You’d be forgiven for thinking that streetwear is for the male portion of the population.
After all, streetwear was born amongst the subcultures of skating, surfing and even hip hop; all of which are mostly male-dominated, especially back the 70s and 80s when streetwear first began to emerge.
Whether it’s head designers of the biggest streetwear brands, influencers on social media or the consumers themselves, streetwear seems to be led and controlled by guys.
This leaves women’s streetwear as something of an afterthought.
Brands such as Stussy, credited with founding the streetwear movement, originally only made clothes for men; female streetwear simply didn’t even exist.
Shift in streetwear gender roles
It seems now though, in 2018, the streetwear industry is finally starting to open up more to women’s influence. Brands like Married to the Mob have begun to pave the way for women to have a place in such a male-oriented world.
Girls are much more comfortable now than before in wearing oversized hoodies, branded t-shirts and trainers; you only need to look at primarily men’s streetwear brands that are now launching women’s collections, or even the influence that the Kardashians have had with their style of baggy tracksuit pants worn with bodysuits.
The female population doesn’t want the floral patterned, pastel pink clothing that is so often offered to them; in the world of streetwear, they just want men’s clothing but sized for women.
Collaborations like Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma collection, and even the recent appointment of Virgil Abloh to Louis Vuitton, just shows how streetwear is growing and becoming more accessible and accepted. While some may argue it’s becoming too mainstream, it means that women can play a role in streetwear just as much as men.
In a world where Instagram is used to build brands, create audiences and shout about yourself, it’s increased the number of women streetwear influencers.
Allowing them to make their mark and create their own aesthetic based on streetwear styles, you only have to do a Google search for “women streetwear influences” to find dozens of articles filled with Instagram handles of girls killing it in streetwear fashion.
It’s now time to keep going and keep pushing; whether it be men’s brands starting up a women’s department, or for new brands focused on womenswear to come through.
It’s a movement that’s already begun; there are more and more women involved in the big streetwear and sports brands already.
Designers at Vans and Nike are now balanced with women, while streetwear brand Kith appointed former Complex anchor Emily Oberg as its creative head of womenswear.
Women have been under pressure to look a certain way for decades; mostly dolled up in heels and form-fitting outfits.
But that’s changing now, and the females interested in streetwear are getting more confident to go for it and encourage the industry to consider women at the same time as men; not as an afterthought, or worse still, forgotten about completely.