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Good streetwear brands

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good streetwear is hard to find - and the funky labels that make the best are often stifled by a small and often conservative market. Here are my favorite streetwear designers, including one huge designer who designs great streetwear nonetheless. Please add your picks, and help get some of these labels the recognition they deserve. 1. Paper Denim & Cloth - the best label for jeans, hands down. Throws down on the biggies like Diesel, Energie, Gas, and Helmut Lang with no problems. 2. Frankie B Men - a new discovery of mine - long popular with the ladies, Daniella "˜s new men's line emphasizes great cuts and a boho-rock sensibility that is pure west coast. 3. PS by Paul Smith - no introduction necessary 4. Martin Margiela - king of the deconstructionists. 5. Dirk Schonberger - a relative newcomer to the Antwerp/London/Paris scene, I think that his clothes are perhaps the most wearable of the Belgian designers. His shirts and jackets are terrifically detailed. 6. For great shoes - Premiata.
post #2 of 18
I totally agree about Dirk and Paper. I'd add Clone shoes, they're both cool and comfortable, check them out.
post #3 of 18
Hmm. I guess I'm more conservative in my dress than a lot of people here, and I live in a more conservative city for sure. For clubbing, for instance, I'm more likely to wear a midnite blue Zegna Napoli suit or a blue with purple pinstripes Brioni peak lapel than jeans. (The choice between suit or something else depends on the prevailing attire at the club.) Still, some of the things that I like to wear which would fit into the "streetwear" paradigm are as follows, from top to bottom: GLASSES: Bulgari Aluminium. I did have Silhouettes until recently. Then I saw a pic of US SecDef Donald Rumsfeld wearing a pair in Foreign Affairs, and donated mine to a charity in my native land. I'd rather go blind than wear the same thing as a monster like Rummy.) I will be buying a new pair of glasses in the near future to replace the Silhouettes, and the best I've seen have been from ic.-berlin, Freudenhaus, Cartier, and Prada. SHIRTS: (cotton) Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo, PS Paul Smith, Valentino, Zara (yes, Zara is in a whole different price- and quality- class from the others, but I'm a big fan of their stuff.) (linen) Loro Piana, Gap (no kidding -- I just bought a linen shirt with Turnback cuffs from the Gap that I love.) (polo) Paul Smith, Samsonite Blacklabel, Ferragamo, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Etro, Harrod's, Zegna (in 15milmil15 wool.). JUMPERS: (cotton) RL Purple Label (linen) Don Gil (house brand of an Austrian mid-high-end men's store), Knize, Loro Piana (wool): Loro Piana, Valentino, Helmut Lang TROUSERS: (wool) Menichetti-era Burberry Prorsum, Valentino (linen) Loro Piana (jeans) Ferragamo, Energie (thanks for the heads up, y'all), Gap SHOES: (bowling shoes & trainers): Tod's, Ludwig Reiter (Reiter Sport), Hermes (loafers): Ferragamo, Gucci, Mezlan, Tod's. (monkstraps): Ferragamo, Gucci, John Lobb (oxfords): Ferragamo, John Lobb, Ludwig Reiter. I guess the big trend is that my favourite lines of late have been Loro Piana and Ferragamo. Loro Piana has an uncommon knack for producing fabrics that feel like the skin of a beautiful woman. Ferragamo just seems to be hitting everything right from a design standpoint, while making their clothes extremely well from excellent materials and selling them at fair prices. Besides that, there really isn't one. Peace, JG PS: I wrote a review of my favourite things from S/S 2002 at the following site, drawing on visits to Berlin and Milano in addition to my hauptwohnsitz in Vienna: JG's S/S 2002 Report
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here are some streetwear brands I forgot. I guess that they count as my runners up. 1) Custo Barcelona - great prints. 2) Parasuco Jeans - a Canadian Label with some very well detailed shirts. 3) Etro - not really a streetwear brand per se, but with Kean in charge, some of their pieces are really funky. 4) Sneaker brands of note include the usual suspects: Puma, Adidas, Asics, Converses, classic Reeboks. Diesel makes surpirsingly durable sneakers. Tsubi makes good hybrid shoes, and Clark's desert boots are terrific. 5) Messenger bags by Rafe, Rugby North America, John Varvatos have street cred. BTW, Joe G., I agree entirely about Menichetti's work at Burberry, and I would add that his work for Jil Sander menswear was equally good.
post #5 of 18
The "streetwear" category could encompass a lot, depending on which streets you tend to walk (and what time it is when you're walking). You guys have already hit on many of my picks. For jeans, I'm planning to get some Paper Denim & Cloth and maybe Evisu, and will meanwhile stay happy with Lang, Margiela and Energie, as well as D&G, John Richmond, Exte, Aviatic and Vivienne Westwood. Call me pedestrian, but I still like Nike for sneakers. I just got some Fantaposite Max trainers, and I'm thinking about the Shox Stunner; haven't seen anything I like as much from the other big names, except maybe the Fila Pininfarinas. Of course, I'm not very into the "old school" look. I'd rather wear yellow Hyperflights. (Or even Chrome Paytons.) Lest you think I'm only into outrageous footwear, I do have some very respectable Ferregamo tan leather deck shoes. My other summer staples are likely to be my Prada sandals (also reasonably unobtrusive) and some funky Miu Miu high tops (very obtrusive, but what the heck). For other stuff, I'm sort of all over the map. Names I haven't yet seen dropped include Yohji Yamamoto, Neil Barrett, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Bartlett, James Perse, Dries van Noten, Romeo Gigli, Matsuda, Dirk Bikkembergs, Eskandar, Costume National, Raf Simons, Cesare Paciotti, Issey Miyake, Moschino, Voyage and Fake London (just for starters), all of which labels figure somewhere in my streetwear rotation. (Oh, and to channel my "inner guido," my extensive Jhane Barnes collection.) Gentlemen, dissect. Random comments on designers previously mentioned: Can't argue with Loro Piana"”awesome. Etro, however, I just don't get. I have yet to see anything from Etro that I think isn't being done with more attractive prints and better materials and construction by someone else...say, Sandy Dalal, Gucci, or Dolce & Gabbana. I love Paul Smith, but haven't been very excited by the PS or Sportswear lines. Samsonite strikes me as pretty anonymous since Barrett split; am I missing something? Lauren's Purple Label is always at least decent, and frequently excellent. And I'll add my rah-rahs for Lobb and Mezlan shoes. I haven't yet checked out Frankie B and Dirk Schonberger: they're on my list. Oh, and any thoughts on Maharishi? I was eyeing a jacket today...
