In 2016, the trendy brand Supreme announced the autumn and winter series products. As a fashionable fashion brand with no two in the limelight, this conference attracted the attention of the global “trendy men and women”. Among all the products, the most eye-catching is not the clothes nor the hat, but a brick with the Supreme logo printed on it – yes, it is the red brick used for building a house that is now rare. Are fashion brands turning to the building materials market? Of course not, bricks bearing the Supreme logo are not construction materials, but “fashion items”, and a brick costs $30.
How much would it cost to build a house with Supreme bricks? Some good people abroad have calculated an account: if you build a 2,400-square-foot (about 223 square meters) home, you will need 11,760 bricks, and Supreme’s products will generally be fired to higher prices – if a brick is Fire it up to $40 and it would cost $470,400 to build the house, not counting renovations. Fortunately, this brand has not entered the field of building materials, otherwise a “tide house” will be expensive. Just when most people were just making fun of the $30 brick, the brick was bought in just 1 minute. Later, people saw the figure of this trendy brick on the second-hand trading website, and the price was more than 300 US dollars… Then, in 2017, Supreme and the famous luxury brand Louis Vuitton launched a joint clothing, which suddenly caused a sensation all over the world. Whether it is an internet celebrity, a celebrity or a fashion blogger, even the son of the richest man in Dubai has joined the rush to buy. What’s interesting is that 17 years ago, Supreme’s first lawsuit was brought to court by the latter because of the deconstruction and design of Louis Vuitton’s products.
“DJ KoolHerc”, known as the originator of hip-hop.
Various products of Louis Vuitton (LV) and Supreme.
What is the magic power of the tide brand, so that the high-end luxury brand will cooperate with it regardless of the previous suspicion? And how did the street culture enter the “hall of elegance”, from “subculture” to become the most popular mainstream fashion in one fell swoop?
The birth of street culture
Tide brand originates from street culture, which is a cultural form formed by integrating various cultures with hip-hop culture as the main body. This cultural form born on the streets has gradually grown from the initial “subculture” to a cultural wave sweeping the world. Especially for young people in cities, street culture has become synonymous with “cool” and “fashion”. As a derivative of street culture, the style of streetwear is naturally based on street dance, DJ, rap and graffiti in street culture. Oversized, loose-fitting clothing, jeans and overalls, sneakers, bold colors and huge graffiti or logos have become the core identity of the trendy brand. These elements are inextricably linked with the birth and development of street culture.
In 1959, the New York City government decided to build a freeway across the Bronx. The Bronx is dominated by immigrants, and it is a less affluent area. The construction of a highway will bring inconvenience to the residents of this area for a long time, and even cause some chaos. , As a result, families with slightly better economic conditions decided to move out, while poor families were unable to move. Gradually, the Bronx became a poor and rundown ghetto. Poverty and unemployment made it a haven for crime, drugs, and gangs. In the United States at that time, the problem of racism was very serious. Most of the people living in the slums were African Americans and Latinos, while music, dance and ball games were entertainment activities that were not many teenagers living in the slums. In 1973, Jamaican immigrant Kool Herc often held music parties at home. Compared with the popular disco in the United States at that time, the music played by Kool Herc was mainly jazz, rhythm and blues, funk and soul music, which were more popular among local residents. The popularity of the record has made him more and more famous, and his original method of using two record players to repeatedly play the highlights of the record repeatedly keeps the atmosphere of the party in a climax state. This technique earned him the title “DJ Kool Herc”, and his combination of multiple music forms became the precursor to hip-hop. To this day, “DJ Kool Herc” is considered the originator of hip-hop music.
As this form of music became popular in the Bronx, the locals could not hide their outstanding dance talent, inventing dazzling paces and dance moves based on the music, which became the precursor to street dance. Later, a hip-hop group named its party with the word “hip-hop” and invented the method of street fighting, attracting a large number of young people, so the hip-hop style became popular and spread rapidly in many cities , has become the most popular culture on the street.
With the popularity of hip-hop culture, graffiti, skateboarding, basketball, roller skating and other street sports are also integrated with hip-hop culture, forming a wave of street culture with music, hip-hop and sports as the theme. And street culture has gradually formed a unique clothing style because of its characteristics. Large tops, sneakers or skateboard shoes are easy to exercise and dance, and wear-resistant jeans and overalls have also become standard. However, at that time, this style did not become a mainstream match. After all, the clothes chosen by the street culture born in the slums would not become “high-end”, and it was difficult to attract young people from other classes to choose and identify. However, the street culture at that time did not have the ambition to “go out”, it just developed in its own cultural circle, and constantly absorbed the characteristics of other artistic styles, such as punk, reggae, rock, Mexican culture, hippie culture, etc. Fusion, mutual influence. Among them, pop art and street culture are the most closely combined.
