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Exploring the Evolution of Urban Fashion

Urban fashion has long been around, but it’s really only in the 20th century that this style of fashion, which differs from the mainstream, has truly made its mark. Today, it’s more than just a sociocultural practice linked to certain groups; it’s become a dominant style in the fashion world. 

Major cities like New York, Paris, London and Tokyo have all played their part. Fashion weeks and unwritten rules such as ‘be yourself’ have helped cement urban style as a fashion to follow. It’s casual but stylish. To dress this way is dressing on your own terms and, from a fashion perspective, not look or seem ridiculous. Below is a look at urban fashion and how it has established itself in the fashion world.

The fashion to follow

The world loves streetwear right now. Hip hop culture has had a huge influence on this, thanks to rappers’ love for streetwear brands such as Supreme. It’s an influence that has been exerting itself on fashion for some time. 

In the early days of hip hop, photographers noticed the culture developing in inner city New York. The unique dress sense of the hip hop artists and rappers (such as the iconic baggy trouser/timberland look Jay-Z was so well known for), which included items such as chains, Adidas sneakers and leather blazers, captured the eye of the snappers and made them an interesting photography subject. As hip hop evolved, so did the fashion. Sneaker culture became especially big. Sports teams and graffiti later entered the style conversation.

Interestingly, the urban style hasn’t kept itself to itself, having crept into the world of high-end fashion. Luxury brands have begun to emulate the streetwear aesthetic and it’s become common to see hooded tops, chains, sneakers and sweatpants on the runway. These are all typical of the hip hop style.

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Urban fashion and urban life

Urban fashion came about in a time when, after the horrors experienced during World War II, people felt a desperate need for change. People wanted to deviate from the known ordinary style. Out of this need arose groups that displayed had their own sense of style, such as goths, punks, bikers and hippies, as their members experimented with style and expressed their individuality. 

That goes, then, for fashionable items such as Rockstar puffer jackets, an item of winter clothing that will be a big hit and trend when the cold season hits. These coats keep you warm and, at the same time, allow you to express your own sense of style. You can go monochromatic and stick to a single color. You can layer your look with oversized sweatshirts and down vests. Whichever you choose, you’ll look the business.

Urban fashion, evolution and social media

Urban fashion’s journey into its current dominance as a style stems from the desire for authenticity and the expression of a meaningful intention. As urban fashion evolved, extensive social, cultural and economic changes were taking place in the background, following the upheaval and chaos the Second World War had wreaked upon the world. 

Hip hop and skateboarding have been two elements that have fostered the growth in popularity of urban fashion. Another important one has been social media, especially Instagram. The platform became popular with followers and adopters of street style and the fashion itself became bolder and more eye catching. 

Instagram gave these people the opportunity to express themselves further and not fear mockery. What some fans of urban fashion rue, however, is the fact that social media and the internet have, in fact, helped to catapult the style from one belonging to something of a niche culture into the mainstream. The sense of a quest behind urban fashion has, to them, become lost because items are so much more available. 

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Urban fashion is big and gives followers the opportunity to express their individuality. Are you a follower? This style might be just the thing you’re looking for if you seek something different.

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