hem are all but guaranteed to be spotted at the nearest fast-fashion retailer. Fear of God’s designs exemplify streetwear’s signature style at the moment.

Lorenzo, who is heavily influenced by vintage, also helped start the band T-shirt trend a few years ago, before it was beaten into the ground. He began to stamp his branding on Metallica and Nirvana T-shirts from the ’80s and ’90s and sold them on eBay to help raise money for his father’s charity, the Jerry Manuel Foundation, back in 2015.”

2. Off-White

“If there is one brand to consider the face of modern-day streetwear, it has to be Virgil Abloh’s Off-White. Founded in 2013, Off-White was the Chicago-born renaissance man’s more formal follow-up to Pyrex Vision, a brand championed by the likes of Kanye West and Travis Scott that infamously flipped Ralph Lauren flannels with trademark designs for an exorbitant markup. With Off-White Abloh has created recognizable graphics including X-shaped crossing arrows, a construction-inspired diagonal line pattern, and ironic Helvetica “BRANDING.” Its black and yellow Industrial Belt has also become one of the hottest accessories on the market. The pricey graphic T-shirts and hoodies are the brand’s most popular offerings, but for Abloh, the point of Off-White is to sit in between streetwear and luxury and he’s brought his aesthetic to more traditional menswear pieces. At his fall 2019 show, for example, he presented oversized blazers with labels sewn onto the sleeve that were paired with baggy, stone wash jeans. Abloh, who has said he’s not a designer, understands what customers from both the streetwear and luxury worlds want and applies that to his collections.”

1. Supreme

“Not having Supreme on a list of the greatest American streetwear brands? That would be a travesty. It’s not the originator of the style, but when you’re trying to define what a streetwear brand is (and what it could be), NYC’s Supreme is the template. The brand makes sellout collections season after season, each with new ideas or reworked concepts inspired by everything from politics and music to high and low art. Outside of Nike and Jordan, it’s a brand that’s almost single-handedly created and fostered the online reselling culture that’s so pervasive today. Supreme has become all about hype, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t creating good product. The spring 2019 collection features a D-ring trench coat, a leather blazer, and a silk shirt covered in a Guadalupe pattern. This is interspersed with covetable collaborations with The North Face, Stone Island, and unexpected novelty items like a hand-painted porcelain cupid made by Meissen.”


Rewritten from Complex: https://www.complex.com/style/best-american-streetwear-brands-right-now/?utm_source=hive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hive_email_id_30729&h_sid=de4b763471-5c9d117d4af7c54ae7604392

Originally by: Mike DeStefano, Aria Hughes

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