How Vintage Clothing is Contaminating the Modern Streetwear Industry

Nowadays, fashion has a way of coming back around with reimagined designs and new features inspired by previous era’s. Streetwear has woven its way in and out of fashion more times over the past few decades than any other style. What was once deemed as loungewear for teenagers in skate parks at the weekend is now high-fashion red carpet worthy attire. So, how has this amazing transformation happened and what brands do we have to thank for leading the way? The most popular modern streetwear brands are still the old favourites from previous decades. Undoubtedly, the resurgence in fascination when it comes to vintage clothing has aided old-school brands in their popularity, but how far is too far? Here’s a look at how vintage clothing is contaminating the modern streetwear industry:


What’s Considered Vintage?

Vintage streetwear clothing stems mainly from the 1970’s. Over the years it’s been reinvented into various forms, from gangster streetwear from the Bronx in the late 70’s to 90’s American high schooler everyday wear.

Brands like Nike, PUMA, FILA, Supreme, and Tommy Hilfiger have all stood the test of time due to their constant adaptations to their streetwear collections. Their designs from their early days could now be considered “vintage” streetwear, the type you’d find in a thrift store or marketplace.

Taking Inspiration

Modern streetwear brands have tried to move forward into what they’d like the future of streetwear to look like. The latest offerings from Supreme, Off-White, Adidas and Balenciaga all showcase contemporary designs with hints of inspiration from streetwear golden days. Oversized hoodies, branded caps and printed t-shirts are all staples of streetwear that have made their way still into modern outfits. However, though brands are constantly putting a modern-twist on classic designs, some consumers can’t seem to shake the growing desire for retro fashion. In fact, some brands have re-released old products just to satisfy this market. Nike, for example, re-released their Air Max 1’s for the anniversary release date.

Retro marketplaces have become hubs for those in search of vintage wear, with brands like ASOS and Urban Outfitters offering exchanges and vintage streetwear pieces for sale. Old-school streetwear pioneer’s often mix their retro streetwear with new pieces to stay on top of the fashion game, combining the old with the new for an unrivalled stylish look. This is good news for brands who’ve been around for a long time, with no marketing necessary their pieces get a new lease of life.

The Future of Modern Streetwear

Will there be a never ending line of re-releases, or will vintage fashion finally stop being relevant?

Brands such as FILA and PUMA have now been propelled back into relevance thanks to the vintage streetwear revolution. Where they were once fading into the shadows, they’ve now been brought back to centre stage thanks to the resurgence of their vintage pieces. This led the way to their newer collections grabbing attention once more.

Considering that most modern fashion is inspired by what we’ve seen in previous decades, it’s likely that vintage clothing isn’t going to be moving anytime soon. On the other hand, brands aren’t letting this hamper them from adapting and growing away from their old-school signature pieces. Given the rate at which the streetwear industry has grown it’s unsurprising that brands are changing their ranges to gear them towards streetwear designs. The future of modern streetwear certainly looks bright. It’s plausible that in ten years time we’ll look back on the fashion from the 10’s and describe the fashion as high-fashion streetwear mixed with vintage inspirations.

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