These brands are reinvigorating the fashion industry with each collaboration, release, and drop.
Virgil Abloh’s Off-White™ is lauded as one of the most successful streetwear brands, it’s a constant reminder of how far a line can go. To others who have had their eyes on labels that have risen over the past 5-8 and maybe even 10 years, it’s become apparent that additional lines have also entered the conversation.
It’s not enough to build a following on social media. What also matters is a strong brand message, sleek lookbooks, and also a dedication to rolling out memorable drops. Since streetwear lives at the crux of culture, it’s pretty much ingrained in the everyday lives of those who live in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. It comes as no surprise that brands like Joe Fresh Goods, Martine Rose, and others have caught the attention of streetwear aficionados who are looking to evolve their look a bit.
If you’re looking for a peek into what brands have caught our eye over the past few years, check out our list below.
Authenticity is the first word that comes to mind when we think of Joe Fresh Goods. At 33 years old, the Chicago native has built a robust portfolio of collaborations. But what’s most important to note is that this all stems from his own line that he spearheaded on his own years before 2009 when he rolled out his first acclaimed drop. He’d go on to create Dope Boy Magic which ultimately turned into Don’t Be Mad. Joe’s designs are quirky, colorful, and expressive. Most recently he unveiled a collaboration with New Balance featuring a full apparel line and two sneakers, one a 992 and the other is Kawhi Leonard’s OMN1s silhouette.
In 2015 Brendon Babienzen launched the brand NOAH and opened a storefront in SoHo. His wife Estelle Bailey-Babenzien, a co-founder has also been instrumental in the brand’s messaging, the look of the store and the creative direction. His Long Island upbringing in East Islip bleeds into the thoughtful designs that the brand unveils each season. Though NOAH doesn’t coin itself a streetwear brand, it’s known for its colorful graphic T-shirts, logo hoodies, and tote bags that are constantly selling out. Babienzen launched NOAH with the notion of creating an environmentally responsible company.
Queens native Angelo Baque launched Awake NY in 2012 after 10 years as brand director at Supreme. The clean designs and timeless brand logo have allowed the brand to seamlessly become a staple in the New York streetwear community. Each season, Awake NY’s lookbook arrives with contemporary designs (tees, hoodies, jackets) that push forward Baque’s creative inclinations. The drops also provide a peek into Baque’s past which featured stints at both Stussy and the now-defunct Nom de Guerr.
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London-based designer Martine Rose launched her namesake label in 2007. Her take on menswear consists of suiting and also streetwear. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, her designs at times could be described as nods to ‘90s hip-hop culture. Rose is somewhat of an unsung hero in the fashion industry, for years she has been steadily rolling out unconventional pieces. In the past she has collaborated with Nike on a widely popular design, the eccentric Air Monarch IV.
Who Decides War
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Evarard Best (Murder Bravado) is known by many for his association with Virgil Abloh. Best actually began designing and selling his own designs back when he was in high school, this eventually led to the creation of his current line, Who Decides War. Distressed denim with eccentric, embroidered accents is what makes him a designer to watch in the streetwear community. The excessive detailing on Best’s items points to his love affair with punk rock and hip-hop.
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.