The Official Black Owned Streetwear Guide for 2022
Not too long ago the tide of time came tumbling in and took 2021 away with it when it left. When it comes to the streetwear scene, it truly was another one for the books. Although most of us put our fits on hold, experimentation and diversity were still the key players in setting up what’s exploding in 2022. Yesterday’s drip, is not today’s drip. There’s more to life than dressing like Travis Scott and playing a fashion game of Kanye Says. It may have felt like the world ended the last 2 years but the era of an earthtone dystopian future has already bid its farewell. If you’re up to date on what's good, you may have noticed that what started as a mundane mask mandate mutated into the big drip balaclava. Work wear was also what was up in 21. The scene was going Carhartt crazy, showing out with no shame double-knee’d up on any given weekday afternoon. Heavyweight work wear was just something light that got us all right for the two one. Not forgetting all of the other trends that rode a wave into the next year.
Hindsight is always A1. And moving forward, there’s a few things we can count on seeing every year from now on. Covid and Commes des Garçon Play Hearts. Most of us wishing we could leave both behind. But what’s new that's hittin' different in 22? Because streetwear is in sort of an awkward place right now. Merch wear has finally gotten its seal of approval, solidifying itself as actually wearable outside of one solely being a fan of the artist’s vision. The crawl started with vintage tour date tees. The walk was the infamous Pablo merch. And the fly is Cactus Plant Flea Market x Kids See Ghosts collab pieces going bonkers on the aftermarket. Let’s not forget about the scene kids contribution to 2022. The general consensus is an army, better yet a navy. If you took your time machine back to the early days, everything was baggy. At minimum it was double X’s in front of the L on a pristine Galaxy White Tee and zero wrinkles in the Evisus. That was the scene. But ever since streetwear turned into an adoption agency, there’s now everything from avant garde high fashion to street friendly interpretations of Clog shoes in the house. The horizon of 22 is filled with Gorpcore, Normcore, Hypecore and more.
Black streetwear is all scenes, and all scenes are black streetwear. Definitely a Confucius quote had he got his hands on some Cav Empt or CCP. What is meant by this is that there’s always a melanin hand in the pot in terms of influence and audience. It was Eddie Bauer yesterday, and it’s Arc’teryx today. In 2022 it’s "big scene" energy calling the shots. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the scenes on front street pulling the strings like Gorpcore. While there may be limited black owned brands putting out high end high altitude ready wear, there are black people who have a direct hand in helping elevate and establish brands in a certain scene. Thus bringing us to identify another huge driving factor behind what people want to wear in 2022, the designer.
IT’S DESIGNER …
Typically, when someone asks if what you’re wearing is designer, immediately to mind comes the Rafs, Ricks, and Slimanes of the world. But ever since streetwear kicked downed high end luxury fashion’s door and invited itself in, it has allowed for black designers to contribute to the 2022 mainstream fashion narrative. No longer does pop-fashion cultural influence mean everyone wanting to dress like their favorite rapper. So when the same inquiry of who's the designer to your fit is asked this year, the answer just maybe it’s Virgil Abloh (OFF-WHITE, LOUIS VUITTON), Salehe Bembury (NEW BALANCE, LEXUS, CROCS, CANADA GOOSE), Shayne Oliver (HOOD BY AIR), Samuel Ross (A COLD WALL), Edson Sabajo and Guillaume 'Gee' Schmidt (Patta), Anwar Carrots (Carrots), Jerry Lorenzo (FOG, ESSENTIALS, NIKE, ADIDAS), Dapper Dan (LOUIS VUITTON, GAP) Victor Umeh (BOSHOK). Blind brand loyalty has pretty much taken a back seat. What’s hot is championing the current brain behind the brand. Just look what happened to BAPE after Nigo left. Brand idolatry is temporary. Most of what's fly at the moment ends up being fly-by-night in the end. But if a brand comes with the correct ideology, they end up lasting forever.
EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING
Streetwear is an ouroboros. Evolution and eventual rebirth. The same way the clock is guaranteed not to stop is the same way you'll see streetwear styles be reborn. 2022 has quite a few visitors from the past. Feeling neo-nostalgic? Grab a BOSHOK tie-dye tee before its too late. The last thing you want to do in 22 is be left behind. Hopefully this provided some light for your path on the rest of this year's journey. There's a lot going on, and now you're one of the ones that know.
Virgil Abloh in Pyrex Vision FADER, Boshok Vic in BOSHOK PHX Pop up, Frank Ocean in Arc'Teryx WSJ, Shia LaBeouf in Patagonia Highsnobiety, Future in A Bathing Ape, Salehe Bembury for CROCS Solesavy, Anwar Carrots in Carrots NY Times, Dapper Dan in Gap x Dapper Dan Collab Vouge, Jerry Lorenzo in Essentials Vouge