Since writing a blog, “Worldwide Popularity of Streetwear Ascending,” in December of 2017, the global streetwear market and culture has continued to rise in popularity. Beginning as a niche market that originated mainly within skateboarding and inner-city communities, the streetwear brand and aesthetic has become a mainstream influence that reaches star athletes and world-famous actors. With appeal centered especially in Asia and the United States, streetwear captures two of the world’s largest audiences and is now rivaling the status of luxury brands like Italy’s Gucci and France’s Louis Vuitton.
Estimated to have a value of over 309 billion dollars in 2017, the streetwear has continued to expand its reach. The streetwear industry is dominated by the United States’ Supreme, Fear of God, Kith, and Yeezy, Italy’s Off-White, and Japan’s Bape. The main business strategy of these streetwear giants centers around demand and scarcity. Companies develop a loyal following and release limited runs of products with high price tags in order to generate “hype” and feelings of exclusivity amongst customers. As previously mentioned, Asia and the United States lead the world in streetwear product consumption, with Korea, the U.S., China, and Japan at the forefront. The reach of streetwear is expansive—recently, Target released its cheaper-alternative streetwear line and Canada’s Lululemon also created a streetwear collection.
The creation of secondary market brands like StockX, the GOAT app, and Grailed—all hailing from the U.S.—have further proliferated the business of streetwear across the globe, improving accessibility and integrity for customers through purchase “verifications” and platforms. StockX, dubbed “the stock market of things,” has been the most successful of the three, reaching a valuation of 1 billion dollars in 2019. The company works as an auction market and contains categories like sneakers, streetwear, watches, bags, and recently, trading cards. These types of companies have become popular amongst investors, who have put an estimated 179.8 million dollars of funds into popular online streetwear market places. Secondary markets have immense potential to disrupt how consumers purchase goods that are neither one-of-ones or mass-production items, and their success is confirmed by the large growth each company has experienced in only a handful of years.
Ultimately, the streetwear market is extremely hot around the world at this point and time. Its implementation within well-known commodity brands has only added fuel to the fire, with collaborations between brands becoming popular. Recently, Off-White and Nike partnered to make some of the most sought-after clothes in the world. The added influence of celebrities from around the world supporting streetwear fashion will add to this effect. Streetwear seems to be a movement that has surpassed a trend phase and is here to stay.