post #6 of 18
Check out latest Royal Elastics sneakers (looks like Diesel, only better ). I also recommend Club Monaco - Canadian brand bought by RL a year or two ago. Re Mezlan - with all due respect I think their shoes fall into Lebanese Wedding category rather than street wear.
post #7 of 18
I have a couple of Club Monaco pieces; a good alternative to the Gap Group stuff. As for the other comment, I'm not even sure what "Lebanese wedding category" means, although it's clearly meant to be derogatory. I wouldn't put Mezlan in the same class as Lobb or Fenestrier, or even Ferragamo and Bally, but Mezlan produces a well-made, reasonably priced alternative that's still a tad more fashion-forward than, say, Johnston & Murphy. (For that matter, I'd say Mezlan shoes are both better looking and better made than Kenneth Cole.) It sounds like you're lumping Mezlan in with likes of Giorgio Brutini and Stacy Adams, which would be an unwarranted slight. Speaking of quality street shoes, I forgot to mention Mephisto, which may not be the best looking shoe line, but is surely one of the best made. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you'd be hard-pressed to do better.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Nice replies, But I think that a lot of what you guys have listed are large fashion houses. It would be nice to hear about some funkier, less known lines at moderate pricepoints that might encourage people to experiment a little. I guess I'm a little guilty for listing high-end designer lines - I mean, Voyage? (Besides, they went out of business, last that I heard). Here are a few, better examples: Paul Frank Maharishi (already mentioned) James Perse (also previously mentioned in this thread) Hippie Fake London Genius
post #9 of 18
Final Home Martin Margiela 10 Dsquared2 Prada Sport
post #10 of 18
Quote:
...a lot of what you guys have listed are large fashion houses. It would be nice to hear about some funkier, less known lines at moderate pricepoints that might encourage people to experiment a little. I guess I'm a little guilty for listing high-end designer lines - I mean, Voyage? (Besides, they went out of business, last that I heard).
True, Voyage went belly-up in January, I think, and it was pretty over-the-top, pricewise (not that I ever paid retail for it, mind you"”I tend to haunt thrift shops and outlets, so the high-end/low-end distinctions don't always come into play for me). However, Voyage did qualify as independent, and funky in a rococo sort of way. I guess my point was along the lines of, "different streets for different feets""”streetwear is where you find it. I'm seeing a great many "designers" who are basically selling kitschy/clever t-shirts and beat-up jeans at mid-to-haute couture prices. Some big labels do this, too (D&G, Moschino, et al.), but they have a lot more going on as well. I like the look, but I do think a bunch of these guys and gals are just grabbing their 15 seconds of cool. I have a hard time getting behind stuff that I could make myself with hand-me-downs, some dirt, two cans of paint and a razor blade. So, I usually look for clothes where something is being done with materials and cut that goes beyond the everyday. I went strolling through Barney's the other day, and saw plenty of names that were new to me alongside the more established trendy designer streetwear lines. A lot of the clothes looked hip, but, by the time I walked out, I couldn't remember any of 'em. (This may say more about my brain cells than the clothes, of course.) When all was said and done, I just wanted to go home with Dior Homme and CoSTUME National. That said, I agree with jetLab on DSquared and Final Home. I should also mention A Bathing Ape; however, as with Paul Frank, I'm waiting to see how far it goes beyond cartoon simians, clever marketing and a whole lotta luck. How about DDC Lab? Royal Elastics?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Check out latest Royal Elastics sneakers (looks like Diesel, only better ). I also recommend Club Monaco - Canadian brand bought by RL a year or two ago. Re Mezlan - with all due respect I think their shoes fall into Lebanese Wedding category rather than street wear.
I've been suitably impressed with the Mezlan shoes I've bought. And I have a few. Actually, they tie Ferragamo for the coveted Highest Number of Shoes in Joe's Shoe Cabinet award. Are they in the John Lobb/Ludwig Reiter/Alden class of construction? No. But in all honesty I think they're in the same league as Gucci, Ferragamo, Tod's, Bally, etc. And I don't mean the Bengals compared to the Steelers, either. None of those (Gucci, Ferragamo, etc.) are in the same league as Lobb, et. al., either. The price difference is that Spanish labour is much cheaper than Italian labour. Indeed, I actually thought that their patent formal pump was BETTER made than Ferragamo's. That's saying something, considering that they were a bit over half the price. Admittedly, patent leather pumps are NOT most people's idea of streetwear, unless that "street" is the red carpet marking the entryway to some grand black-tie gala event. Although I did wear black patent leather driving shoes by Tod's today with jeans and a plain camel t-shirt..... That said, unlike Ferragamo, from whom one can reasonably expect every shoe to be at least a solid first down if not a touchdown strike, Mezlan does have a fair number of sacks, turnovers, special teams gaffes, and safeties in their collection. Like all of their woven or bicolore stuff, for instance, or some of those hideous super-thick soles. (I'm already 6'3" and DON'T want or need an extra inch-and-a-half from my shoes.) But there are some great shoes in there, too. Peace, JG
post #12 of 18
paul smith diesel american apparel trovata martin margiela yoko deveraux marc jacobs lacoste etro rogan rag&bone
post #13 of 18
This may set a record for THE oldest thread resurrected on the Style Forum! So LA Guy, how about an 06 critique of your 02 picks?
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, this is an old thread. Was this the original Streetwear thread?
Anyway, these days, I'm dressing and buying more east coast, as can be expected. And of my 2 main influences, military and western wear, the former is definitely dominant right now, whereas in CA, I wore a lot more western styled gear.

