A sector that designer Virgil Abloh had expected to fizzle out in 2020, streetwear is on its way to becoming a $185 billion market. The category has managed to survive COVID-19 onslaught with demand growing for both mass and luxury brands.
Women’s streetwear an growing segment
Edited reports women’s streetwear market is growing faster than men’s. New products category are being launched and sold 47 per cent faster now compared to 2019. Streetwear brands Goat and StockX are witnessing exponential rise in women customers with the percentage of new arrivals increasing to 24 per cent up from 9 per cent in 2019. Yet, the streetwear market is largely dominated by men. Even today, retailers across US and UK dedicate 59 and 50 per cent of their spaces to men’s streetwear and luxury brands.
T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts are some of the most popular styles in men’s streetwear while women’s streetwear market is largely driven by tank tops. Demand for men’s streetwear accessories is also growing faster at 8.3 per cent against 6.4 per cent for women’s streetwear. The market is largely driven by demand for new hat styles including bucket hats, beanies and caps. On the other hand, demand in women’s streetwear accessories is driven by bags including shopper totes and backpacks.
Growing demand for genderless styles
Customers looking for non-gender binary styles are spending the most on streetwear, says a report by Hypebeast and PwC followed by customers looking specifically for male and female styles. In the US and UK streetwear retailers Kith and Fila’s, women’s styles across core categories sell at either same or lower prices than men’s. For instance, men’s sneakers at Kith are priced 40 per cent higher than women’s sneakers. Men’s streetwear are also sold at less discounted rates of 28 per cent against women’s 32 per cent discounts.
Sale of women’s streetwear increased 47 per cent over the last three months. However, the sale of hoodies outstepped that of tanktops during this period, indicating rising demand for genderless styles in this category.
Men’s luxury streetwear on the rise
Streetwear styles have been deeply integrated into the luxury market in the last three months. During this period, the market has witnessed a 29 per cent increase in stocking of luxury brand sneakers. Demand for quintessential streetwear styles is growing with the launch of new products growing 50 per cent since the start of the year till April-end.
Though 55 per cent of products stocked within the luxury market are more skewed towards women, streetwear still remains a male-dominated market. The number of new streetwear styles launched for men is 50 per cent more than those for women suggest studies. Yet, demand for genderless or unisex fashion continues to grow in this segment. Brands like Telfar, Cold Laundry and Rastah have been launching genderless styles in the last few years.
Popular streetwear styles
Colored soles: Colored soles on sneakers, sliders and bucket hats are a hallmark of street style alongwith oversized silhouettes or matching lounge.
Smiley designs: One of the most sought after design post pandemic, the smiley face has become a streetwear essential popularized by Justin Bieber’s Drew House, Balenciaga, Lazy Oaf, etc.
Relaxed denim styles: Another favorite is the high-waist slouchy denim style with knee rips.
Puffer jackets: With brands including Givenchy, Ottolinger, Staud popularizing this style, puffer jackets have become a streetwear staple.
Co-ordinated sets: Another consumer favorite is coordinated sets, being hailed by both street and activewear consumers. Kith recently launched its Women’s Spring 2 collection comprising knitted separates in timeless hues. Adidas also launched a range of striped tracksuits in collaboration with Black-ish star, Yara Shahidi.