The Rise of Silent Streetwear

The Rise of Silent Streetwear - C-SQUARE

Streetwear is far from dead. Anyone who claims otherwise hasn't seen the reality in which there are no longer any clear boundaries between the design aesthetics and business models of OG streetwear labels and those of luxury and fast fashion companies that are trying to cash in on streetwear's sartorial codes. The resulting uniform men's fashion market has existed in this form for a long time. What is true is that there will soon be some changes to the way "streetwear" is viewed by the general public and consumers. That is, if it is left to the trend-setting, influential consumers.


The COVID pandemic and the world's slowing down have undoubtedly accelerated the process, which was already looming over the fashion industry due to consumer fatigue with the more-is-more style fashion. The era of "silent" streetwear has arrived.


According to Nick Paget, senior menswear editor at trend forecaster WGSN, "the decline of 'loud' designs, logos, and colours means that the familiar menswear language, like the mantra 'god is in the details,' is making a return." "Fabrics and washes, as well as trims and clever features relevant to a consumer's lifestyle, [will] become more important. Once again, handiwork and thoughtful [details] will be essential. Even the ageing patina will start to look more appealing.



This is where "silent" streetwear resides at its core. Streetwear as we know it today is characterised by boisterous graphics with subcultural references and messages, which are literally worn on the chests of a group to signify they are in-the-know. "Silent" streetwear lifts the veil. When reduced to their bare necessities, quality, construction, and level of detail stand out on their own, so there is no need for it to conceal itself behind ineffective marketing, loud graphics, or challenging silhouettes.


"Silent" streetwear is fundamentally nothing new. While luxury brands like The Row, 1017 ALYX 9SM, and Jil Sander — led by former Supreme designer Luke Meier — have recently evolved their men's design languages towards one where luxury streetwear staples are subtly perfected, YEEZY, WTAPS, and Reigning Champ have long been purveyors of the aesthetic. However, as consumer perceptions of loud streetwear are rapidly shifting, a powerful and expanding group of supporters of "silent" streetwear are deciding the course of menswear's next development.


Thus, narrative and radical transparency are crucial. When minimalist clothing generally has a similar aesthetic, it's how you stand out. It's how you persuade a group that associates wearing streetwear with status, cultural awareness, and tribe membership that, in fact, shelling out cash for a logo-free, toned-down item can have just as much significance.


The new streetwear. While "silent" streetwear brands are now demonstrating to the traditional fashion industry how a modern day fashion brand should look and behave now that they have a seat at the table, streetwear originally used its voice to tell the stories of the kids overlooked by the established system.


Given that the term "streetwear" has become so ambiguous, hyped streetwear as we know it won't go away, but silent streetwear will continue to develop as a new subset. Every price point and product category will gradually see it, building up to the ideal evolution where the contrast between streetwear and luxury is no longer discernible.

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