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30th January 2024 EDT FEATURES

From Humble Beginnings to Global Phenomenon: Streetwear Trends 2024 and Beyond

An analysis of the current state of streetwear and its trajectory.

From Humble Beginnings to Global Phenomenon: Streetwear Trends 2024 and Beyond
From Humble Beginnings to Global Phenomenon: Streetwear Trends 2024 and Beyond

Gone are the days when oversized clothes were a badge of niche subcultures. Streetwear, given life by the pulse of urban youth, hip-hop, and skate parks, went from being an underdog to a Trojan horse of the global fashion scene; penetrating its sometimes insular world, while sowing its seeds in the hearts of every successive generation.

This once counterculture, casual-cool aesthetic, drawing inspiration from everything from graffiti art, skateboarding, to punk culture, has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry. Designers and brands, recognizing its immense potential, manufactured hype by way of limited-edition releases and collaborations, leaving the gens du monde scrambling for a piece of the pie.

Nevertheless, streetwear’s rise isn’t just about the opulence, the statement pieces and logos. It’s about individuality, self-expression, and belonging. They’ve become—in one form or another—wearable art.

JJJJound x Crocs Classic Clogs; Sandy Liang x Salomon XT-6 Expanse

By analyzing the status quo, we can begin to chart future streetwear trends, 2024 and beyond.

The COVID-19 introduced a seismic shift with its effect rippling across the world. Far from just a temporary tremor, it’s a new landscape. A place where concrete jungles meet virtual villages.

And removed from the bustling crowds, stay-at-home vibes instead became the soundtrack, and comfort took center stage. Streetwear embraced its athleisure cousin, while welcoming alternative footwear into the fold. Crocs, Salomon and the like, once relegated to niche corners, found themselves basking in the spotlight. The world turned virtual, and practicality and comfort rose to the fore.

With physical stores locked down, e-commerce also exploded. Brands embraced digital communities, forging connections through social media and interactive campaigns. Now, as the world emerges from the pandemic, the streetwear market is recovering, but also looks to be surging ahead.

The COMME des GARÇONS HOMME PLUS x Nike Air Max TL 2.5 and the Junya Watanabe MAN x New Balance 1906R as seen at Paris Fashion Week

Market Drivers

Streetwear has broken down the heavy doors of high fashion, blurring the lines between runway catwalks and city streets, and captivating hearts from boardrooms to bedrooms.

When streetwear and luxury icons join forces, it’s not just a handshake, it’s a cultural detonation. A proven formula attested to by the legacy of Virgil Abloh; Pharrell’s appointment at Louis Vuitton; as well as the many crossovers as seen in the recent Paris Fashion Week with COMME des GARÇONS HOMME PLUS x Nike, and Junya Watanabe MAN x New Balance.

Moreover, for better or worse, influencers are the new tastemakers. Influence doesn’t belong solely to the upper echelon anymore. The digital age has levelled the playing field, with YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok usurping traditional media.


While evolution is always good, maintaining streetwear’s core values while catering to broader audiences will be a delicate dance. Additionally with its growth, many items would be more unattainable thus birthing counterfeit concerns. Sustainability has also been a mainstay in any fashion discourse alluding to ethical practices and eco-conscious materials becoming increasingly important to consumers.

Off White’s “Black by Popular Demand” runway show: a showcase of gender-fluid fashion

Trends Shaping the Future

Gender-Fluid Fashion

Streetwear is slowly but surely breaking the binary, foregoing the outdated rules of men’s and women’s fashion. Pinks and floral patterns aren’t feminine, neither is workwear masculine. Oversized fits, playful prints, and fearless self-expression are the new currency, empowering everyone to express their uniqueness and sartorial savvy.

Community-Based SocMed Strategies

Social media is as much a playground, a school, as it is a place of business. As mentioned earlier about the subversion of traditional media, brands have ditched the one-way communication and integrating interactive experiences into their digital marketing strategies. Two-way dialogues foster a sense of community, making fans feel like part of the creative process, more than just passive consumers.


As much as it has perpetuated consumerism, much of streetwear has been about expressing individuality through every graphic, stitch and seam. Counter to the mass-produced monotony of fast fashion, streetwear caters to the desire for customization. The Swoosh’s Nike By You model will likely be adopted by more brands moving forward.

D2C Takeover

No more waiting for your favorites to hit the shelves. Direct-to-consumer models are becoming commonplace, giving brands control over their message and connecting them directly with their fans. This cuts out the retail markup, making exclusive releases more accessible and fostering a closer relationship between creator and consumer.

France’s Maison Château Rouge; UK’s Corteiz; Ghana’s Free The Youth

Key Players and Regions

Starting in North America, industry behemoths like Supreme, Nike, and adidas will continue to hold court in the foreseeable future, but they will inevitably be sharing the space with more brands once at the periphery especially with the rise of New Balance.

Across the Atlantic, vibrant European melting pots like London, Berlin, and Paris hum with their own creative pulse. Here, homegrown brands like Palace carve their niche, injecting the scene with a distinct European sartorial sensibilities, much like the legacy fashion houses before them.

Shifting east, the Asia-Pacific region will emerge as an even bigger powerhouse. Japan, with its deep-rooted street fashion pedigree, and South Korea, a breeding ground for cutting-edge trends, push the boundaries of design and innovation.

Burgeoning markets in Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa reveal untold stories waiting to be written. With a growing taste for bold expressions and a youthful energy yearning for connection, these regions represent the next frontier of streetwear’s global expansion.

Champions of sustainable fashion: Stüssy x Our Legacy WORKSHOP; Universal Works; WAWWA

New Players’ Strategy

In the ever-shifting world of streetwear, trends come and go faster than a skateboard landing a kickflip. But amidst the hype and fleeting fads, there are four aces nascent brands can hold close to their chest: authenticity, collaboration, digital mastery, and sustainability.

Authenticity Is King

First, they should ditch the masks and play their own tune. Tell the brand story with raw honesty, showcasing the values and passions that lie at their core. Connect with their audience on a deeper level, not just through flashy drops and influencer shoutouts, but through shared experiences and genuine connection. Audiences can usually smell a forced narrative from a mile away like sharks do blood.

Partner With Rising Stars

Next, don’t play hero ball. Seek the fresh voices bubbling under the surface. Emerging creatives—artists and photographers, for example—can recalibrate the brand narrative and tap into communities they haven’t yet reached.

Social Media Gameplan

Beyond the bombastic rollouts and curated feeds, brands should engage with fans, respond to comments, and show the real people behind the brand. Host interactive polls, live Q&As, and behind-the-scenes glimpses—make their followers feel like they’re part of the story, not just spectators.

Embrace Sustainability

Conscious consumers are no longer a niche tribe. Embrace ethical practices and eco-conscious materials. Brands are expected to care about the planet, a purpose, more than profits. Not merely a passing fad, it’s a responsibility that resonates with today’s generation.

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