5 streetwear brands to know in 2017
In its current guise, streetwear is - to put it mildly - ambiguous; no longer a term or aesthetic strictly confined to big city skateparks or the trendy rails of esoteric neighbourhood shops, as it was back in the pre-Instagram dark days of yore.
No, modern streetwear is a fluid beast; one that sees original players like Supreme collaborate with behemoth French fashion houses, and high street labels turn out something that's 'sort of urban' (close enough, right?) with every new collection.
Whatever your interpretation of it, at its core streetwear is supposed to be independent, tribal and a bit polarising. To that end, take a look at our list of 5 brands that you should know about this year. As this is streetwear we're talking about, we of course encourage you to disagree.
1. Stamped LA
With a look that's Los Angeles by way of Copenhagen, Stampd is far and away the least-obtrusive label on our list; favouring unmarked monochrome over the gaudier aspects that you often see in the genre.
Founded in 2011 by designer Chris Stamp, who describes his eponymous label as 'avantstreet', Stampd has gained prominence thanks to its distinct and modern collections that feature oversized sweats, distressed fabrics and cropped trousers; as well as a recent trainer tie-in with Puma.
Most likely to be worn by: Someone who runs their own 'zine' and has a favourite club in Berlin.
Key piece: Light plaid flannel
2. Dr Banana
Making the list for its name alone (actually, the clothes are cool, too), Dr Banana is a UK-based label that perpetuates the easy irreverence that makes a streetwear brand relevant and desirable.
Trading in bold graphics and colourful skate style, Dr Banana keeps its collections limited and its tongue firmly in cheek.
Did we mention how great a name it was?
Most likely to be worn by: The kind of guy who skates in his late twenties because he actually enjoys it, and strictly listens to vinyl funk. He lives in Peckham.
Key piece: 'Done Deal' long sleeve t-shirt
3. Wacko Maria
Started in 2005 by retired J-League footballers Keiji Ishizuka and Atsuhiko Mori, Wacko Maria draws inspiration from classic Americana and Fifties 'Teddy Boy' style, as well as more modern street influences.
Look out for their slogan: 'Guilty Parties' (we don't know what it means, but it's cool to have a slogan) as well as their killer range of souvenir jackets and upmarket printed sweatshirts.
Most likely to be worn by: Retired Japanese athletes with the best coat collections in town.
Key piece: Embroidered twill jacket
4. Gosha Rubchinskiy
Beloved of the Fashion week set and coveted by every Supreme and Palace kid going, Gosha Rubchinskiy was meant to be a 2016 flash in the pan, but has instead emerged as the high watermark in high-end streetwear.
Shunning conventional methods, Rubchinskiy's most oft-used tactic is to take previously out of favour retro sportswear labels like Kappa, Fila and, most recently, Sergio Tacchini, before injecting his own instantly recognisable signatures: namely Cyrillic text and Soviet flags, turning his home country of Russia into an unlikely new fashion pin-up in the process.
Most likely to be worn by: Someone with a great hairline, but who insists on a to-the-bone buzzcut... because of the 'aesthetic', man.
Key piece: Sergio Tacchini track jacket... good luck finding one in stock.
Established by former Supreme designer Brendon Babenzien in 2015: Noah is brimming with streetwear pedigree, but shuns the more juvenile tropes of the genre in favour of a mature, preppy look that appeals to actual grown-ups.
The brand's core offering features t-shirts, anoraks and rugby tops (not terrible, we promise), as well as wide-cut trousers and quality varsity jackets.
Like streetwear, but with a mortgage and plans to go to the garden centre this Saturday.
Most likely to be worn by: Cool dads... with mortgages.
Key piece: Beachfront T-shirt