Well, here is a critique:

1. Paper Denim & Cloth - they were great, then they went out the way of Axle Rose.

2. Frankie B Men - I still have a great corduroy shirt jacket by her. Sadly, no more men's stuff. The stuff in the past few seasons was really out of sync with 2006 anyway.

3. PS by Paul Smith - still one of the best diffusion lines around.

4. Martin Margiela - king of the deconstructionists. I stand by this.

5. Dirk Schonberger - No longer a newcomer. I thought that he had a few weak seasons between 2002 and 2006, but he has really come into his own.

6. For great shoes - Premiata.

Interesting. Shows how tastes change. I can still appreciate Premiata, but have really moved into sneakers these days, or more subdued boots by, say, Costume National.

Runners up:
1) Custo Barcelona - great prints.

Still great prints. I like to wear them under plain button downs, for a peek of visual interest. Not so much anymore (they are a little much for Boston, even underneath something much plainer), but as print shirts go, they are still the original.

2) Parasuco Jeans - a Canadian Label with some very well detailed shirts.

I never really liked their jeans, but the shirts were very west-coast at the time. Then they went embellishment crazy, and ruined the brand for me.

3) Etro - not really a streetwear brand per se, but with Kean in charge, some of their pieces are really funky.

Stronger and stronger every season.

4) Sneaker brands of note include the usual suspects: Puma, Adidas, Asics, Converses, classic Reeboks. Diesel makes surpirsingly durable sneakers. Tsubi makes good hybrid shoes, and Clark's desert boots are terrific.

I think that the Diesel crew went crazy after about 2002. So kill that recommendation. Same with Tsubo (typo in original) The rest stand. The originals are still the best.

5) Messenger bags by Rafe, Rugby North America, John Varvatos have street cred.

The Rafe messengers got more and more purselike after 2002, in design and materials. Too bad about that. Rugby (which changed it's name to some number in a dumbass move) still makes some great bags. Varvatos bags have definitely gone downhill in terms of construction, and imo, design as well. These days, I would say that "the brand formerly known as rugby" is still top notch, and I would recommend old Varvatos bags. And Jeanshop makes some great leather bags as well.
post #15 of 18
Wow, it all makes sense now. I was wondering about some of your choices, LAG! I'm sure this list would look a lot different now. I agree with you on Etro. No one can beat him when it comes to prints. PS is getting dangerously close to looking like he's giving out licensing for productions. Some of the stuff I doubt he had anything to do with. Parasuco---unfortunately I never got to see the good stuff. Again, so true about Diesel and Custo-- they were good but now they're just trying too hard. Reminds me a bit of Girbaud, very creative but doesn't really know when to stop. I mean, one less zipper/button/stripe/piping/wash sometimes makes a HUGE difference in class and wearability.
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