Los Angeles Streetwear Landscape Is All About Collaboration
There was a time when the streetwear category wasn’t viewed as essential or taken seriously. High-end designers scoffed at the idea of prioritizing graphic tees and joggers over luxe suiting and premium footwear. But now, established fashion brands aren’t just expressing their respect and admiration of streetwear brands. They’re reaching out for bold, new partnerships. And Los Angeles seems to be ground zero for the collaboration phenomenon.
Take for instance the new summer 2016 collection from Hex x CLSC. Fanfare has been substantial for the capsule collection. Consisting of just three products (the Sneaker Duffel, the Backpack and the Carry Bag), each piece contains reflective elements, coated canvas, and premium black ripstop. Not only are the pieces functional and stylish; they’re the result of two brands that have a strong mutual respect for each other.
CLSC, a play on the word classic, is a lifestyle brand that has quickly rocketed to the top of the streetwear game after only six years in business. HEX, a similarly young company, is all about creating durable travel pieces for urban settings. Their partnership with CLSC is one that allows them to reach a new audience and demographic. And in the process, they get to create some incredible new product.
But this spirit of collaboration isn’t just limited to the brands themselves. Some of music’s most valuable players are getting in on the action as well.
Last month, rapper YG made headlines after opening his L.A. pop-up shop at Born x Raised. His collaboration with the brand was born out of both entities’ desire to showcase the grittier side of L.A. life. The collection also worked as a slick promotional tool for his latest album, Still Brazy. Unlike other artists who opt to partner with tech companies or couture designers, YG decided to lean into streetwear as part of his promo strategy.
While this collaborative energy is becoming a benchmark of the L.A. streetwear scene, you can see the influence spreading to other parts of the business in more lucrative ways. There’s Kendrick Lamar’s partnership with Reebok Classic. Supreme x Antihero was released in June. Internationally, Hong Kong-based CLOT and Australian brand P.A.M. teamed up for a collab that was released in early July.