Retracing the origins of streetwear and its Insta-evolution

Evolving since the 1970s.

[T]rash and Vaudeville. That was the moniker of the first ever streetwear shop in Jersey City – by way of popular opinion – which opened its doors in 1972 (widely known as a punk utopia which denounced conformity and promoted “anti-fashion” statements to be worn with pride). Streetwear is as much about cultures and an attitude adopted than it is about specific looks. Its heritage is rooted into a long line of subcultural tribes encompassing everything from punk, Ivy League preppies, California’s skate scene in the 80s and 90s and the hip hop Kings and Queens of Harlem.

Fast forward and the Internet era has repackaged “streetwear”, how its sold and consumed for the next-gen – just look to major brands from Stüssy to Burberry’s unexpected collaboration with cult Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy. In a new publication This Is Not Fashion: Streetwear Past, Present and Future, authors King ADZ and Wilma Stone explore streetwear’s (at times, complicated) history and ultimate breakout into the mainstream. Packed with profiles of industry pioneers, Q&As with key figures and over 300 illustrations, this is a go-to-guide to untangling one of the fastest-growing and most influential movements in contemporary clothing today.

Below are a series of images extracted from ‘This Is Not Fashion: Streetwear Past, Present and Future’, which is available to buy online here

‘Wanda and Kabelo, aka The Sartists, dressed to the nines, topped off with Simon and Mary bespoke hats and classic eyewear, Johannesburg, 2014.’ © Aimee Pozniak; art direction by Jana & Koos

‘ADZ and Wilma’s favourite Stüssy ad of all time, photographed by David Dobson: streetwear represented by the West African Chapter of the Stüssy International Tribe’ © David Dobson/ Stüssy

‘Split Knee pants from the Silver Spoon collection by òL New York, modelled by Joe James’ © Dexter Navy/ òL New York

‘Harold Hunter, Union Square, New York, 1990.’ © Bill Thomas

‘The Trash and Vaudeville clothing store at St Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village’ © Viviane Moos/Corbis

‘Peroxide hair and a custom denim jacket at the Bread & Butter Berlin trade show, 2014’ © King ADZ


Main image credit: ‘Crooks & Castles, showing some authentic attitude.’ Courtesy Crooks & Castles