There we were having an afternoon bite at Fred's, Barney's cafe located at the top floor of their Chelsea location, when a heated conversation brewed over beer and coffee got a little frothy. Of course I was the one having the caffeine.
Words like "urban" and "culture" were the culprits to blame in this exchange. I said, "I wore Doc Martens over tightly cuffed jeans", he said, "I wore baggy jeans with loosely tied Timberland boots." These were our uniforms in the 90s, which we called streetwear, but we both agreed it wasn't for everyone. Now I am not going to beat a dead horse and write about what countless articles have already surmised about streetwear. I simply want to share what I believe streetwear was to me and what it means to me today. It goes back to what started our rouse in the first place.
Without access to the internet, smart phones, and growing up in lower/middle class families we were left to our own devices making due with what we had, many times going away from what many of the cultural and social norms were. We use the word culture fairly loosely but hardly do we hear or use the term contraculture as much. The term simply means a subculture that goes against or does the opposite of the host or prevailing culture. In other words, going against the grain. That's what I felt we did with the way we chose to express ourselves through our fashion.
Whether out of necessity or rebellion it took on many forms and created uniquely confident styles with an easy hip vibe. Many did not grow up in 90's experiencing streetwear culture, but through technology and influential public figures donning similar styles, a larger audience has now been enlightened. Styles once reserved for smaller groups are once again available, trending, and not just exclusive to the subculture but now part of a global movement. Many might say this style is now a watered down version of what once was, others might see it as adding a new flavor to it. Whatever camp you're from there is no denying that "streetwear" has become part of our everyday fashion lives making its way onto the front rows at couture runway shows and sophisticated gatherings. Sweats are no longer reserved for the basketball court or the laundromat but are paired with booties or a fur coat.
So what do we call a style that started at the park and ends up on Park Ave? My answer is: whatever you want to call it. Although my streetwear styling has changed over time the intention has always stayed the same. Be true to yourself and feel comfortable in your skin and it will translate though your clothes. If you do, it won't matter what you wear or where you wear it. So what is streetwear? It's Everywear! xoxo– Slightly Flirty c/o Gina Papa
Sweatshirt: Gosha Rubchinskiy
Black striped trim pants: Shein
White patent booties: Dorateymur
Shades: Saint Laurent