When we hear "streetwear," our minds immediately think of Los Angeles. For a good reason, L.A Streetwear, after all, highly influenced the rise of streetwear into the mega powerhouse that it is known today. We can even say that Los Angeles is the start of it all. It initially started spreading in the West Coast, and gradually almost every West Coast streetwear style was influenced by the chill and comfortable fashion sense of the L.A. surf culture.
Like anything in the world that has the power to change, streetwear soon developed into something more after influences from other styles and cultures touched it. Some of those are the influence from New York streetwear that was dominantly hip hop, and Chicago streetwear, which, despite being a junior behind L.A. and New York, had contributed with loyalty and passion with their impressive sneakers streetwear collections.
Fast forward in the 21st century, West Coast Streetwear is still alive and kicking. It has evolved so much, but at the same time, it is wonderful to see that it has not forgotten its roots. Streetwear is now worldwide; technology advancement has made it easier for people to share their ideas and style and influence others.
Let us take a look at some of the most influential homegrown brands in West Coast Streetwear:
Undefeated is one of the O.G.s in L.A. streetwear. It all started with their awesome sneakers, their in-house line. And now over a decade old, they are still producing quality streetwear basics and multiple partnerships with brands like Timberland. Their catalog has expanded from sneakers and graphic tees to pullovers and short sets. Their product quality has also become more remarkable as the years go by; their new short sets are created with nylon gingham fabric, and their track pants line is updated with pleats for a more sophisticated look.
Everything they have done and continue to do for the West Coast Streetwear has led to them becoming a big name outside of L.A. streetwear. They are now a substantial dominating presence in neighboring states, like New York streetwear in the East Coast, Chicago streetwear in the Midwest, and globally; they recently opened branches in Kyoto and Shanghai.
Their brand name is DOPE, and they live up to it. They started in the streets of Los Angeles and have been the fastest-growing company in the West Coast area. Their clothing line is hugely in demand and is available in many boutiques worldwide.
Their product line embodies streetwear down to its core; simple, comfortable, and a statement. Since 2007 they have maintained and even improved the quality and range of their streetwear products.
You can be comfortable and confident that it is downright dope when musical legends P. Diddy, Big Sean, Jay-Z, Wale, Talib Kweli, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, and Kid Ink believes in them; after all, you can see these musical icons wear the brand a lot.
FUCT has been around since 1990. Erik Brunetti started it in Los Angeles with the foremost goal of delivering social commentary while making the most excellent clothes. After all, streetwear is all about freedom, comfort, and a touch of rebellion.
Patrons of the brand love that FUCT has remained faithful and steadfast on its goal even years from its origin. Every product it launches delivers something meaningful behind it. Something West Coast streetwear can stand behind with.
It's not all about that, though; the brand is not just about its message. It also comes with quality, and it is well known for appropriating pop-culture iconography into its branding, often in a satirical manner.
Now that we listed some of the pillars behind the West Coast streetwear, have you noticed some qualities they share? West Coast Streetwear is a powerhouse and highly influential worldwide due to its core which those three brands above actually echo - it's all about the power to change and adapt to the developments around it.
West Coast streetwear keeps offering more and more as the season passes by. It never stops growing, adopting, and metamorphosing. PEOPLE LOVE THAT!! Who doesn't? Even in fashion, we humans don't want to constantly be stuck into the same thing. We want growth, and that is what West Coast streetwear offers; something new. At the same time, despite all the changes, the classic core of streetwear is still there, and that right there is magic, the capability to incorporate something new but being able to keep the hints of the past.
Aside from those "sentimentality" reasons, West Coast streetwear can also boast of its physical attributes. Every brand on the West Coast provides quality in each product they drop; they have continuously expanded their catalog with new and unique designs and styles. Why? Because that is what the people of the West Coast demand from them, top-tier streetwear.
With everything we know, we can safely say that streetwear would be here to stay as long as people want comfort and ease; as long as streetwear gives them an outlet for freedom of speech and art, then the staying power of streetwear would never decrease. As proof, despite how the pandemic affected everyone and every business out there recently, the streetwear business didn't stop. Because despite being literally restricted from walking the street, streetwear was still in demand while staying at home. I mean, comfort and cozy would always be a good deal.
So, you can expect more and more from this industry. From the L.A. streetwear that reflects laid backness or the New York streetwear that can be seen in fashion weeks. Even down to the Chicago streetwear dominating the music industry to the fashion streetwear of Europe, and the edgy streetwear in Japan.
Time would only make streetwear better and louder worldwide. You can be assured that West Coast streetwear will continue to be a massive factor in its future success. After all, West Coast has a lot of people with passion, skill, and talent to continue helping their style and culture move forward.
Final tip. Get into the West Coast streetwear boat or just streetwear culture as early as now. Let it be a part of your wardrobe or even start contributing to it by using your talent and skills. More importantly, a set of streetwear can definitely change you and your style, and everybody deserves something comfortable to wear 24/7.