In pop art, “pop” is the abbreviation of “popular”, which means popular and popular art, which tightly binds business, consumption and itself, and has become the banner of modern American business culture. The characteristics of Pop Art make it difficult to be accepted by the “high above” art circle. After all, Pop Art does not require the artist to give the work so profound connotation, nor does it need to be carefully polished. Coca-Cola bottles, dollar bills and the head of Marilyn Monroe, these works bring the characteristics of symbolization, commercialization, streetization, and trademarkization into full play, and this art form has gradually influenced the flourishing streets of the same period. culture.
Pop art’s parody and deconstruction of traditional art, and its witty style coincide with the rebellion of graffiti art. Therefore, under the influence of Pop Art, the clothing of street culture has gradually added its own artistic style on the basis of functionality: eye-catching colors, exaggerated accessories, graffiti or clip-and-cut patterns, occasional huge trademarks, etc. , These have become the design basis of many trendy brands. This is also the origin of symbols such as “dirty braids” and “big gold chains” that are characteristic of hip-hop today.
From “subculture” to “trendsetter”
After the gradual development and expansion of street culture in the United States, it has gradually extended to other countries, and the most influential one is Japan. Nowadays, when it comes to trendy brands, many people will divide the trendy brands into the US trend and the Japanese trend. American street culture was born in New York’s ghetto, while Japanese street culture was born in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. After the war, the United States stationed troops in Japan, and Japan was supported by the United States after the war. As a result, many young people in Japan have been influenced by American culture for a long time, and it is a fashion to follow American culture. As a gathering place for young people, the Harajuku area of Tokyo has naturally become a fashion pioneer. From hippie culture to street culture, the Harajuku area has had a great influence.
In the 1990s, the first batch of street culture brands were born in the United States. The trendy brand Supreme mentioned above was founded in New York, United States in 1994. It’s just that at the time, this brand had nothing to do with “Tide”, it was just a brand founded by the founder with self-raised $12,000, and it was mainly engaged in skateboard-related products, including skateboards, hats and simple T-shirts. The same period saw the emergence of the first streetwear brands in Japan. Whether in the United States or Japan, these original street brands were basically created by independent designers. For example, Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, known as the “Godfather of Harajuku”, is generally believed to be the reason he brought American streetwear culture. brought to Japan and carried forward.
At that time, the trendy brands created by these independent designers were mainly rebellious and street culture, because in their hearts, luxury goods were the “fashion rules” set by a few designers, and they hoped to break these rules, Redefine fashion and trends. The unique rebellious spirit of this street culture has attracted the attention of many young people, but at that time, these brands were incomparable with fashion brands with deep pockets, which led to most of these brands adopting the strategy of limited sales, which is conducive to reducing the Inventory pressure reduces operating risks and ensures that the capital chain will not be broken due to unsalable products. This limited strategy also paved the way for the subsequent development and controversy of the tide brand.
1. Street style trendy street shooting. 2. Hiroshi Fujiwara and Niko. 3-4. The box jointly named by Supreme and Rimowa was once sold for sky-high prices. Many people line up early in the morning to wait for the new Supreme launch.
Time comes after the millennium. In the Internet age, it has become easier than ever for people to receive and discuss information, and the abundance of information has made young people tired of the traditional way of being “indoctrinated”. In their eyes, those high-ranking “old antiques” no longer understand what they want. They can communicate with more people through the Internet and show others their ideas and opinions. In the minds of millennials, they don’t want to be defined, they want to define everything by themselves. This kind of rebellion, freedom, freedom, and resistance to tradition and authority is exactly in line with the spirit of street culture. With the “support” of more and more young people, street culture has finally stepped into the foreground, changing from “subculture” in one fell swoop It has become a “trend culture”.
As a figurative expression of street culture, street fashion has become one of the biggest beneficiaries. After the millennium, the trendy brands represented by Supreme in the United States and Bape and NBHD in Japan have experienced explosive growth. More and more stars, artists, and internet celebrities are wearing trendy brands in public, which has caused more and more attention. The pursuit of trendy brands by young people.
For the fashionistas of 2011, a signature Givenchy Rottweiler hoodie or five-pointed star T-shirt will make them recognizable in the crowd.
Take Supreme as an example: this brand that started with skateboarding products was founded in 1994. Until 2004, there were only 2 stores in New York and Los Angeles in the United States. With the increasing popularity of street culture, Supreme’s influence gradually spread to the world, the United Kingdom. The trend group GIMME5 brought the brand to London, and the support of the “Godfather of Harajuku” Fujiwara Hiroshi and others made Supreme famous in the Japanese market, and the strong advocacy of Japanese idol Yosuke Kubozuka made the brand popular in Asia. The leader of the trendy brand. In 2011, the cooperation between the famous singer LADY GAGA, the famous model Kate Moss and Supreme made the brand truly enter the mainstream culture’s vision, and the iconic red and white logo also made this brand a whirlwind in the fashion circle. Interestingly, this extremely eye-catching logo was not actually designed by the founder, but a reference to the typeface of the slogan from the famous poster “Your Body is the Battlefield” created by artist Barbara Kruger in 1989.
