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The 20 Best Streetwear Brands in 2022 For Men
Streetwear is unique, and I witnessed its impact. On a hot summer day in 2019, I was walking down Bowery to eat dim-sum and drunken chicken in Chinatown. The air was wet and the sun so dazzling that I considered taking a taxi for a 10-minute walk. I endured it to buy pork buns. While going faster to get into a climate-controlled area faster, I witnessed a line so long that my jaw dropped. From the Germania Bank Building entrance to Spring Street and Elizabeth Street, a huge crowd waited. The event was Supreme’s latest brand cooperation drop at its new site.
On a cold winter morning on Lafayette Street, Supreme’s old home, I saw such fashion frenzy a year earlier. The audience was enthusiastic but calm as they slowly approached the door both times. Similar crowds visit Kith and Bape boutiques. The deal is worth the weather for these patient people. Supreme collectors, Aimé Leon Dore fans, Stüssy fans, or all of the above. The trust they have in these labels is evident in their smiles and vigor as they leave with bags of merchandise, even though they’re sweating.
Streetwear was an industry name for non-designer garments worn daily on the streets. Skateboarding culture, especially in California and U.S. cities, dominated. The silhouettes were long and loose, and the designs were mostly affordable graphic tees, hoodies, bucket hats, caps, sneakers, and certain denim. Workwear, yet enjoyable. They were basically stuff guys wanted to wear all day.
However, streetwear’s genius was how collections and covetable grails were released. All their drops were hyped due to restricted production. Wearing an item showed others that you won; you got something elusive that many of your friends wanted. Supreme’s billion-dollar success is due to it.
Today, luxury conglomerates can make streetwear. (Hell, Supreme is a luxury conglomerate.) Regardless of price, it defines a style. For instance, streetwear tailoring and leather products are trendy. It’s also found in Japan and Eastern Europe. Before continuing, streetwear is unique. No matter how many times critics have sounded the death knell, the style, like those lines down Spring Street, has increased every year. The important players are listed below. For all your doubts, trust Teeanime!
A BATHING APE
Some of our favorite fellas, from Pharrell to Drake to Robin Williams (yes, that one), have been big admirers of A Bathing Ape. They, on the other hand, call it Bape and recognize how the Japanese label has constantly provided the sleekest, trendiest, and most eye-catching visuals since 1993. Its pink camo tees and Bapesta sneakers—a not-so-subtle play on the Air Foce 1—regularly sell out.
AIMÉ LEON DORE
Aimé Leon Dore, founded by Queens native Teddy Santis in 2014, has seen success after success following a few key cosigns. ALD elevates streetwear like no other brand: Santis filters his own approach on throwback style through incredibly particular cultural touchstones that somehow always appear current.
Angelo Baque, who worked as Supreme’s brand director for years, departed to establish Awake NY, a clothing line that showcases his streetwise style and graphic design skills.
Kyle Ng founded Brain Dead, a global artist and designer group. Since then, Brain Dead has collaborated with A.P.C., Carhartt, and The North Face on highly sought-after items featuring the brand’s distinctive doodling and scribbled patterns.
Carhartt isn’t the first brand that springs to mind when it comes to streetwear, but it should be. However, its loose clothes and range of beanies piqued the interest of skateboarders, and it was subsequently welcomed into streetwear culture with open arms. Taking advantage of this, the label established Carhartt WIP, which delves deeper into skateboarding style with baseball caps and leaner fits.
CACTUS PLANT FLEA MARKET
The key to recent collaborations? Join Cactus Plant Flea Market (lather, rinse, repeat). The purposely cryptic label launched by Cynthia Lu in 2015 has contributed its characteristic DIY typography and smiley face symbol to collaborations with Nike (shown here) and just about every other big streetwear company, making it a prominent WOC label in a predominantly male-dominated fashion market.
Fubu, also known as “For Us, By Us,” had a lot of fans in the hip-hop scene as a whole. The label was started by Daymond John (fans of “Shark Tank” will know who he is) in 1992. Its goal was to make more people aware of how important it is to support black-owned businesses. The rapper wore the brand’s brightly colored, often oversized, and easy-to-spot logo-covered clothes, which made a whole generation want to do the same. Even though the brand hasn’t done as well as it did in the 1990s, its 2020 relaunch is an attempt to “climb back up the ladder.”
We love Tyler, the Creator’s style, as you know. Golf Wang is Tyler’s outlet to convey his unique take on the skate-rat aesthetic he made mainstream, updated to reflect his development as an artist and a man with great fits.
Heron Preston, Virgil Abloh, and Matthew Williams form Been Trill, a fashion and music collective. His brand is known for its bold silhouettes, construction gear-inspired accessories, and utility textiles, especially bright orange.
Like we stated, Kith typically has lineups outside its storefronts for the best collaborations with artists, architects, some of the brands on this list, and Bugaboo strollers. Ronnie Fieg, Kith’s founder, is a streetwear icon who has used his fame and expertise to create a private label collection.
Supreme’s success is largely thanks to its outstanding employees. After a decade as design director at Supreme, Brendon Babenzian relaunched Noah, a little preppier take on the carefree skater aesthetic he helped create.
The witty, irreverent label founded by Lev Tanju in 2009 soon became a spiritual successor to Supreme (the brand’s U.S. boutiques were Palace’s first stockists stateside), but it adds a uniquely British twist on skate culture. Palace’s tri-ferg emblem is now an iconic cool-kid symbol.
In 1991, Ralph Lauren introduced the Polo Sport line, which was inspired by vintage images of track-and-field athletes. It featured an array of vibrant fits with sports symbols and graphics, and was adopted by street culture almost immediately. Images like the P-wing logo have become iconic in their own right.
James Jebbia worked at Stüssy’s NYC storefront before starting his own, and no discussion of current streetwear would be complete without mentioning Shawn Stussy’s 1980s West Coast label. Even though Stüssy, the man, is no longer affiliated with the brand, its camp-collar shirts remain slap.
What else can be said about Supreme, the 1994 skate label created by James Jebbia that was valued at a billion dollars a few years ago, upending practically every facet of the fashion industry? Supreme has ruled since its Lafayette Street (RIP) store opened. We’re all living it.
WTAPS is lethal. Military fatal shots are called “two taps” in Japanese. The brand also features military-inspired cargo pants and army green blouses with a streetwear twist.
Designer Scott Sasso created 10.Deep in 1995 to sell the greatest graphic tees ever. The brand now sells jeans, sweatpants, accessories, and blankets with its signature patterns after nearly three decades.
Streetwear’s true winners? Adidas, New Balance, Nike, and many others have profited from the movement’s newfound cool by copying its design skills, frequently in sold-out collaboration collections.