It is almost a given that for every 10 pots you scroll through on your social media feed, whether it be Instagram, twitter or Facebook – at least one post will be from an Instagram Boutique or an Influncer usually sponsored by a retail store, selling street wear or at least something along those lines.
(Image Source: Instagram – Kabelo Mfathi)
Street wear Culture can be literally defined as “casual clothing of a style worn especially by members of various urban youth subcultures”. In South Africa it has been the go to style of the typical student from Braam, or the Soweto born and raised individual. Within this “youth culture” there are different tastes and preferences – from your “upmarket street wear styles”; usually from high end brands appropriating street wear (no youth member can afford) to “keep up with the times”, to vintage pieces from decades ago at thrift stores, and of course, the now popular one – self made pieces sold on Instagram.
(Image Source: Instagram – Louis Vuitton)
During an interview with Laduma Ngxokolo of luxury brand, Maxhosa by Laduma, he reminisced on a conversation he had with hip hop veteran and fashion enthusiast Riky Rick about the urban street wear becoming over marginalized. Laduma says that streetwear is becoming easily accessible with anyone being able to create anything and passing it off as “street wear”. Due to this reason, it looses that luxury and significance as a culture.
With the initial idea of street wear being affordable or at least how most know it, most people (including global retailers) are compromising on quality to meet the standard of affordability. Laduma says that within the next 2 years we may not even have street wear because it is now becoming outdated due to being “over made”.
(Image Source: Instagram – H&M)
This issue of street wear losing it’s cultural value is only the tip of the iceberg. If one goes deeper and investigate the term “fast fashion” it will expose the deteriorating conditions factory workers in the clothing industry are working in. Already low wages are becoming even lower, with your favorite big brands opting to mass produce in China at low costs. It also takes us to the environmental issues with most not really giving a care as to how the manufacturing process of clothes is impacting the environment.
Do you think that street wear becoming easily made by anyone is a good thing as we are spoiled for choice, or are we soon to reach a dead end?