By Brandon Medina
A previously underground and edgy type of dress, streetwear has become a mainstream clothing style due to its relationship with music, movies and pop culture.
Streetwear incorporates not only a hybrid of apparel, but at its base, it derives from sneakers and sneakerheads.
Horacio Peña, a student at Texas Tech Univeristy, said the term sneakerhead describes people willing to hunt down their favorite pairs of shoes, but also have an appreciation for the artistic value within the sneakers and the culture from which it derives from.
“Fashion is so intertwined with pop culture especially the pop culture of hip-hop,” Peña said.
According to Peña, his collection reached 45 pairs of sneakers at one point. However, he said that online shopping has ruined the chase and has taken away the underground culture of streetwear, as well as it’s exclusivity, because of the big resale market.
“I think it’s real hard to maintain that brand integrity and cultural integrity, when now anybody who has a bunch of money can go buy all the same things their favorite artists wear,” Peña said.
Caleb Ramirez, a Texas Tech student, said streetwear could be described as a more creative and artistic take on everyday clothing.
Ramirez said 80 to 90 percent of his wardrobe consists of streetwear and is a consistent choice of apparel for him throughout the week.
“I wear streetwear six out of the seven days, and the seventh day is either because I have to dress up nice for something, or I am wearing basketball shorts and Nikes,” Ramirez said.
Peña said although hip-hop and pop culture have made streetwear fashion mainstream, many are starting to look elsewhere for exclusivity or trends.
“In terms of mainstream popularity, people are starting to move away from it and find other things,” Pena said. “Thats just a part of the culture that is streetwear and just clothing in general, nothing stays popular forever.”
According to Peña, sneakers and streetwear can be deemed too expensive and not worth the time or money, but if a person can notice the artistic values in the apparel than they understand the importance of the new streetwear culture.
“Some people like drugs, some people have expensive cars, and some people like clothing,” Peña said.