The Birth of a Movement

Streetwear emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a response to the growing influence of youth culture and hip-hop music. It was born on the streets of New York City, where young individuals sought a means of self-expression that went beyond mainstream fashion. This new style drew inspiration from the gritty urban environment, incorporating elements of skateboarding, graffiti art, and DJ culture.

Who Started the Streetwear Trend?

1. Shawn Stussy: The Godfather of Streetwear

- Shawn Stussy, a talented surfer and artist, began shaping the streetwear landscape in the early 1980s. He started by creating hand-printed surfboards and eventually transitioned into designing graphic t-shirts with his iconic signature logo. Stussy's unique blend of surf and skate culture resonated with the youth of California and beyond, propelling his brand to international recognition.

2. James Jebbia: The Mastermind Behind Supreme

- In the early 1990s, James Jebbia founded Supreme, a skateboarding brand that would go on to define the streetwear aesthetic. With its limited-edition drops, bold logos, and collaborations with artists and designers, Supreme became a symbol of exclusivity and hype. Jebbia's innovative approach to marketing and his ability to create a sense of community around the brand solidified Supreme's status as a streetwear heavyweight.

3. Nigo: The Japanese Streetwear Pioneer

- In Japan, Nigo, the founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE), played a pivotal role in popularizing streetwear. Nigo's brand embraced a unique blend of Japanese pop culture, hip-hop, and street fashion. BAPE's distinctive camouflage patterns, oversized silhouettes, and iconic ape logo became synonymous with the streetwear movement. Nigo's influence spread globally, making BAPE a coveted brand among fashion enthusiasts.

4. Pharrell Williams: The Style Icon

- Pharrell Williams, a multi-talented artist, not only made waves in the music industry but also left an indelible mark on streetwear fashion. With his distinctive style and fearless experimentation, Pharrell became a trendsetter in his own right. His collaboration with brands like Adidas and his own clothing line, Billionaire Boys Club, showcased his ability to merge high fashion with streetwear sensibilities, pushing the boundaries of what was considered fashionable.

FAQs: Who Started the Streetwear Trend?

1. Who started streetwear?

- Streetwear was pioneered by visionary individuals such as Shawn Stussy, James Jebbia, Nigo, and Pharrell Williams.

2. Who started the streetwear trend?

- The streetwear trend was ignited by these influential figures who pushed the boundaries of fashion and created a cultural revolution.

The Impact of Streetwear

The streetwear trend has had a profound impact on the fashion industry, transcending its humble beginnings to become a global phenomenon. Here are some key reasons why streetwear has become such a force to be reckoned with:

1. Self-Expression

- Streetwear allows individuals to express their unique style and personality, breaking away from the constraints of traditional fashion norms. It has given people the freedom to embrace their individuality and showcase their creativity.

2. Cultural Fusion

- Streetwear seamlessly blends various cultures and subcultures, creating a melting pot of influences. Whether it's the fusion of skateboarding and hip-hop or the incorporation of Japanese street fashion, streetwear celebrates diversity and inclusivity.

3. Collaboration Culture

- One of the defining features of streetwear is its collaborative nature. Brands often team up with artists, musicians, and other fashion labels to create limited-edition collections, generating immense hype and driving demand. This collaborative approach has disrupted the traditional fashion model and fostered a sense of community among enthusiasts.

4. Accessibility

- Unlike high-end fashion, streetwear is often more accessible in terms of price and availability. Brands like Stussy, Supreme, and BAPE have managed to maintain a loyal following while remaining relatively affordable, allowing a wider audience to participate in this fashion revolution.


The birth of the streetwear trend can be attributed to a handful of visionaries who dared to challenge the status quo and redefine fashion. Shawn Stussy, James Jebbia, Nigo, and Pharrell Williams are just a few of the influential figures who have left an indelible mark on this movement. Streetwear has not only transformed the way we dress but has also become a cultural phenomenon, empowering individuals to express their individuality and embrace diversity. As the streetwear trend continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly inspire future generations of fashion visionaries to push the boundaries and create their own revolutions. So, who started the streetwear trend? These pioneers ignited a fashion revolution that shows no signs of slowing down.

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