There isn’t any one clear definition of streetwear; the encompassing “genre” of style has moved beyond mere subcultures and sneakers into fashion houses and beyond. Louis Vuitton, Raf Simons, Balenciaga and many others have displayed an interest in the fusion of “capital-F” Fashion and laid-back casualwear. A stroll around any major city will yield sightings of Gucci sneakers being paired with Supreme tees or Vetements hoodies being worn with a pair of adidas. The idea of fashion houses even producing sneakers is a concept that really only gained traction about a decade ago. Sure, there were fashion-facing court trainers and sporty runners –I’m looking at you, Prada America’s Cup–but those sneakers were designed more to push the brand and the logos into fulfilling on a house’s all-encompassing “lifestyle” proposition. Once the big labels started craving the profits of streetwear labels, they altered track. They’ve begun aping the trends and styling of streetwear brands—meanwhile, some streetwear brands have taken seats in the club that haute couture built.

Not so long ago, streetwear was little more than loose Bape jeans, a graphic tee and some Nike SB’s or Jordans. After loose jeans began to fall out of fashion, the savvy aficionados began to adopt slimmer APC jeans and moved away from bulky basketball sneakers. This shift in streetwear style foretold the progression of streetwear away from being a mere vehicle for sneakers, sneaker culture and a wardrobe built around graphic tees—leading to where it stands presently at the intersection of fashion, sneakers and street-level, day-to-day functionality. Fashion houses avoided associating with streetwear brands for years, fearing that the association would dilute the luxurious allure that allows said fashion houses to charge exorbitant prices, to the point where Louis Vuitton swiftly slapped Supreme’s infamous Louis Vuitton-biting skateboards with a cease-and-desist. Just over a decade later, Supreme and Louis Vuitton unveiled a high-end, luxury-priced collaboration; it just goes to show how quickly the once disparate worlds merged. Prior to this kind of fusion gaining widespread acceptance, figures like Kanye West, Pharrell, and various stylists began combining streetwear and upscale high fashion in outfits. This laid a foundation for a two-way street, placing the groundwork for the streetwear and fashion scenes to intermingle.

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