The fashion “war” between luxury goods and fashion brands
In 2011, the tide brand represented by Supreme entered the mainstream vision, which is not accidental. In this year, a fashion “war” between luxury and street culture occurred. The initiator of this “war” is not the tide brand represented by Supreme, but the luxury brand Givenchy.
After 2000, although the fashion brand has been sought after by many young people, in the entire fashion field, it is still the world of luxury goods, and the definition of fashion is still given by luxury brands. Street culture is not accepted by the “fashion circle”, and the fashion circle does not seem to look down on street culture. Thinking about it, it’s hard to recognize the brands that were born in the slums and admired by a group of “skateboard youths”, each with decades or hundreds of years of history, carefully selected materials, and tailor-made by famous designers to serve high-end people. the so-called fashion. And street culture is not convinced by the high fashion circle: what kind of fashion is a brand that rests on its laurels and only serves the rich? ! Do you have as many people as I do? ! With the help of the information age, these two circles, which originally did not violate the river water, gradually had the germs of conflict. Of course, whether it is fashion luxury or street culture, making money is the most important purpose. So, in 2011, the famous luxury brand Givenchy fired the “first shot” of the war.
Givenchy is a high-end fashion brand in France. It was founded by designer Hubert de Givenchy in 1953. At the beginning of its establishment, Givenchy established the status of a top designer for designing clothing for Hollywood stars, especially with the famous movie star Audrey. Leigh Hepburn’s friendship has been passed down as a good story, which makes the Givenchy brand always synonymous with fashion and elegance. Famous designers such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen have all worked in Givenchy.
It is such a luxury brand that in 2011 “pulled itself off the dust”. In this year, Givenchy launched many products with obvious street culture style. Clothing with huge Rottweiler dog heads and five-pointed stars made luxury goods enter the era of tide brand and fast-selling. The huge print gives the garment an obvious timeliness mark, it’s easy to see if the garment is from the previous season, so for the fashion crowd it’s usually only worn for one season, because the next season is out of date, although The price is still high. Although Givenchy’s “street design” was criticized by the fashion circle at the time, it was sought after by some young people who were rich but liked street culture, and sales surged. Real money will not deceive people. Givenchy has made a lot of money, and other luxury brands can’t sit still. They have added popular elements to their designs, making street culture officially enter the field of “mainstream fashion”. Under the influence of this trend, streetwear brands that originally used street culture as their selling point have officially entered the mainstream. Young people who did not care about street culture gradually began to choose these streetwear brands, and the era of streetwear brands has officially arrived.
Is it a dragon slayer or a dragon?
Maybe it’s following the tradition, maybe it’s suddenly stepping up to the front desk so that the trendy brands don’t dare to expand blindly, maybe it’s the business strategy of the trendy brands themselves – almost all trendy brands have the same feature, that is, limited edition. If the brand chose the limited strategy at the beginning of its establishment to ease the pressure on inventory, then, after being widely sought after, the strategy of still choosing the limited number makes many people incomprehensible.
Although the price of trendy brands is not as high as that of luxury goods, due to the limited strategy, the products of trendy brands often lead to panic buying. Coupled with the hype of scalpers, the second-hand price of a trendy product is often the sale price. Several times or even ten times. People who roasted seeds and nuts made money, and trendy brands gained fame, but the only “injured” were ordinary people who had always pursued street culture. Take the joint product of Supreme and Louis Vuitton as an example, Louis Vuitton itself has already given the product a high premium space, but due to the limited sale and the speculation of scalpers, the product has reached a scary price in the second-hand market. Even in the luxury sector, second-hand premiums are exaggerated.
Street culture has a kind of rebelliousness at the beginning of its birth. This rebelliousness stems from freedom and self, and it also stems from the irony and challenge of the bottom society to the rules set by the upper class. In essence, trendy brands and luxury goods should be completely opposites, but driven by business and consumerism, the rapid luxury of trendy brands has deviated from their original intentions, and the people who like them the most just can’t afford them. their people.
Nowadays, more and more luxury goods are co-branded with trendy brands, and more and more products are labelled with trendy brands, seeking higher premiums. The street culture that originally did not want to be defined is finally defined by the price, rebellion has become a well-designed rebellion, and freedom has become the freedom given by the brand. Street culture and street fashion, a warrior who once dared to challenge the dragon, eventually turned into a dragon.