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The Best Streetwear Brands to Know Now and Forever

Streetwear is a force unlike any other, and I saw its influence firsthand. It was a sweltering day in summer 2019, the Before Times, when I was taking a stroll down Bowery Street around noon, on my way to get dim-sum and drunken chicken in Chinatown. The air was so moist and the sun so bright that I contemplated hopping in a taxi for what is normally a 10-minute walk. I decided to suffer through it, thinking how I could spend the extra cash on pork buns instead. And while walking just a little faster, in the hopes of getting into a climate controlled environment much quicker, I saw a line so far-reaching that my jaw dropped. A massive crowd...

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As with many trends, it seems that what happened in luxury five years ago is now going mass. After decades of big collaborations with top fashion designers, boutique retailers, and other creative leaders, companies like Gap and J Crew are embarking on long-term partnerships with the street culture-influenced brand founders who have been in front of their noses the whole time. Ironically, the entire ethos of the streetwear movement has been to employ vernacular, mass-market tropes into the language of luxury. So in a way these shifts are more of a return home than a radical departure. Taken together, these shifts symbolize more than the latest round of designer musical chairs. The same designers that giant brands wouldn’t have considered...

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