The Conundrum That Is Streetwear

An adventure through an iphone & a Dover Street Market

Over the past few months I’ve seen quite a few posts & read many an articles from hypebeast + highsnobiety about Dover Street Market.

So this weekend I took a stroll through to see what all the hype was about and check out first hand the style, flair, and allure. What I found, further cemented my overall thoughts on the “idea” of streetwear vs. the reality of it, thus bringing forth a glaring issue.

As an art piece and expression, I 100% support the streetwear movement. The fusion of high fashion and street has forced both sides to adapt and feed off of each other, further creating a seemingly symbiotic relationship, or is it?

If you stop and think about it high fashion is, in many ways, cannibalizing the very industry it once hated and excluded in the past. Yet, amongst the growing hype from kids and adults alike, many of whom don’t know or truly understand the historical significance of what streetwear stood for, high fashion has jumped on board. All, to redirect eyes back to them.

As I strolled through, I picked up simple tee after simple tee, with price tags that resulted in small self chuckles. I have become something of a student of streetwear but don’t actively participate in its consumption.

I gotta say this backpack is dope…

I’m blessed to be in a position where, it’s not that I can’t afford these pieces, just that I don’t understand the intrinsic value “hypebeasts” get when they buy a shirt that is nearly $300 that’s simply a blank Gildan shirt with an obscure screen-printed phrase or a logo.

Streetwear in my opinion has gotten way out of control and it isn’t just me crying this. I recently read an article out of highsnobiety about the bubble that will be popping in the near future. Couple that with the fact that hype is the main driver for much of product bought and sold, the future should lead the industry to a very different position than it is currently in.

Yes, I am a shoe guy, and yes I love adidas but I don’t buy for hype or to fit into a certain group. I buy because I truly like an item and it helps me express my own unique personality. I am not one of “many hypebeasts,” I am one of one Charles

For me, I know businesses, and, if a brand can pay next to nothing for production and mark things up 10-fold, they will, because they know people won’t challenge them. That is the advantage, for streetwear, that the fusion with high fashion has afforded them, a disregard of the practicality behind pricing. This abandonment of practicality runs counter to how and why much of streetwear was created in the very beginning.

Ha by this point you must think I hate the streetwear movement because of all the crap I’ve been talking, but I really admire and appreciate the humble beginnings, with the roots stemming from punk, to skate, to early hip-hop rebels.

I mean I truly admire what this new generation has done to force brands to adapt to them, I really only have one issue which leads to my biggest qualm.

Streetwear started as a way to DIY for those who weren’t at the high end of the financial spectrum. It was a way to share a voice through an untainted platform, but now the farther we get from that history, the faster the original intention gets lost.

Thousands of dollars for streetwear items you can find at Lowe’s or Home Depot is not where it all started, and only serves to further exclude the very people streetwear was made for, and by.

Therein lies the conundrum of streetwear, the industry that was suppose to serve as the antithesis to high fashion and elitism. Today it’s in flux and only time will tell what side of the scale it will ultimately slide to.

Better believe I’ll be there to document it as well.

- Charles Etoroma aka @chvrlesjr

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▫️ I write about the crazy journey that is my life ▪️Content + Creative Strategist/Creator with Art Director tendencies

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Charles Etoroma

Charles Etoroma

▫️ I write about the crazy journey that is my life ▪️Content + Creative Strategist/Creator with Art Director tendencies

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