Streetwear in recent years has made it from the streets and onto the runway. Streetwear covers the hip-hop leaning old-school, the fashion-forward new-school, and everything that falls in between. There’s no denying that streetwear has made its way into luxury fashion. To help you raise your street style game, we have rounded up the top streetwear brands you need to know.
Founded in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo, in 1993, A Bathing Ape quickly became known as the place to go for off-kilter streetwear with a Japanese touch. Founder Nigo is somewhat of a cult figure in the scene, and his obsession with sneakers, toys and in-your-face graphics has seen his label grow into one of the most recognizable there is.
A Bathing Ape managed to transcend from an obscure Japanese streetwear brand into an industry leader in the 2000s. It had the most relevant rappers not only wearing the brand but promoting it in songs and everywhere else. Rappers included Lil’ Wayne, Pharrell, Kanye West, and Clipse. BAPE became so popular that it is probably the most counterfeited streetwear brand in history to date. Bape has risen to be one of the most coveted streetwear brands of the moment. Influenced by Nigo’s obsession with sneakers, toys and in-your-face graphics, the label is known for its outlandish and bold designs.
Supreme is the most iconic streetwear brand to date. New York’s Supreme has integrated itself into the fabric of streetwear history. Collaborating with the likes of Rolex and Louis Vuitton, Supreme is one of the labels which elevated the street style in luxury fashion. The American skateboard and clothing label has graced the backs of fash packs and ballers everywhere. Resulting in the label earning its status as one of the most iconic streetwear brands of all time. New York’s Supreme is one of the streetwear OGs and one that revolutionized the scene by throwing the traditional supply and demand model out of the window. It’s a move that has seen the skate brand ascend to become one of the most revered names in fashion today.
Credited as the original streetwear label, Stüssy began as a small graphic tee brand in 1980. After generating a whole lot of buzz with his tees, Shawn Stussy expanded his label to include surf and skate apparel. More than forty years later, the Cali born brand is now a streetwear empire. Known for its innovative and eye-catching designs, the label’s presence is still as strong as ever. Stussy has worked with legends such as EPMD and collaborating with Nike on the SB Dunks, Blazers, Huaraches and also Huarache Lights.
Most recently working with artists like Drake and known for creating limited edition pieces and not overproducing, Stussy is definitely at the top of the game and keeps the bar high for new labels.
Undefeated is probably best known and respected for its dope sneaker collaborations and having consistent classics out of any other brand out there. They even designed their own Jordan IV’s. Founded by James Bond and Eddie Cruz undefeated frequently collaborates with the likes of A Bathing Ape, Champion, Neighborhood, Wtaps, Adidas, ASICS, Converse, Nike, and also Vans.
Billionaire Boys Club
Started in 2005 by Pharrell and the creator of BAPE. BBC and Ice Cream have become two iconic brands in the streetwear world. Pharrell has been known to source materials directly from NASA. The designs are loud and dripping in unique colors and really tap into what real streetwear is about. Thanks to a deal with Reebok, Ice Cream was able to launch its own sneakers as well. The label is made up of a collection of tees, jackets, and hoodies.
HUF is another one of those iconic brands that are deeply rooted in the heart of streetwear culture. Starting in the early 90’s it has only gone from strength to strength. They are a worldwide brand with a massive list of stockists deeply rooted in skateboard culture. Some of the best collaborations to date have come from HUF X Diamond Supply Co. HUF quickly became a one-stop shop of all things skate and surf at the bay.
Artist Shepard Fairey founded the label in 2001, Obey Clothing is a popular streetwear brand. The brand aligns with Fairey’s populist views and serves as another canvas for him to convey his agenda and societal propaganda. Obey has deep roots in the counterculture of skating and punk. The label has been incredibly popular since its inception and remains a stable of the streetwear industry.
The Hundreds is another classic brand with their iconic Atom bomb mascot. The brand blends serious quality with a rugged feel. Not only do they have their own streetwear brand, but their site is also a media platform dedicated to street culture from around the world. Based in Cali the label was founded in 2013 by Bobby Kim (Bobby Hundreds) and Ben Shenassafar (Ben Hundreds). Their products include T-shirts, denim, wovens, fleece, headwear, and outerwear.
10 Deep has cultivated a reputation for producing some of the highest quality streetwear on the market. Their designs are flawlessly integrated into every piece they put out. Owner, Scott Sasso is a true master craftsman and one of the most respected designers in the field. 10 Deep’s main advantage over other brands is that they have been in the game since 1995 and are true masters of the craft. 10 Deep is known for its versatile range of seasonally themed street savvy apparel. Think military jackets, camouflage blazers, cowl-neck sweaters, Letterman jackets.
Born and raised in London, A-Cold-Wall* has built a reputation as a genre-bending brand. The label merges the line between haute couture and streetwear. The result is a luxury label with all the flair of street style. Samuel Ross’ designs are recognized all over the globe for their forward-thinking pieces which toe the line between avant-grade and wearable. His label’s designs use utilitarian silhouettes and fabrics to create fashion-week worthy streetwear.
Founded by Louis Vuitton’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh, off-White has been making waves on the couture runways as well as streets. Almost solely responsible for streetwear’s take over of the luxury world, Off-White is just as likely to be seen gracing runways of Paris fashion week as it is to be on the backs of hype beasts. Though a relative newcomer to the street style scene, Off-White, has certainly earned its iconic status as one of the top streetwear brands.
