The roots of streetwear can be traced back to the skate and surf culture of California in the 1980s. There was a growing need for clothes that were loose for their comfort yet had a unique identity of their own. Shawn Stussy—a surfer back then silently started a clothing revolution through his love for surfing. How? Via t-shirts printed with his name in graffiti style around the Californian surfing areas, which soon started gaining fame and in no time went from local to global. Punk and rap only accelerated the process. And streetwear soon became a desirable way of clothing.
Cut to a couple of years ago when it found its sweet spot in India by way of leading fashion weeks to brand collaborations fashion-forward peeps awaited eagerly. The way that Indian consumers are embracing this style only goes to show how much people resonate with it. Here are a few up-and-coming labels for you to check out should these captivating words and attention-arresting pictures spark an interest in you around streetwear. Go!
7 homegrown streetwear brands currently on our radar:
1. Rising Among
Boredom is usually the best accelerator for creativity and Rising Among—a streetwear label and a pandemic baby is a prime example of that. Born in 2020, Rising Among brings to the fore an amalgamation of street styles from two cities of the world people usually head to, to chase their dreams. Which ones? New York, where designers Riya Khanna and Amruta Behera studied, and Mumbai where the duo is based. The common thread amongst all of their unique pieces is utility elements; functional fashion. Their vibrant Instagram feed is anything but basic. From t-shirts that are half pants and half tees to ultra-cool convertible and detachable jackets to bermuda shorts with a host of utility pockets, there’s not one design that won’t make you gasp in awe!
2. Warping Theories
There’s something so inexplicably charming and attractive about wardrobe basics and even more so when they come in delicious colours, reimagined silhouettes and clean lines. Yes, that’s what the folks at Warping Theories, Kuship and Urvash Parmar, design—minimal but impactful clothing that have a unique identity about themselves and make it easy for a WT piece to be spotted even from a distance. I speak from personal experience.
You know what makes streetwear a tad more exciting? When it’s sprinkled with a smidge of sexy. Think alluring pantsuits to risqué bralettes to structured cropped blazers accompanied by floral smocked dresses and corset tops, Hiro is your ideal shopping destination when you want to keep things outré but flirty. The designer, Hiral Khatri, seems to have cracked the code on mixing minimalism with a luxe appeal and a vintage vibe, all of which come together perfectly to bring to you creations you really won’t be able to dislike! I promise.
4. Moral Science
Slow, sustainable, ethical, unisex and truly one-of-a-kind, Moral Science‘s morals are everything a modern-day person seeks. There’s an overflow of vibrancy which is the first attention-grabbing quality of the brand. Then come their play of prints followed by designs that come with A-level comfort and are most definitely eccentric in nature. Inspired by television of the ’80s and ’90s, sci-fi movies, and moral science as a school subject, the designer, Isha Ahluwalia aims to design garments that are functional, conceptual, and lend a playful touch to ideas that are otherwise perceived as somber. And more often than not, she personifies her thoughts just perfectly. So whether that’s a tropical loungewear set, an oversized, colour-blocked bomber jacket, or utilitarian power suits, no creation lacks some level of quirk and a talking point or two.
Design over brand, saving some things and saying a lot of things, Toffle—a word that designer Kashish Gemini made up because Shakespeare did so too when he failed to express something, is a label that believes in truly connecting with its consumers. Upcycling is one of their core ideologies and safe to say, they do a fabulous job of producing the best out of waste. The pieces are a maximalist’s dream come true and the beauty lies in the fact that there’s so much to gaze at and gauge about. There’s tons of textural mix-n-match further elevated with a variety of prints, paving the way for unconventional wardrobe basics. The clothes are a symphony of one too many elements coming together to make an impactful statement!
This Mumbai-based brand draws its inspiration from the vibrancy of India and hence, offers designs that are subtle but loud and bright. Their minimal and simplistic design sensibilities balance that equation. So even if it’s a simple yellow hoodie worn with a sheer tulle skirt and sky blue, thigh-high boots, the basic silhouettes will still be easily seen from miles away!
Fancy but not too fancy as everyday wear, Prxkhxr‘s designs focus heavily on prints, patterns and comfort. Through his botanical-print hoodie sets, vintage animal-print shirts, or shirts with dizzying patterns, the label strikes the balance between functionality and style but perfectly. Designs developed in-house and printed digitally to fabrics sourced from Delhi’s Khadi Bhavan, Prakhar Chauhan seems like an expert of prints you can’t not go gaga over! Don’t believe us? We dare you to scroll through his virtual home below.
Impressed much? Can say I’m surprised! Know of any more homegrown streetwear brands that fashion-forward peeps should look out for? Drop all your recommendations in the comments below.
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