Niches have a built-in propensity to fall by the wayside with the passage of time. Just look at streetwear, which isn't what it was ten years ago. Back then, that brash menswear segment was ascendant, with new brands emerging seemingly on a weekly basis. Today sees streetwear as a diminished force, but not because so many of those upstart brands have quietly slipped into the ether. Rather, it's the mainstreaming of streetwear that poses the biggest threat to the genre. Critically acclaimed new designers ranging from Public School to Aimé Leon Dore are helping to usher in an age where the line between streetwear and menswear becomes even less distinct. We're not quite there yet, as streetwear is still a viable category in the taxonomy of men's style. For its adherents, we present a list of online destinations where streetwear is alive and well.
Produced by: Dan Hwang
1. Firmament The Berlin-based shop has an enviable selection of brands, where both the old guard (WTAPS, Stussy) and new (Bianca Chandon, Dime) share the same digital shelf space. Fans of edgy apparel with a technical bent will get there fix here as well, as Firmament stocks Arc'teryx Veilance, Acronym and Stone Island Shadow Project.
2. HAVEN Among other things, the Canadian retailer is Japanese streetwear nirvana. Hender Scheme, NEIGHBORHOOD, WTAPS, visvim, UNDERCOVER, SOPHNET., NEXUSVII, Uniform Experiment and TAKAHIROMIYASHITA The SoloIst are all present and accounted for. The scary thing, that’s not even the complete list.
3. Bodega The Boston retailer offers something for everyone, delivering an impressive roster of global brands spanning apparel, accessories and footwear. If it’s produced in limited numbers and only available in select markets, chances are Bodega stocks it.
4. Concepts Based in Cambridge, Mass., Concepts has the high-low thing down pat, maintaining a brand list that features both Bounty Hunter and Maison Martin Margiela. Never one to rest on its laurels, Concepts launches high-profile collaborations on a regular basis, along with seasonal in-house collections that are impressive in their own right.
5. Urban Industry The independent UK shop offers customers in the EU an exhaustive list of North American streetwear brands both big and small. Shop the latest from The Hundreds, 10.DEEP, Black Scale, Raised by Wolves and HUF, along with European stalwarts like Armor-Lux and Addict.
6. Livestock Canada’s Livestock may have initially garnered a following due to its impressive selection of footwear, but the apparel and accessories that are offered here feature the sort of stylish functionality worthy of their own following. There’s room for both military-inspired (MHI) gear and new-wave skate apparel (Palace) in Livestock’s stable of goods.
7. Union Los Angeles Union has been around long enough that the influential retailer acted as something of a gateway drug, first exposing shoppers to Japanese labels like WTAPS and Sacai. The L.A. outpost carries on the mission of the original Union store in NYC, introducing a new generation of brands like OAMC and Born x Raised.
8. Moose Limited A vast streetwear emporium, Moose Limited compensates for the site’s decidedly low-rent layout with an impressively comprehensive brand list. This is an e-commerce site in the strictest sense of the word.
9. PacSun Through a recent partnership with jeffstaple and The Reed Space (not to mention 2013’s exclusive Yeezus tour merch), PacSun seems hell-bent on letting people know this isn’t your dad’s retail chain. Visit the site and find Black Scale snapbacks and ICNY tees.
10. Slam Jam Socialism Italy’s Slam Jam combines the best of Europe (Palace Skateboards, Marcelo Burlon, Pigalle), Japan (WTAPS, SOPHNET., UNDERCOVER) and the U.S. (Fear of God, Hood by Air, Engineered Garments) under one digital roof. Both established brands and up and comers are equally represented here, offering a contemporary snapshot of the evolving streetwear landscape.