The rise and rise of streetwear in India
Streetwear is the democracy of fashion. It speaks to a young demographic that is highly influential and globally connected. Although globally it may be at a whole different level, India is sure catching up. We speak to streetwear enthusiasts, streetwear designers and sneakerheads who share with us where we are at as a country and as a growing community and how we can take it to the next level.
What do you think makes streetwear relevant to everyone; men and women, old and young?
“Apart from the fact that they see all their favorite celebrities and #influencers wear them, it has a lot to do with pure-play #functionality. Streetwear is effortless, stylish and functional all at the same time. What is not to like?” @claudiusallen of @bowtiesandbonesblog – Creative Director, Fashion Consultant and Streetwear Enthusiast.
“It’s less sporty looking these days, the clothing/shoes have a more casual lifestyle appeal. The whole “athleisure” category is growing and people of all ages can get into it. Earlier, running shoes or sports shoes had a certain look that only attracted people who were into that sport. Like you would have a different running shoe, a different walking/going out shoe etc.. but now that it has a more casual appeal you can rock it anywhere, like the ultra boost etc.. you can wear it to run or just for going out.. comfort is also a big factor. Performance category sales are down (especially basketball) but #athleisure sales are way up. So these brands are making more lifestyle shoes these days like the #deerupt or #prophere etc… and performance shoes are starting to have a more casual appeal so you can rock them on and off the court/pitch.” @f17starscream, Sneakerhead and G-Shock collector.
“People are consciously indulging in making their daily wear more personal and exclusive. Also with big fashion houses moving towards the street aesthetic, luxury has become an added value to this category which has further increased the consumer base.” @abhishekpaatni , Fashion Designer @noughtone01.
“Accessibility and the genuine love for comfortable fashion. “ @poojaguptax, Fashion Stylist
Is India ready for coveted streetwear brands like Supreme, Bape, Stussy, etc?
“India as a consumer market is ready for these brands but the brands aren’t. India is a very tricky market to crack. Popular streetwear brands like Supreme and Palace thrive on exclusivity and limited access, so they are out of the equation already. When it comes to brands like @Stussy and @ thehundreds, @thrasher etc, they still are evaluating the market. The thing is that India is primarily a mass market that thrives on discounts and sales. It is only a niche segment of the market that shop the latest drops. Having said that, with increased buying power and retail growing as an industry, it is only a matter of time.” @claudiusallen of @bowtiesandbonesblog – Creative Director, Fashion Consultant and Streetwear Enthusiast.
“India is still a very price sensitive market, there are very few who actually buy into these brands, a lot of these fashion bloggers etc rock fakes. We are ready for sneaker boutiques and online stores to sell stuff from these brands, like a few tees etc.. like what @capsul_ is doing. Maybe in a couple of years but not now.” @f17starscream, Sneakerhead and G-Shock collector.
“With regards to the current retail and online market scenario I feel we need more time as a market to absorb popular streetwear brands. The major section of the targeted demographics are still price sensitive and would not indulge in the kind of price range offered by these brands.” @abhishekpaatni , fashion designer@noughtone01.
“Absolutely! In this generation nobody cares about the price tag anymore as long as it makes a statement.” @ _sangyo, Student and streetwear enthusiast.
Who or what factors would you credit the growth of street fashion in India, today?
“It has a lot to do with streetstyle photographers like Samir Rana of @stylespy.in and @rawky.ksh who document street fashion. Their imagery being great is an understatement because they also inspire and introduce the audience to a range of possibilities. Not to take away from streetwear influencers, which again are a rarity in a mass market led industry.” @claudiusallen of @bowtiesandbonesblog – Creative Director, Fashion Consultant and Streetwear Enthusiast.
“People travelling to other countries and seeing what’s popular there then buying into it. Also, brands like H&M & #zara etc offering affordable street fashion and of course people seeing their favourite actors, sports personalities or musicians dressing a certain way and wanting to copy them is also a big factor.” @f17starscream, Sneakerhead and G-Shock collector.
Streetwear does not come cheap, any tips for those who would like to keep up without digging a hole in their pockets?
Streetwear does not come cheap, any tips for those who would like to keep up without digging a hole in their pockets? “Stop looking at what the next person has and trying to compete. Stop following and buying into the hype even though you might not actually even like the shoe! Do you, man! Buy what you like even if others are not into it and don’t like it. Be unique, stand out from the crowd and if there is something you really like then save up and get it. Wait for sales, it’s what I do. Sometimes people rush to buy stuff so they can be 1st then flex on the gram etc. just wait for sales and cop for cheap. Live within your budget, I’ve seen some people taking loans or maxing out their credit cards to buy stuff like #yeezys. Don’t do that. It’s just shoes, it’s not that important. Some of these dudes won’t pay their light bills but will be rocking #yeezys in the dark. Lmao.” @f17starscream, Sneakerhead and G-Shock collector.
“I think streetwear is all about connecting with the heritage of a brand and individualistic personal style. More than the hype look for brands and products that suit your style and taste and try and acquaint yourself with its history and culture.” @abhishekpaatni, Fashion Designer@noughtone01.
“Buy less, buy good.” @_sangyo, Streetwear enthusiast.
“Buying that $1000 T-shirt is not going to make you a street style star! Not everything is gonna look good on you. Find your style and make everything yours. ” @yuushman, Student
“It does not have to always be a Supreme hoodie, an Off-White belt or a New Balance sneaker! Go thrift shopping and mix it with your sneakers because streetwear has always been about styling and standing out, not about blending in.” @poojaguptax
“Don’t chase hype. If you really are in it for the love of it, you can pick out tees from brand like #TheHundreds, #Thrasher and #Stussy for about 3k. Same goes for sneakers. Forget the hype, buy what you like. A regular NMD is as good, if not better than a collab version. A mid-Jordan is as good a sneaker as a high.” @claudiusallen of @bowtiesandbonesblog – Creative Director, Fashion Consultant.