Guests from Highsnobiety, Complex and Surface gathered at NYU on Wednesday to discuss how media intersects with streetwear — a combination of California surf skate culture with New York hip-hop fashion.
The panelists colorized the room, having dressed for the occasion in sweatshirts and baggy pants with layered fabrics and patterns, and of course, futuristic sneakers.
“Streetwear is a bit like sportswear, you don’t wear sportswear just to the gym and streetwear is not just in the street, it is more like a lifestyle,” said Tom Garland, senior manager of strategy at Highsnobiety, speaking at the panel collaboration between NYU’s Fashion Business Association and Luxury and Retail Association.
“The creative flexibility in streetwear allows for unique combinations that inspire media content,” said Hunter Mak, style editor at Complex.
“Streetwear dictates social media and social media dictates streetwear.”
Noting stylists now pair couture dresses with sneakers, Garland addressed media’s influence as a bridge between luxury and simplicity. He gave Prada’s recent partnership with local florists as an example because they put the Prada logo on ordinary brown flower wraps.
Just as “Prada’s creative idea messed with people’s perceptions, streetwear has a similar effect on consumers by reversing norms and changing perspectives.”
“Streetwear shapes your social media feed and your social media feed influences your style.”
Damien Scott, vice president of content and development at Complex believes that Gen-Z’s easy access to inspirational platforms give them more space to get creative with their style. He addressed media as a helpful source of influence, not as a dictator of a certain style.
Disagreeing was Brett Dalzell, art director at Higsnobiety — He argued that overwhelming number of websites cause a digital fatigue.
“There are just too many sources available online, we are going back to print because it makes our content more exclusive and special.”
Before concluding the discussion, Fardad Sabzevari, brand development and strategy specialist at Surface told students that the death of influencers is an upcoming trend that concerns both media and fashion.
“If you have 10k followers, you need to have a comparable rate of engagement in likes and comments,” he said.
“More than half the so-called influencers lack such engagement so their influence will soon fade.”