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From Casual to Chic: Streetwear comes of age

From Casual to Chic Streetwear comes of age 002The market for streetwear, despite the advent of new players, luxury collaborations and high-end designers, is still going strong. In fact, it may take quite a long time before the market, with so many crossovers and creative licenses, reaches its zenith. Brands like Nike and others continue to drive demand by producing limited quantities.

Growing popularity of activewear

Katie Smith, Retail Analyst and Insights Director, Edited pointsFrom Casual to Chic Streetwear comes of age 001 out the shift towards more comfortable and functional clothing led to an increase in activewear as a trend. According to the Cotton Council International & Cotton Incorporated’s activewear study, about 3 out of 5 consumers have adopted activewear as their new casual wardrobe. Additionally, 90 per cent consumers wear activewear for purposes other than exercise. And 66 per cent consider athleisure as a more casual way of dressing that will be around for a while.

A survey by Cotton Incorported Lifestyle Monitor Survey reveals nearly 3 out of 5 consumers prefer cotton activewear for athleisure activities like running errands or hanging out at home. A number of brands already incorporate a significant amount of cotton into their athleisure/streetwear offerings. For instance in the Fall/Winter collection of streetwear favorites like cotton tees and sweatshirts are joined by denim, a cotton corduroy shirt with flannel hood, printed and oxford button-front cotton shirts, and cotton twill shirts and pants.

As per the Monitor Survey, 9 of 10 consumers (92 per cent) believe better quality garments are made from natural fibers like cotton. And almost two-thirds of these are willing to pay more for natural fibers like cotton.

Marrying luxury to streetwear

Luxury brands like Gucci and Burberry are jumping onto the streetwear bandwagon; while other labels are bringing streetwear designers to their brand. This mixing of high and low brands and price points might seem like an illusion, but it’s been done before to great effect. Today’s young consumer has grown up on limited run, high/low collaborations between luxury designers and fast-fashion retailers. This lending of a hint of luxury to streetwear offers a sense of achievement to shoppers without hurting the designers’ names. Collaborative streetwear operates in much the same way.

While straight up streetwear often doesn’t cost much, it can be difficult to obtain, requiring waiting on lines for in-store purchasing, or paying attention to social media to plan for the next drops. Luxury labels offer streetwear both because that’s what consumer want to wear and it increases recognition among young consumers. Playing a role in every facet of the industry, streetwear is constantly evolving and shaping the world of fashion.

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