Credited as the original urban clothing brand, Stussy began as a small graphic t-shirt brand in 1980. After generating a lot of buzz with his t-shirts, California surfer Shawn Stussy, founder of the brand, has expanded his design to include surf and skate clothing. A day ago, urban clothing was a casual clothing style that went global in the 1990s. It grew out of New York's hip hop fashion and California's surf culture to encompass elements of sportswear, punk, skateboarding and Japanese street fashion.
Over time, haute couture became an influence. It usually focuses on casual and comfortable garments, such as jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps and sneakers, and on exclusivity through intentional product shortages. Enthusiasts follow certain brands and try to get limited-edition releases. The main urban clothing brands currently on the market are Nike, Supreme, Adidas, Noah, Palace Off White and Vetements.
In reality, urban fashion now only has a broader definition. It encompasses the old school leaning towards hip hop, the new avant-garde school and everything in between. So, to help set the record straight, here's a summary of the best urban clothing brands on the planet right now and why they deserve your attention. Supreme in New York is one of OG's urban clothing brands and one of those that revolutionized the scene by throwing away the traditional supply and demand model.
It is a movement that has led the skate brand to become one of the most revered names in current fashion, with collaborations with companies such as Rolex and Louis Vuitton. If Shawn Stussy hadn't made his way into the t-shirt business in 1980, today's fashion landscape would be a very different place. After creating excitement with its printed t-shirts, Stüssy, the brand, diversified into surf and skate clothing, becoming the first authentic urban clothing brand, laying the foundations for those that would come. Today, Stüssy continues to be a driving force for urban clothing brands, offering forward-thinking designs while remaining faithful to its California roots.
Of course, it may not have the same influence as some of its promoted descendants, but it has remained respected and steadfast for nearly 40 years. Which, in this game, is nothing short of incredible. When thinking about British brands, what usually comes to mind are traditional names, as opposed to urban high fashion brands that change the genre. However, since London-based A-Cold-Wall* has been going from strength to strength in recent years, that could change.
Founded in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo, in 1993, A Bathing Ape (or BAPE) quickly became known as the wacky urban clothing brand with a Japanese twist. The founder Nigo (whose real name is Tomoaki Nagao) is a kind of cult figure on the scene, and his obsession with sneakers, toys and graphics on the face has meant that his brand has become one of the most recognizable brands in existence. Of course, BAPE is best known for its bright multicolored camouflage prints and its shark hoodies that zip over the user's face. These bold design motifs have made the brand popular with teenagers around the world.
Meanwhile, older urban fashion fans tend to stay away. We live in a time when it is as likely to see urban clothing brands parading the catwalks as urban youth shaken by urban youth. It's a change that has redefined what urban fashion really is, and it's fair to say that Off-White was one of the main brands responsible for the reorganization. The brand is the creation of Virgil Abloh, a designer with a taste for ironic brands who worked hard at Fendi while interning with Kanye West.
After becoming creative director of Louis Vuitton, he easily became one of the most influential figures in fashion. Abloh's own brand, Off-White, has become one of the most popular brands on the face of the Earth. Think of bold prints, ironic labels and high-profile collaborations. Carhartt WIP (which stands for “Work In Progress”) is the coolest European cousin of Detroit workwear stalwart Carhartt.
Since the launch of the sublabel in 1994, the brand has gone from being a supplier of dirty overalls to being the backbone of the best collections of children's clothing. Combining the rugged quality of Heritage Carhartt with an eye for contemporary design, WIP has earned a place as one of the best urban clothing brands on the planet. The essence of Palace is its sporty aesthetic, with regular tracksuits, baseball caps and ties, with great hits such as Adidas and Reebok that form the center of its production. So don't be surprised if you see the odd snakeskin moccasin or smoking jacket pop up from time to time.
Cav Empt, the work of Sk8thing, the creator of the iconic graphics of Human Made, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, and music industry veteran Toby Feltwell, is one of those urban clothing brands that defend those who left behind their sweatshirts with the Supreme Box logo and were looking for something new and exciting. Created by former Supreme creative director Brenden Babenzien, Noah is urban clothing for adults. Its production, which offers everything from corduroy caps and university sweatshirts to Oxford shirts and tailoring with a different touch, offers a reliable alternative when the day comes to set expectations aside. Huf is one of the urban clothing brands that you may have known for a long time.
And by a long time, we meant the early 90s. Keith Hufnagel, founder and namesake of the brand, opened the first HUF store in San Francisco in 2002, and sold brands such as Supreme and works by Aaron Rose and Haroshi. Are you looking for urban clothing of supreme quality without a high price, or do you just want to diversify your wardrobe? Some of the best Supreme impersonators are Vetements, Obey, Noah, Off-White and Kith. All the brands on this list have some level of street reputation (if we put it on this list it means something).
Rappers wear urban clothing brands like Yeezy, Off-White, Supreme, Brain Dead, Carhartt WIP and more. The couple decided to channel their love for sneakers, music and urban clothing into a store that housed all their favorite clothes. The genius of urban fashion, however, is the way in which the particularly coveted collections and grails were launched. Marketed as urban clothing for adults, Noah's offering includes everything from corduroy caps and shorts to college sweatshirts and Oxford shirts.
The young designer helps the veteran to produce his seasonal collections and to develop his own budding brand. The cult brand mainly features oversized cuts, flamboyant motifs and its characteristic bright orange logo. Streetwear is an industry term that was used to describe garments that weren't designer clothes that were worn every day on the streets—you guessed it. Essentially, these brands are driven by a very direct motivation to put a word on a t-shirt.
There is also a long-standing collaboration with Converse, which has allowed Rei Kawakubo's brand to put its stamp on the Chuck Taylor All-Star 70 and, in the process, create one of the most popular shoes in urban fashion. The clothing line appeared in 2001 and, today, you can expect to find minimalist designs in bright colors with the very present logo of this urban clothing brand. Founded by two veteran players from the Amsterdam hip-hop scene, Patta was what happened when a couple of friends who loved rhythms, sneakers and urban clothing got together and opened a store to show off their favorite clothes. .