What could be the most unlikely marriage in fashion and style? In the current fashion world, designers and trend setters seem to have the ‘artistic guts” to mix and match almost any piece of clothing and accessories. Combat boots and suits, dad shoes and dresses, skate brands, garbage bag outfit (check out Kanye West). Well, what’s stopping these guys from invading the world of street fashion.
There are only a few items more polarizing than high fashion and skateboarding. One is a course counter culture that had developed in the street. On the other hand, high fashion was conjured up by fashion artists who are always looking for more area to expand their influence.
Runway models and skate brands are relatively normal on catwalks across the world. The late Dylan Rieder modeled for DKNY, while pros like Olson and Eli Reed, aside from their professional skating career entered the fashion scene with their own skate brands.
How does the skater community react on this one? Are they today still being true to its roots?
Well this unlikely marriage of skateboarding and high fashion did draw negative reactions of varying degrees.
For skaters, celebrities wearing skate brands are a slap to their own culture. Jake Phelps, Thrasher long time editor magazine said that these celebrities wore skate brands because it is stylish, not for their meaning or history.
For the purist skaters like John Rattray, a professional skater, wearing skate brands without actually playing the sport is a sham. People who experience scraping their bodies on the ground, feeling the hard bump of the skateboard on their knees must be the only people to wear skate brands.
This adoption of skate brands into the fashion world is being considered by skaters as a form of cultural appropriation. This phenomenon has cause the increase number of fashionistas, trend setters and wannabes wearing Thrasher tees without actually understanding the history and the culture behind it.
Skate brands now cater for both players and non-players of the sports and companies that are not traditionally into streetwear are entering the market. We even have Louis Vuitton, a high fashion boutique now selling skate shoes.
The functionality over style is now in question since many wearers of skate brands are not really into the sport, so there is no need for manufacturers to create shoes designed for the rugged nature of skateboarding and they can focus more on the aesthetic value.
Are skate brands being true to its roots? It is really hard to tell. While others brands may just all be about business now, taking advantage of the trends and just selling items, some brands might be. This is because we can still see stores that have ramps, owners who are still skateboard enthusiasts and store brand items with skaters in mind.