What makes streetwear so cool? Coming from the American culture of surfing, skateboarding and hip-hop of the 80s and 90s, maybe because this style carries some energy. Oversized T-shirts and tracksuits allow free movement, jumping, dancing, running or cycling without any problems. It is casual, fresh, young and dynamic. This enthusiasm is visible in the streetwear community, regardless of whether it is offline (queuing in front of physical stores) or online (delirium of online declines, as in Supreme). The strength of the streetwear community is contagious.
Historically, streetwear has an anarchist approach that results from the rebellion against haute couture. Unlike well-known brands, streetwear seems easy and comfortable. The most successful brands know that you need to reach everyone. So they attract the masses, carefully observing trends and observing how people interpret them, and then do the same.
Nowadays, some brand logos on basic T-shirts or the latest sneakers are already at the top of the shopping list. For some people, they are as popular as designer handbags.
The community is online. Many major streetwear brands have achieved great success on the Internet, and have obtained amazing participation statistics. Social networks go hand in hand with streetwear. Some fans are registering clothes every day to see the price drop later. This means that they must look good at reasonable prices. Just look at Reddit's Streetwear Startup forums, and emerging fashion designers can post photos on these forums and welcome various user comments.
This is a great place to discover new talent and follow new trends. Through the Internet, invite fans to interact with designers to bridge the gap between brands and consumers. They now feel that they have a real impact on brand building. The basement is another online group (75,000 members on Facebook and 276,000 subscribers on Instagram), and people from all walks of life can comfortably participate in streetwear culture at home, whether it’s clothing, music or political and social issues .
The approach and availability of these virtual forums are far from limited designer stores and closed sellers. These online communities also give people the opportunity to earn money by encouraging the resale market. Depop is a cross between eBay and Instagram, where people can easily sell their products. By inviting small businesses and letting people make money on rooms, brands show they want to give. For this reason, streetwear always stays true to its roots - the "do it yourself" philosophy - and fans love it.
This is not just about social networks, because this involvement is also reflected in offline mode. Streetwear brands confirm their commitment to their subscribers by organizing meetings, sponsoring sporting events or investing in premises. All this allows members to meet in real life, invite friends and further develop the community. In 2014, VANS opened the VANS House under the Waterloo arcades and this year Supreme donated £ 50,000 to rebuild London's Skate Park Southbank Skate Park because they knew how important this place was for their teenage fan club.
However, although streetwear once represented serious fashion, high-end brands are now producing their own expensive versions to reach new audiences. We're mainly talking about teenagers with disposable income who are ready to save on pocket money and spend weekend mornings queuing for the latest versions. This thirst for branding is the gold dust of retailers and many big brands in the luxury industry, from Balenciaga to Gucci. But can they really imitate the success of street clothing and make it look authentic?
Not only the way streetwear fans talk about it, but the tone of the brand will stand out clearly in every situation, both counterfeit and marketing, making it human and easy to tell. For example, Palace writes as if they don't care about sales: "Your mother looks like Coldplay" is one of their tweets for 99,000 followers. This approach works because it makes people laugh and lets you read the tweet like a real voice you hear on the street. A cold, calculated copy of expensive brands is second to none.
When it comes to streetwear, it's not about the avant-garde design (a few letters on a white T-shirt is not revolutionary), and not about the meaning of the logo: nearby communities. High-end brands may try to copy the style, but the crowd will not stay that long. The essence of streetwear is belonging to a tribe in which fans associate images with peers. As long as streetwear brands continue to treat their customers like real people and interact with them online and offline in a real way, they will always be reliable.
That's where we think of building a closely connected community. Through Instagram (@popx.store), we are more than 2500 people, and even through our ambassador program. Today, we have a huge community of more than 200 ambassadors. Let's let this brand live together on the Internet and soon in real life!