However, for a new generation of consumers, urban fashion, which originated in Harlem in the 1980s, has become an entire segment of the luxury industry and, for this avid segment, has come to symbolize luxury itself. The fusion of haute couture and urban clothing is the luxury urban clothing brand. This brand is doubly exclusive because small-batch urban clothing and prestigious haute couture pieces are exclusive. Luxury urban fashion takes the standards of multiple fashion movements and takes them to the pinnacle of skill, quality and design.
Luxury urban fashion has brought the culture of urban fashion (the culture of drop, the hype) to the world of luxury, giving it a new injection of “freshness”. Traditional luxury homes have taken note of the successful formula used by urban clothing brands: simple silhouettes, eye-catching graphics and logos (usually with a collaboration between the brand and a culturally relevant artist) that attract young experts on Instagram and respond to the demand of millennials for more informal and comfortable fashion. Therefore, urban luxury fashion gives traditional high-end brands greater relevance in the eyes of their buyers from the millennial generation and generation Z. That same day, Guillermo opens showroom 424 to the public, giving urban fashion fans the opportunity to hang out, touch the clothes and see what's coming in six months.
And younger customers (in this case, millennials and Generation Y) are the most sought-after shopping sector, so the combination of luxury and urban clothing was inevitable. As urban fashion and luxury fashion continue to merge, the key to success could lie in how well luxury brands adopt this new contemporary prestige without losing their DNA. Fashion houses have been producing very expensive urban clothing for years, and the opposite has been happening ever since Dapper Dan created pseudo-luxury garments for rappers in the 80s. Backed by influencers and celebrities on the Internet, Virgil Abloh is the founder of the urban high fashion brand Off-White (used all over the world, from Drake to Jay Z, Rihanna, Beyoncé and more) and the longtime creative director of American rapper Kanye West.
Today's urban fashion followers have many tools to amplify this opinion, increasing their popularity in the echo chamber of social networks. Luxury urban clothing offers the possibility of dressing in an elegant, casual and comfortable way, while still showing the prestige, status and exclusivity of the world of luxury. Nigo, one of the pioneers of urban fashion, is best known for founding the influential brands Bape and Human Made, as well as being a long-time creative collaborator with Pharrell's. He tells me how important it is for Givenchy to produce these types of garments, because urban clothing is “part of the DNA of the house”.
To their surprise, the shirts outsold all other products, creating a huge urban clothing brand in the process. It's equally difficult to imagine a Parisian fashion house operating solely in tailor-made haute couture urban clothing. All of these collaborations mark the direction that high-end European brands and other like-minded luxury brands are taking and, if it's not directly about old school urban fashion, it's towards a new type of hybrid with urban clothing influences.