Are Street Wear Brands Luxury Brands?

The rise of street wear has been swift from small subculture to being featured on celebrities and actors alike.  This once underground fashion style has resonated with huge audiences over recent years, and many are led with questions about street wear and their place in the market.  Due to the exclusivity, prices, and brand awareness, we at the Minimalistic Gent believe that they can be categorized as luxury brands in today’s society.

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Exclusivity

The main attraction that gets A-list celebrities wearing street wear is the exclusivity and lack of stock.  Brands like Bape and Supreme spread their releases across various dates while controlling the supply to produce an air of exclusivity also found in luxury products.  Street wear brands are extremely proficient at not meeting the demand for their products, much like luxury brands, so they control their respective markets exceptionally well.  Lineups are immense around these stores when they release their product; reaching record amounts of individuals that want their hands on these coveted items.  The fact that exclusivity is at such extreme heights means that street wear brands are wanted on a grand scale which makes them comparable to the exclusive luxury brands that limit their supply.

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Prices

Street wear can be comparable to luxury brands in price.  Although they may lack the quality that we at the Minimalistic Gent advocate for, we can’t deny the exuberant prices street wear comes in at.  An example of an item would be the iconic Bape shark hoodie (cotton hoodie) which starts at around $405 in stores.  The brand still does well and is able to instantly sell out of their stock every single release.  Prices are extremely high in street wear which is comparable to other introductory luxury brands and that’s without even going into the exuberant second hand market (where prices can even be double of what the retail is). The infamous box logo tee from Supreme is iconic enough to be extremely desired and can go on the secondary market for prices easily exceeding $1,000.  This is an insane markup from the t-shirt that was purchased for about $148 from the Supreme store.  The price range that street wear brands can reach is extensive, but it is comparable to the price ranges of various luxury brands.

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Brand Awareness

Street wear has evolved from the confides of a select few people wearing it to being common place in media.  Seeing an A-list celebrity wear a street wear brand increases awareness where others try to emulate the style.  The air of high-end haute culture is very similar in this aspect because you will instantly be recognized by your peers for the clothes you decide to wear.  Supreme’s flagrant box logo can be recognized from distances away and it is one of the most counterfeited items.  There is an insane counterfeit market for these brands which shows how the worldwide awareness of these items has reached cult following levels.  Due to the brand awareness, anyone will recognize items such as the Bape ape logo or the Supreme red box logo.  The brand awareness of these street wear brands has become so great that it is easily recognized as a high end commodity comparable to luxury brands.

Although some may say that street wear lacks the quality or the history of other luxury fashion houses, there is no denying their impact on contemporary culture. Even historically stringent brands have recently been more accepting of street wear culture (like the eye opening collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme).  We at the Minimalistic Gent advocate for less items that are of quality and value, and street wear brands definitely carry a huge value when it comes to resale and brand recognition.  Street wear brands can be considered luxury brands because of their price, exclusivity, and brand awareness which has been an unexpected but interesting phenomenon in contemporary times.  Let us know your thoughts below on whether street wear can be considered luxury-esque, and stay tuned for more from the Minimalistic Gent!

Life of a Gent: The Determined Historian

LIFE OF A GENT

An original series exploring distinct gentleman in contemporary society.

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There are certain conversations in life that resonate so strongly with our sense of purpose that we can’t forget.  Spending a fractional moment in time with Mike Martin was both invigorating and enlightening; leaving me with a feeling of familiarity that I did not expect.  It embodied the meeting of someone who understands and exhibits the attributes you both envision and strive to become.  Extreme work ethic and undeniable devotion to his craft is evident by the enthusiastic way Mike both carries himself and discusses topics related to his passion.  An undeniable expert at discussing days of old, he understands the artistic zeitgeist of those before us and implements them in a way that only a true historian can masterfully do.

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Mike Martin, who goes by the moniker “PopRockz,” is a contemporary artist who specializes in the field of dance.  A purveyor of many styles, Mike found his roots in “locking” (a funk style of dance created in 1969) which helped to mold the unique way that he adds a noteworthy flare on his everyday style of dress.  Going past the coveted title of dancer, he is a modern archivist of the roots and beginnings of various dance styles.  An expert at his craft, he is an avid traveler around the world; learning the history and movements from the founders of iconic dance styles.  A teacher in his own right, when asked about his obsession with attaining the utmost knowledge about the history of a dance style, he casually remarks, “I want to teach the right way.”  Without an understanding of the chronicles of these other dancers, you can’t provide a thorough and impactful class.  The passion for knowledge that he exudes is infectious, and I found myself determined to be relentless in understanding this remarkable man.

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Growing up in Whitmore Village, Wahiawa, Mike speaks as a man who is extremely well versed in understanding the complications that life can throw at you.  A stroll through his hometown provided a microscopic view of the struggles he has conquered.  “They used to find bodies in those pineapple fields” Mike solemnly uttered while driving thru the rural areas of Whitmore Village.  The dilapidated houses were plentiful showing the deterioration and age of the slums from which Mike has had his humble beginnings.  In addition to his rough origins, being deployed while serving his country in the United States Air Force showed a side of humanity that he believes none should see.  These copious challenges would shock any, but Mike is never seen without a trademark smile on his face.  A pronounced virtuoso at vanquishing negativity, he has an exceptional knack for employing a positive warmth that changes the atmosphere of anywhere he travels.

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When asked for his definition of a gentleman, Mike elegantly answered in the suave manner that can only be seen in a true practitioner of the gentleman lifestyle.  “A gentleman is classy and respectful.  He just looks good man!” says Mike.  Further than this notion though, the concept of “commanding presence” is what Mike truly advocates as the crucial aspect that defines a true gent.  Both desirable and breathtaking, a gentleman can enter a room and become the center of attention; yet he doesn’t acknowledge or revel in it.  To explain Mike says, “A gentleman looks the part and is extremely chivalrous; but not just for romantic interests.  He has a deep respect for people, and shows it in a way that is subtle.  Matter of fact, a gentleman leaves an impression once he walks in and even allows strangers to have their own sense of empowerment in themselves. A gentleman is sexy!” Mastery of the hallmark signs of a gentleman is clearly evident in the way Mike confidently describes a gent.

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The Minimalistic Gent recognizes Mike “PopRockz” Martin is a remarkable individual that fully embodies the attributes of a modern gentleman.  Despite grappling with his rough circumstances and becoming the intellectual and hard working man that he is today, Mike is an inspiring testament to the willpower of determined individuals.  The ambiance that he sets within a room is extensive, and his work ethic is an undeniable insight on the staggering determination he has to accomplish goals.  Without a doubt, he is a leader that will remarkably inspire a whole generation of dancers, and his thirst for knowledge leaves him in an outstanding position to leave an unforgettable impact on any he meets!