Pronounced as ‘double taps’, the Japanese label, WTAPS aesthetic is a lot more simple than its name would suggest. WTAPS comes from a military term which pretty much means kill shot. But, its name isn’t the only thing that is military inspired. The brand has made baggy cuts, military and workwear influences and Japanese utilitarian styling its hallmarks. So expect lots of army green, cargo pants, and loose-fitting hoodies.
Palace stamped the UK firmly on the street style map when it was born in 2010. It is basically the English twin of Supreme and has almost achieved the same status in the motherland. The young label’s aesthetic has also taken cues from sportswear kings, Adidas and Reebok. in fact, it regularly collaborates with the two. Think sporty aesthetic, with tracksuits, baseball caps and regular tie-ups with big hitters like Adidas and Reebok forming the core of its output.
Cav Empt was created by Sk8thing – the guy behind the iconic graphics of Human Made, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream – and music industry veteran Toby Feltwell, Cav Empt is a brand championed by those who outgrew their Supreme box logo hoodies and went looking for something fresh and exciting. The brand has carved out its place as a major player in Japan’s street fashion and music scene. Its unique garments have seen the Japanese streetwear king positioned itself as one of the most sought-after names in this post-streetwear age.
Comme des Garçons is a fashion house with a reputation for outlandish designs and bizarre runway shows. The fashion house’s imprint, Play, however, is much more subtle. It includes a range of wardrobe staples like Breton tops, hoodies and logo tees. All donning the brand’s iconic bug-eyed heart logo. There’s also a long-running collaborative effort with Converse which has seen Rei Kawakubo’s brand put its stamp on the Chuck Taylor All Star 70, creating one of the most popular shoes in streetwear in the process.
Patta is the brainchild of two veteran players in Amsterdam’s hip-hop scene. The pair decided to channel their love of sneakers, music, and streetwear into a store housing all their favorite gear. In the early days, the Patta logo was printed onto a small batch of tees for family and friends, but as demand grew, this soon evolved into a fully-fledged in-house brand. Soon Patta became a fully-fledged in-house brand and one of the biggest labels in street style. The focus is on big logos, loose cuts, and vibrant colors, with seasonal collections routinely flying off shelves in no time at all.
Nike is one of the OG brands credited with the rise of sneaker culture. Whatever their preference, all sneakerheads would agree that the swoosh is the most repped and beloved logo around. Nike has collaborated with the likes of Off-White and Patta to bring us some of the best streetwear style pieces to date. A fair share of its success is down to the masterful work of footwear designer Tinker Hatfield, who created some of the brand’s most iconic silhouettes, including the Air Max 1, MAG and countless Air Jordans. There’s also a smart approach to special partnerships to be thanked. With a long list of hyped collabs that have helped the brand establish itself as one of the leading names in this notoriously picky scene.
Set up by former Supreme creative director Brenden Babenzien, it’s no surprise Noah is such a coveted label. Noah is streetwear for grown-ups. It is almost like the younger, yet more mature sibling of the NYC streetwear label. Offering everything from corduroy caps and collegiate sweats to Oxford shirts and tailoring with a twist, its considered output provides a reliable alternative when the day comes to give up the hype.
Quirky tees splashed with over the top printed graphics are the staples of Undercover. Once widespread in 90’s fashion in Tokyo, Undercover has grown into one of the most prominent and most respected labels in the streetwear industry. Originator Jun Takahashi was heavily influenced by the UK punk scene when he was younger. It is visible in some of his more daring designs. Aside from that, Undercover also produces fashion-forward luxury sportswear in collaboration with Nike under the Gyakusou name.
Founded by Russian photographer and designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, this brand has quickly become one of the most talked about streetwear brands. Embodying post-soviet youth through his sport and skate-influenced designs and use of young, unconventional models, Rubchinskiy earned the respect of his peers early on and was taken under the wing of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo who now assists in the production of his seasonal collections. The young designer assists the veteran in the production of his seasonal collections as well as developing his own budding brand. Post-soviet youth heavily influences his sports and skatewear designs.
A founding member of the music and fashion collective, Been Trill, Heron Preston followed in the footsteps of his fellow members, Virgil Abloh and Matthew Williams, launching his namesake label. His namesake label has grown into one of the most influential forces in contemporary fashion while also retaining a cult-like status. Think oversized cuts, quirky motifs and signature bright orange branding.
As an OG sports label, Adidas is also one of the top streetwear style brands. The German sportswear label is responsible for gifting us Kanye West’s Yeezy line of sneakers amongst many other celebrity collaborations. The iconic three stripe sneaker has been stomping its place firmly on the street style pavement since the ’90s.
The Yeezy Boost range, designed in conjunction with Ye, produced some of the most talked-about and sought-after shoes in history. It also helped to put Adidas firmly on the streetwear map. With the 1990s footwear trend in full swing, Three Stripes’ place within the scene is only becoming better established.
Founded by Demna Gvasalia, who now sits at the helm of Balenciaga, Vetements is proof that streetwear has infiltrated the world of luxury fashion. Recognized for its innovative and highly diverse designs, Vetements has taken runway couture and brought it to streetwear chic. Vetements is about as divisive as they come. The label has caused a stir through its appropriation of broader culture into ironic or tongue-in-cheek garments.