Twenty years ago, Vision Street Wear introduced the term streetwear to kids like me - and it wasn't hip-hop. It was skateboarding (street skating was a more resourceful and opportunistic alternative to vert skating). It wasn't saying "I'm from the streets" as much as it was saying "that's where I go to play". Vision Street Wear at the time seemed to be against a lot of the things it seems to stand for now. Granted, the brand went relatively dormant after one of its premier skaters convicted of killing his girlfriend, and probably needed to come back rejuvenated for a new generation of skateboarders. But do a little homework and you see the brand is almost a parody of what it once was. I suppose you don't think of it that way when you're 13, let alone do your homework*.
Likewise in the past decade, Nigo's A Bathing Ape has gone from a fringe fashion delicacy to a much-counterfeited eBay favorite. I won't get into it now; you've already gotten my thoughts on it. Suffice it to say, there are dozens of guys proudly sporting knock-off Bape gear all over the Green Line these days. At least it's not about authenticity; that would require individualism and a lot more work. It's just about having the look.
Which brings me to Satchel of Gravel's brilliantly insightful post "So You Wanna Be A Streetwearer". Follow the link to their full write-up, or check out my copy-and-paste lift of their "Ten Steps to Becoming a Streetwearer" below.
1. This is the simplest step. Learn everything about Japanese street culture. Just take everything you know about American street culture and mentally make it more expensive and limited. What do you think Bape does?
2. Perfect your masturbation skills. If this is how you’re going to start dressing, you’re never getting any ass. You may get a BJ from other dudes who really like your Jordan IIIs, but definitely from not any girls. Accept it.
3. Stay online till you go blind. Never leave the internet. Don’t worry about going to the store to buy product. You have ebay, Niketalk and a gang of forums at your disposal. Plus, you run the possibility of running into girls and with your newly perfected masturbation skills, you don’t need them.
4. Buying IS rebelling. The more you buy, the more you’re showing that you’re against the system of mass consumption. Get as many overpriced sneakers, tees, jeans, jackets and shades as you can. Also make sure that you have at least one (two max) small luxury items like a Gucci belt or LV wallet, to show off your well rounded sense of style.
5. You probably want to be white.
6.Pick up an action sport. Literally. Just buy a deck or a fixed bike and walk around with it. Don’t actually use it, you’ll lower the resale value, which you’ll need for…
7. A digital camera! Get as many megapixels as your parents will let you have. Then, go around and take pictures of your friends, pets, food, chewing gum, dirt and basically whatever ends up in front of your lens. Take a page from Bobby Hundreds and use awkward angles to illustrate your “artistic” side. When that’s done, start a blog detailing your excursions. Like we did.
8. If you’re living in Los Angeles or New York, make sure that you can be found in front of Supreme or Flight Club vying for a photo op on a cool guy blog.
9. Memorize Dipset and Wu-Tang lyrics like your mother’s life depends on it. Because it does.
10. Finally, hit up as many streetwear parties as you can (remember your camera!). As long as they’re in a small venue and Sapporo is the liquor sponsor, it’ll be awesome! These parties are really good for comparing your new hyperstrike deadstock purchases and masturbation techniques with the other guys that are there.