As promised in my resolutions for 2017, my first post on the back of it pertains to skate brands. We take a look at how names like Thrasher and HUF (the former, more so) got appropriated into the fashion scene.
This was around the January of 2016. All I knew was that Thrasher was a skateboard magazine. But then I began seeing their flame logo tee pop up on my IG feed across various Street Style accounts. But before we dive into the details, let us kick things off with a Fit Video from my YouTube Channel!
Little do people know that the Thrasher tee began off as being paraphernalia for the magazine. So if you opted for the annual subscription of the Thrasher Magazine which spoke about everything relevant to skate culture, you’d get a tee free in the mail. But the tee got so famous, people began flipping it on the internet which eventually led to Thrasher merchandising their stuff.
But why the appeal all of a sudden? At the time of reading this post, almost half the world has heard of the Supreme Collab with Louis Vuitton. Their relationship began with a Cease and Desist order that LV slapped on Supreme when the latter dropped monogrammed skate decks in the early 2000s. But come 2017 and they are on the runway together. Is this the heralding of what is, Street Wear Bastardisation? Or is it a sign of new and better things to come in the genre?
I am one of the contributors to this appropriation. I am no skater, I am just a poser. But I have, what I consider, relevant cause for it. I am not someone who wants to look all cool and relevant in the streetwear scene. No doubt, it is real rad. The reason though, is that I love the synonyms aligned with skaters – rebels, tough as nails, challenging authority, you get the hint. I feel like it fits in well with the kind of person I am. I also love the minimalism of their prints and monochrome colorways. However, it is people like me, that Thrasher editor Jake Phelps loathes, much to my dismay. He was asked about the growing popularity of his tees with the celeb crowd, in an interview with Hypebeast. His exact words were :
“We don’t send boxes to Justin Bieber or Rihanna or those fucking clowns. The pavement is where the real shit is. Blood and scabs, does it get realer than that?”
HUF on the other hand is a proper merch brand. Founder Keith Hufnagel grew up with a passion for skateboarding and eventually became a professional. And what started as a store called HUF, that sold hard-to-find skate paraphernalia, eventually became a label that assimilated Street Wear, Skateboarding and Sneaker cultures. They have done a bunch of fun collaborations with the likes of Penthouse, The Peanuts, Obey and Thrasher (which is the tee I have on).
Much like Sneaker Culture, Streetwear is slowly turning into a mainstream genre. What people need to understand though, that this is not a “trend”. Street wear is Style and not something that is passing fleetingly. Sadly though, with all of this appropriation, it is going to see a spike and commercialisation for the next 12 – 18 months. Maybe longer. Which means, just like everyone who wore brogues and heels all their “influencing” lives (and all of a sudden wanted to fit in with what is cool) began swearing by sneakers; you are going to see a lot of street wear all over the place. But the first mover, if that can be considered a race, always has the advantage. And the skaters who like to be miles away from any “trend” association have to see their favourite brand being whored out by the “superficial” industry of fashion.
What do you think of the street wear culture emerging in India. Let me know through your comments.
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