The rise of street wear has been swift from small subculture to being featured on celebrities and actors alike. This once underground fashion style has resonated with huge audiences over recent years, and many are led with questions about street wear and their place in the market. Due to the exclusivity, prices, and brand awareness, we at the Minimalistic Gent believe that they can be categorized as luxury brands in today’s society.
The main attraction that gets A-list celebrities wearing street wear is the exclusivity and lack of stock. Brands like Bape and Supreme spread their releases across various dates while controlling the supply to produce an air of exclusivity also found in luxury products. Street wear brands are extremely proficient at not meeting the demand for their products, much like luxury brands, so they control their respective markets exceptionally well. Lineups are immense around these stores when they release their product; reaching record amounts of individuals that want their hands on these coveted items. The fact that exclusivity is at such extreme heights means that street wear brands are wanted on a grand scale which makes them comparable to the exclusive luxury brands that limit their supply.
Street wear can be comparable to luxury brands in price. Although they may lack the quality that we at the Minimalistic Gent advocate for, we can’t deny the exuberant prices street wear comes in at. An example of an item would be the iconic Bape shark hoodie (cotton hoodie) which starts at around $405 in stores. The brand still does well and is able to instantly sell out of their stock every single release. Prices are extremely high in street wear which is comparable to other introductory luxury brands and that’s without even going into the exuberant second hand market (where prices can even be double of what the retail is). The infamous box logo tee from Supreme is iconic enough to be extremely desired and can go on the secondary market for prices easily exceeding $1,000. This is an insane markup from the t-shirt that was purchased for about $148 from the Supreme store. The price range that street wear brands can reach is extensive, but it is comparable to the price ranges of various luxury brands.
Street wear has evolved from the confides of a select few people wearing it to being common place in media. Seeing an A-list celebrity wear a street wear brand increases awareness where others try to emulate the style. The air of high-end haute culture is very similar in this aspect because you will instantly be recognized by your peers for the clothes you decide to wear. Supreme’s flagrant box logo can be recognized from distances away and it is one of the most counterfeited items. There is an insane counterfeit market for these brands which shows how the worldwide awareness of these items has reached cult following levels. Due to the brand awareness, anyone will recognize items such as the Bape ape logo or the Supreme red box logo. The brand awareness of these street wear brands has become so great that it is easily recognized as a high end commodity comparable to luxury brands.
Although some may say that street wear lacks the quality or the history of other luxury fashion houses, there is no denying their impact on contemporary culture. Even historically stringent brands have recently been more accepting of street wear culture (like the eye opening collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme). We at the Minimalistic Gent advocate for less items that are of quality and value, and street wear brands definitely carry a huge value when it comes to resale and brand recognition. Street wear brands can be considered luxury brands because of their price, exclusivity, and brand awareness which has been an unexpected but interesting phenomenon in contemporary times. Let us know your thoughts below on whether street wear can be considered luxury-esque, and stay tuned for more from the Minimalistic Gent!