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What Is Luxury Streetwear?

March 02, 2022

Nearly every item, from consumables to cars to apparel, can be turned into luxury. Luxury elevates the commonplace into the exceptional and denotes that something is in some way better than its peers.


Luxury goods are something that most would want, but only a select few choose to invest in. The dividends from such investments are often well worth the price of admission. l


Luxury clothing and streetwear both naturally pride themselves on originality, quality, and exclusivity. When luxury meets streetwear, truly exceptional garments can happen.

What Makes Luxury Apparel?

The word luxury derives from the French word for excess to describe goods with extravagant beauty, materials, and quality. The oldest well-known luxury garments were robes dyed Tyrian purple found in antiquity.


Ancient dyes and pigments used a variety of natural sources that had to be harvested from sometimes rare sources. In the case of Tyrian purple, the dye had to be harvested from murex sea snails.


The result was a vibrant color that stayed colorful long after other colors would begin to fade. Only nobility were able to afford and allowed to wear garments made with this prestigious dye. Its reputation was so great that later generations of Greeks mythologized the origins of the color. 


This sort of class exclusivity is hard to come by today unless you examine brands for cost alone. The allure of this age-old material hints towards the sort of reputation that comes with luxury apparel.


The materials are incredibly rare but are noted for their quality as much as their exclusivity. Quality makes them desirable, and this elevated desirability makes it impossible to satisfy the demand.


Luxury fashion has always been driven by individuals. The first modern fashion designer, Charles Frederick Worth, started his apparel shop in 1858. He was the first designer to use live models for his work, a marketing trend that defines the fashion industry. Today it is impossible to imagine brands without the high-profile figures that endorse their work.


Not everyone can afford luxury apparel. Not everyone can wear it without seeming like they are being worn by the brand. The benefits of these precious clothes for those who can style them are numerous. The apparel signifies class, social grace, and a strong sense of personal style through individual curation and brand messaging.

What Makes Streetwear?

Luxury apparel is defined by a variety of factors contributing to general quality and availability. Streetwear is defined instead by general aesthetics and the relationship between designer, consumer, and marketing. 


Streetwear includes a variety of casual and athletic clothing that can be worn in casual or sporty contexts. These range from comfortable sweats to high-performing track pants and a variety of performance and casual tops.


The earliest streetwear pieces included branded graphic tees designed to match the aesthetics of individual surfboard manufacturers. Just as with the start of luxury fashion, these were designer-centric endeavors to create personalized fashion.


The rise of fashion design as a movement in the 19th and 20th centuries led to elitism in fashion. The pinnacle of fashion prior to streetwear belonged to established fashion houses and collectives. Prioritized styles often placed the haute-couture over the practical, as seen by avant-garde designs revealed at countless fashion shows. Streetwear gives fashion back to the people. 


Many streetwear brands are young, founded by leading designers a few decades ago at most. This allows for more individual risks to be taken, compared to corporatized giants of industry. These risks come in the form of radical new designs and market strategies that change the way fashion happens.


Unlike massive seasonal campaigns, many streetwear brands instead release new goods in batches known as drops. These drops are limited, exclusive goods marked by rarity. The limited stock of each streetwear garment gives the sense of personally curated style that an expensive luxury garment could. An extremely well-marketed and extremely low-batch garment can sell out in seconds. 


This article is about streetwear, but it is particularly about luxury streetwear. It took a while for streetwear to enter the world of luxury, but the results of its evolution are remarkable.

Streetwear Goes Luxury

There is no single turning point for when streetwear entered the world of luxury apparel. There is no sudden foundation-rocking movement that allows us to put a year on it. Streetwear, defined by its rejection of previously-mainstream high fashion, initially seemed incompatible with the world of luxury apparel.


The 2010s saw a change. Established and rising brands both devoted themselves to keeping the style but upgrading standards.


Three movements marked the true entrance of luxury streetwear. The first of these was the emergence of brands devoted exclusively to putting out top-quality apparel.


The second was when generations-old fashion houses began putting out clothing in imitation of the style. The final moment solidifying its place in fashion was the ability for these designers to appear simultaneously on fashion runways.

What Defines Luxury Streetwear

Luxury streetwear has a few defining components. These include features shared by both classic luxuries and modern fashion styles.


  • Quality: Quality in every aspect, if nothing else, is the main feature separating true luxury fashion from standard streetwear. For example, the Loop Terry Standard Sweatshirt is constructed from enviably soft materials. Sneakers designed to inspire awe in any player are staples of a line. Every aspect, from design to manufacturing, to detailing, is meticulously labored over.
  • Manufacturing: Plenty of high-profile, low-to-mid quality brands outsource manufacturing. They choose countries where they can pay workers extortionately low wages in a bid to save a dollar.

Luxury brands are more likely to produce garments locally for both ethics and quality. Local production ensures a better degree of oversight for the designer and helps support their own community. 

  • Exclusivity: Luxury and streetwear fashions are known for how personal each garment is. When taken together, this comes from both low-batch size and cost. Batch size allows a designer and manufacturer to spend more time on each individual garment and make more detailed designs. The high cost comes as a result of lower product numbers, higher manufacturing costs, and the inclusion of luxury fabrics.
  • Brand: Tested brands have a staying power that new players to the field may lack. A brand name is like a seal of approval, signifying quality and highlighting the special fashion sense of every designer.

Many lesser brands will feature logos made to imitate well-known groups, but a strong luxury brand is recognizable by name. While a brand shouldn’t be your only concern, the social and stylistic legitimacy it gives your clothing is a plus.

The above are metrics to test any brand to see if they hold up to scrutiny. Quality, ethicality, and a sense of style that highlights you personally are essentials in any garment. 

Examples of Streetwear

Daniel Patrick aspires to be a definitive luxury streetwear brand. We don’t believe in ever resting on our laurels, instead always pushing to be better than we were yesterday. This strong work ethic has been a defining force for us since the earliest days of our founder. 


Athletics and fashion both shaped us into who we are today. When given the chance to pursue a love of rugby or fashion design, our founder chose to become a designer. The sense of style developed took extensive cues from the world of athletics. 


He took a risk by moving from Australia to the U.S. with nothing but luggage and a time limit. After that, Daniel Patrick the brand was born. We have never lost sight of the determination and fortune it took to make it this far. We hold ourselves accountable to every metric possible. 


We pride ourselves on only sourcing the best materials for our clothing. This includes locally produced loop terry for comfort and calf suede for footwear that looks wonderful and lasts wonderfully.


We take personal inspiration from the surroundings of Los Angeles we are lucky enough to be working in. Many of our graphic tees take inspiration from its natural landscape that encompasses mountains, deserts, and seaside vistas. We also maintain most of our production in LA for reasons of ethicality and support listed above.


Our uncompromising standards have led to us becoming the brand we are today. Daniel Patrick is a name that can be worn proudly, and this is because our ethic keeps it there. A true luxury streetwear brand needs to be exceptional at all times. Not even a momentary lapse in excellence can be tolerated, which keeps us inspired and on our toes.  

Wearing Luxury Streetwear

The point of luxury apparel is that everywhere wants to wear it, but only a select group is able to. The point of streetwear is that it reflects the daily fashion needs of sedentary life, athletics, and everything in between.


The result is a fashion garment that can improve your style while being versatile enough to wear anywhere. With Daniel Patrick, know that the next revolution in luxury streetwear is always on the cusp of happening.


Sources:

Tyrian Purple I BBC Culture

Charles Frederick Worth Biography I Victorian Era

How Streetwear Infiltrated Luxury Fashion I Digiday


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