Streetwear has shifted from subculture to the mainstream in the past two decades, sometimes used as a quick fix for struggling luxury brands to court younger audiences. Items like puffer jackets and hoodies, graffiti lettering and XXL logos have become common sights in high fashion. Luxury’s flirtation with streetwear is fashion trends-led, elevating the category and giving the luxe treatment to street credibility.
With these streetwear codes prevalent in fashion, a host of brands are reclaiming the space and re-affirming their values. Vienna-based Rare Humans is one such label. The brand, which started trading in 2021, has been making waves with its immersive and – unlike many drops – free events, which have thousands of fans running through the streets of the Austrian capital. What makes it different? Rare Humans is committed to embodying the streetwear lifestyle, surprising fans with creative social media campaigns and one-of-a-kind community events.
Similarly, another brand that owes its enduring success to an unswerving community-first mindset is Carhartt. ‘We try to keep our marketing and our story to the worker,’ chief brand officer Susan Hennike told The Drum. ‘If people choose to wear it for other activities, we are very appreciative, but we believe this is because the brand feels genuine.’ In a campaign launched in August 2023, Carhartt reminds its audience who the brand really serves, offering a lesson in grassroots authenticity to other streetwear brands.
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