Streetwear has the ability to push limits when done right or produce cookie-cutter carbon copies when done wrong. Thinking better when it comes to your choice of clothing means thinking bigger than Bape being the only internationally known brand in your closet. In no way is that discrediting a legendary brand from Japan but there are other companies hailing from all corners of the earth making more than decent looking clothes. This planet is pretty huge and your knowledge of what’s available out there should be too.
For most people when they hear Japanese fashion being mentioned the first images that pop into their minds are outfits they’ve seen in an anime. While it would be amazing to see everyone in Ginza in some gear seen on Bleach the overall fashion of the locals falls all over the spectrum and when it comes to streetwear there are a plethora of brands that know what they’re doing. Tomoaki “Nigo” Nagao has moved on from Bape to make the brand Human Made. There are too many innovators in clothing across seas for 1st Camo Shark Hoodies to be the only foreign fit. Other established brands like WTAPS, Neighborhood, and Mastermind are just as big as Bape and making a switch is easy with so much selection. Here’s who to look out for in the new year.
Ready Made is ready to break out this year. They already have collabs with Bape, Off-White, and Fear Of God under their belt. Repurposing military materials to compose streetwear silhouettes is their speciality. It’s like the opportunity to pull off a Blade Runner outfit without things being cheesy.
Cav Empt is unapologetic when it comes to their aesthetics. It’s abstract and in terms of core streetwear values it hits the nail on the head.
WACKO MARIA (Guilty Parties/Paradise Tokyo)
Attire from Wacko Maria gives off a heavy musically influenced vibe. It’s almost like wardrobe you would find for a Ryan Gosling fit on the Drive movie set. Expect neo-noir film level cool and souvenir jacket inspirations in their threads.
Africa has the advantage of great weather so naturally when summer hits picking up a piece or two from their hot weather adapted streetwear is key. Keep cool while still looking cool is something streetwear brands from Africa excel at. Everything from splashes of exotic colors to subtle statement pieces can be crammed all in the same fit without looking crazy. These are the brands on the radar.
Mizizi is an amazing brand whose best pieces mix sports uniforms and cues from the culture. Mizizi is one team that looks promising in the winner department.
The clashing of vivid colors, lively prints, and contrasting logos are what really pulls OhYesLord ahead of the pack. With an ethos rooted in relaxation you can’t go wrong.
WafflesNCream is a very upfront no nonsense brand. Remember the days when streetwear was about a message in every thread? They bring that raw unfiltered feeling back.
Mexico is a melting pot of culture. With so many influences shaping a country over the years it’s no surprise their streetwear scene thrives. Every brand has their own unique appeal and allows the wearer to uniquely express themselves depending on their own personal taste. You’ll find every type of influence in Mexican streetwear brands from pop culture to logo prints that give nods to the local surroundings.
Any brand that has pieces inspired by anime greats like Akira should be automatically up for consideration in your closet. The iconic eye-grabbing graphics is what makes Sacrifice really stand out.
READY TO DIE
Ready To Die centers their brand around quality and design. Goth/Punk style is pretty big in Mexico and this brand manages to offer that with a streetwear twist on a few of their items.
The Tony Delfino brand caters to the skater in you. Relaxed outerwear and tongue-in-cheek graphics with an eye for detail separates Delfino from most other brands.
Palace is probably the most notable brand from across the pond but it isn’t the only one. KTZ was pretty big when the black/white street goth trend went viral in streetwear. But if you want to avoid trends and get the drop on a few brands that are in it for the long run other than London’s answer to Supreme check these brands out.
Roundel London undeniably represents everything someone would want from streetwear. Clean fonts, large logos, and a love for the home city.
Lazy Oaf is the most legit brand to look for in London if you’re into loud colors and crazy patterns. It’s almost impossible to blend in with anything from Lazy Oaf on.
A-Cold-Wall walks the thin line of high-end designer but still keeps things street. Their latest AF1 sneaker collab with Nike was pretty potent and the brand is a formidable contender in the clothing department.
France is very fashion forward so showing the streetwear side of life some love came pretty naturally. The home of the catacombs has had its share of success already with brands like A.P.C., Kenzo, and more recently Vetements. Trendsetting is always better than trend chasing and below are the brands from Paris predicted to have a big year.
Pigalle coach jackets and boxed logo tees were pretty popular thanks to rappers like Pretty Flacko. While the co-sign of ASAP Rocky shot the brand into another stratosphere of popularity Pigalle maintained the attention and is showing signs of big releases coming up this year.
POYZ & PIRLZ
Poyz & Pirlz falls more along the lines of a playful brand, utilizing colors that pop for most of their collections. If you look hard enough you can see the inspiration for some of their items coming from American brands.
DROLE DE MONSIEUR
DDM is higher up on the food chain of streetwear fashion. The brand almost falls into the formal category but it’s easy to see their roots after thoroughly inspecting much of their threads.
The popular clothing coming from Russia focuses on futbol and rave culture. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any streetwear to be found from the region, in fact there’s possibly a few brands that you may already be familiar with thanks to collabs with Adidas and others.
The Gosha brand has really made a name for themselves the last two years. Collaborations with FILA and Adidas has only gained them credibility and worldwide attention.
Post-Soviet streetwear fashion is something that may be hard getting into at first but Sputnik 1985 is a little easier on the eyes if other Russian based brands come off as too unfamiliar.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Crime and Punishment brand digs deep into Russian culture with heavy symbolism on their streetwear pieces but remains inviting to those interested in learning.
Now that you know what's out there let us know what you plan on picking up from the list.