The History of Streetwear in the UK

The History of Streetwear in the UK

Streetwear is a popular fashion choice amongst younger people, and has been continually seen on red carpets and endorsed by celebrities since it burst onto the scene in the 1990s. UK streetwear brands include Hype and Weekend Offender, which are often chosen for their gender-neutral appeal and various styles. Streetwear has been used for years as a way to make a statement using only fashion, especially since societal norms became more relaxed and freer. As far as gender-neutral clothing goes, streetwear is on top of the game. But how did it get so popular?

From its early days in California and New York, to making the tracksuit a wardrobe staple, streetwear is a genre of fashion that will never die out. It is constantly reinventing itself, keeping up with the times to provide stylish couture and exciting pieces for people from all walks of life.

Here at Kontroversial, our gender-neutral streetwear presents a message; clothing should be a personal choice, not a societal instruction.  We make fashion for everyone, and we take inspiration from those who did it best, way back in the 90s...

What Exactly is Streetwear?

Throughout the years, streetwear has constantly evolved, but has kept its roots deep within its core aesthetic. Staple streetwear pieces include oversized sweaters, hoodies, tracksuit bottoms, bold t-shirts and trainers. However, streetwear can be anything that you choose it to be; it could just be casual wear, or it could make a bigger statement. No matter what, streetwear has always been on the urban, edgier side, but by making it your own, you can truly adopt the true meaning of street style; individuality.

Authentic streetwear takes root in the skate scene in California, encompassing elements of hip-hop fashion and distinctive patterns and styles. Streetwear has always been about breaking the mould and standing out from the crowd, helping individuals find their identity and express it in a way that they feel comfortable.

Clothing and fashion have a way of transporting us into an environment where we feel the most comfortable, and for millions of people worldwide, this is the case for them...

Origins: The 90s and The Era of Hip-Hop

Streetwear can trace its origins back to California and the skateboarding and surf culture, particularly in Los Angeles. Those involved in the hip-hop subculture scene in New York also contributed to the growth of streetwear, creating a completely authentic brand that took the world by storm. These youth culture scenes were at the epicentre of a brand new fashion movement, much to the chagrin of older generations who saw hoodies and baggy jogging bottoms as related to crime. Once the trend spread through the suburbs of California and New York, it wasn't long until streetwear brands caught on.

NYC-based fashion designers Supreme helped catapult streetwear further into the fashion world, and can be credited for helping the trend move forwards. Supreme started as a clothing and skateboard store, and stocked various streetwear items that were quickly bought up by people across the United States.

This eventually made its way over to the UK, where UK-based brands attempted to recreate the look for a more British audience. A wider acceptance of different fashion styles and choices allowed streetwear to become more popular, which is why we have the various styles we have today.

Relaxing Society's Dress Codes

Over the years, what is and isn't acceptable to wear has become less of a concern for so many people. Individuals are finally realising that, regardless of what society says, no one should dictate what they can and can't wear. By throwing on a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt, you will be able to blend in easily, which is perfect for some people.

However, standing out from the crowd is how you really make a fashion statement, despite whether the feedback from other people is good or bad. Your style is never going to be for everyone's taste; if you're one for making a statement, streetwear is a great place to start.

Of all the styles of gender-neutral clothing, it could be argued that streetwear was the first to boost this into the mainstream. Sweaters and hoodies have never had a gender, and can be worn by anyone looking to make a simple statement in the streets.

Plus, it helps that they're incredibly cosy and can be worn in any weather. Streetwear came at a time when society was beginning to try new things in terms of fashion; when Mary J Blige, Jay Z and Missy Elliott were dominating the scene, wearing oversized baseball jerseys, baggy jeans and snapbacks. Once society begins to embrace popular culture, the more it accepts change...

Our Beliefs

Here at Kontroversial, our clothing is tailored to a community that won't succumb to societal pressure. We believe that gender-neutral clothing is future, and we aim to present everyone with the opportunity to be themselves and feel comfortable in their clothing. Our full collection can be found here, in a range of styles and sizes to perfectly suit everyone.

Standing out from the crowd is getting harder, but when the reasoning is down to acceptance and breaking away from the norm, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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