The newest, hottest luxury streetwear businesses are expertly leveraging storytelling to develop their brands. They’re doing it so well, that the biggest players in luxury fashion are shifting their narratives to compete. We can look at Gucci’s new urban perspective or a Riccardo Tisci-helmed Burberry’s frequent delivery and product drops (coming up on the horizon, with more opportunities to produce content to boot).
It’s a new era. Brands are pulling from various successful business models. They’re making luxury fun and approachable. They’re producing immersive fashion films. Our definition of luxury has expanded: it’s more about what’s cool than traditional notions. The brand and the price underline luxury, not necessarily craftsmanship and product.
Here are 5 luxury streetwear brands embodying the trend.
Designer Heron Preston is also a DJ, artist, creative director…. And he has a serious flair for storytelling. His popular streetwear meets workwear designs are extra-luxurious and produced in Italy, and his sub-logo (Стиль) means “style” in Russian. The American creative put the style mark to use, launching his brand in Moscow with an exclusive pop-up at the concept store KM20.
Another great brand story was born by way of a plastic trash encounter in the sea. Heron’s concerns led to a long-term, ongoing uniform collaboration with the NYC Department of Sanitation. Designed to promote sustainability, the effort offers upcycled, screen-printed and embroidered uniforms with special labels. Heron Preston x DSNY brings awareness to the department’s work while highlighting NYC – a central hub for street culture and the fashion it inspires.
Heron is currently interning at Eileen Fisher. He says we can expect his line to be more sustainable in the future.
Fear of God
This emerging brand featured in our SR50, takes the L.A. surf and skate culture and aesthetic and merges it with hip-hop. Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo regularly works with (and is worn by) celebrities. He’s worked on streetwear and rock-inspired concert merch for Kanye West and Justin Bieber and collaborated with Jay-Z and Vans. Capsules and collaborations aside, every collection is highlighted with its own fashion film of major cinematographic quality, a digital lookbook and its own editorial. The brand may only post to Instagram 2-3 times per month, but the ultra-engaged community has a staggering 1.3 million followers.
Vetements launched as the brainchild of seven anonymous creatives in 2014. They let the brand’s publicity from wholesale accounts and social media fuel a frenzy, before sharing their identities a year later. The brand’s name simply translates to “Clothes” in French and they’re known for serving just that. Think love it or hate it mundane styles with a luxury streetwear (and sometimes ironic) twist. Demna Gvasalia’s long list of limited edition collaborations have included DHL, Juicy Couture, Champion and more.
Their so-called anti-fashion fashion wouldn’t get anywhere without the stories they tie in. Take a look for yourself. Their new website is a clone of the former Style.com, but it only features Vetements shopping and content.
NYC sustainable streetwear brand, Abasi Rosborough, stands out from the pack with an ethical, cerebral twist. Their ethically produced collections are made with sustainable and recycled deadstock fabrics. Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough support other causes too, including Career Gear and the Big Brothers in NYC.
Art and architecture-influenced designs are featured in video editorials, retail collections and fashion art installations online and around the globe. Their branded website even features reads they know, love and recommend. You’ll see “Towards a New Architecture” by Le Corbusier and “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, as well as Ta-Nehisi Coates “Between the World and Me”, “Principles” by Ray Dalio and more.
OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH
Finally, there’s Off-White, a brand that may not need much introduction. Virgil Abloh serves up his luxury Italian made streetwear in a manner that’s far from traditional. Everyday pieces receive the Off-White treatment, sometimes with caution construction tape motifs and blocky white letters naming items for what they are. You can shop for “BOOTS”, “DENIM” and more.
A close friend of Kanye West, Abloh’s celebrity friends walk his runways and serve as influencers for the brand on and offline. He collaborated with everyone from luxury luggage maker, Rimowa, to Byredo, Harvey Nichols and Nike. Of course, the Off-White story is such a success, that LVMH recently signed Virgil Abloh as its new menswear creative director of Louis Vuitton. His debut Spring/Summer 2019 collection was met with widespread excitement.
The hottest new luxury fashion brands are serving up awesome product with stories that are just as strong. Even the biggest luxury houses have taken notice. With Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Gvasalia at Balenciaga and countless firms switching to more frequent drops, which designers or streetwear-born marketing strategies will be adopted by old luxury next?
Do you know how storytelling can boost your brand? Give us a call. Our team will take your brand DNA, goals and unique perspective to help you craft a custom brand story and winning strategies to take your business off the ground. Contact us today- 310-957-5264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.