This weekend my friends and I were chatting about Urban Fashion Brands like House of Dereon, Baby Phat, and Mecca, wondering: do people wear them anymore?
In the early to mid nineties they were all the rage. Guys walked around in Ecko sweatshirts, Akademiks jeans, and jerseys emblazoned with the FUBU logo (for us, by us). Girls rocked Baby Phat, Apple Bottoms, and Iceberg with pride. Of course these brands still exist, but do they still speak to their original target market?
Hip-Hop and hip-hop clothing have gone from a niche to a universal market. Since hip-hop has become pop, hip-hop brands now cater to everyone in the world–not just the fatty girls (remember this video?).
Tastes have changed. While loud and flashy were the call a decade ago, people are now going for subtle sophistication. Instead of having a huge Siamese cat on your jeans pockets, girls prefer simple J Brands or Hudsons.
Lastly, it seems a lot of the people behind the movement have simply lost interest in or moved away from their brands. Beyonce’s more known for wearing Balmain that House of Dereon. It seems the Simmons sisters wear Chanel and Louis Vuitton shoes more than they wear Pastry sneakers. Kimora’s no longer at Baby Phat. Russell Simmons sold Phat Farm. Even those who want to continue with their brand admit to evolving. Jay-Z recently said of Rocawear, “We don’t envision ourselves as an urban brand or streetwear brand…we’ve evolved and repositioned ourselves, without abandoning our original DNA.”