Skip to content
Home » The history of UK Streetwear

The history of UK Streetwear

If we define streetwear as casual clothes worn by subcultures of urban youth, and only acknowledging its growth globally from the 1990’s, In the UK it should begin at Criminal Damage. We’ve also added Gym Shark to make it more comparable, though they’re not actually streetwear they have a significant impact in the development of athleisure wear to fashionable.

Dates are provisional because the sole source of this information is the brands themselves and when the businesses became to a limited size (usually at the point that they were producing enough income to justify the change, or in certain instances prior to their growth). In one instance, I worked with a company that stated that they were founded in 1984, since that was the year that he was born and I’m not able to take the statement literally.

However, the evolution and growth of the streetwear industry was stunning, heavily inspired by France, the USA, Japan and France.

“The Bedroom” Brand Era

2014 was the golden era of UK streetwear, incorporating an era of bedroom brands, which was started by Sik Silk which offered new styles and innovative versions of tracksuits and t-shirts. It was a fast fashion revolution with a quick turnaround of production in order to provide in-demand designs. There were also smaller repeat orders for the most popular designs.

This year saw Hera who redefined the men’s jeans, Couture Club and MDV who both brought streetwear into the modern era, while 11Degrees as well as Gym King made the basic tracksuit to the forefront as part of the everyday wardrobe.

It was black Friday in 2016 but that’s not the only most important event in the history of streetwear. Every brand recorded massive sales in the midst of popularity for streetwear.

Fashion is changing with the seasons

Fashion trends are not always unique and, much like sample songs, they are usually influenced by previous seasons. While younger generations may not know the history behind the trends of the fashion trends, they are often a result of styles that were used by grandparents and parents and may even be in the closets of older generations.

The editor advised me to start in the ’80s and the advent of MTV and pop culture beginning in the fashion industry. And he said “the internet changed the way we shop for the better in the 90’s. Prior to that, children were street urchins who had dirty faces and no fashionista’s.” And , he ought to be aware that he’s a Gen-X

Of course, clothing has been in use since Denisovans lived in caves billions of years ago. I’d guess that the first fashion trend was to sabre a tooth tiger in order to make it appear more attractive to women through the use of skins from a risky animal. Fashion is in fact based on the desire of people to appear attractive to show off their wealth , and attract a partner.

Through the ages that followed fashions were reserved to wealthy people, while the poor made their own clothes to wear. The story of history is told through literature and art. We are aware that the Romans and Greeks were wearing tunics and fashion saw an upwards turn during Victorian time with magazines that showed how fashionable people dressed. If these were transported by vessel then the UK could be among the first to receive these from Paris as it was the one of the fashion capitals of the time.

Shopping for Drippy tracksuits? Head on over to the Bando Baby website…

The ancestor of haute Couture is Englishman Charles Frederick Worth, who established the House of Worth in 1858 and was the first person to stitch a label into his clothes. The trend was elevated to new heights over the next millennium with designers such as Christian Dior launching his first collection in 1947.

I’m sure I’ve been missing a lot here. Movie and pop stars have always had an influence on fashion throughout the 20th century. However, the focus is on streetwear, which went worldwide in the 1990’s and is defined as trendy, casual clothes that was worn by the urban youth culture. This trend accelerated towards the close in the second half of 20th century thanks to the growth of disposable wealth as well as the internet’s ability to empower the entrepreneur who is independent and facilitates immediate global marketing.

Without further delay Here is a quick review of the past of the streetwear industry within the UK.


The Editor is now on this one from the perspective of a child in the moment.

In the early years of 1982, UK children had three TV channels, and would play in the streets until the sun went down in hand-me-downs given to them by their elder siblings. In the event that you got lucky enough, the sister was also the same-sex. My personal favorite was an Nike Air Jordan jumper my brother had left an iron in the back, which meant I was obliged to wear it with an outfit.

In the past, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Umbro, Converse, Lacoste as well as Gucci, Levi, Wrangler and Tommy Hilfiger were all huge. Donnie as well as Mark Wahlberg in New Kids on the Block danced in their high-tops as well as Adidas tracksuits with shells. Also, of obviously Marty McFly wore Calvin Kleins in Back to the Future.

Fashion is influenced by music and fashion, as we all know. The 70’s Punk demonstrated nonconformity and the possibility of anyone having an clothing line. Rap and Hip-Hip showed us that we can mix and remix any genre and still be original.

MTV started in 1981, with music videos that were played on repeat to trendy kids, and buddies but it wasn’t able to reach the UK until SKY TV in 1989. It was the punk era of the 70s period that most likely defined an alternative culture. It was a time when Whitney, Madonna, Boy George, Tiffany and Cyndi Lauper promoting the vibrant style of the 70’s music industry.

I was born a distance across from Camden Town in London, where it was all worn leather jackets and jeans and jackets, which Bros were spotted wearing in the latter half of the 1980’s. In addition, due for Terminator as well as Top Gun, Raybans were the preferred sunglasses.

“If you could really label the streetwear as such, it included vibrant synthetic fabrics with baggy t-shirts and baggy baseball jackets, lycra, as well as double-denim. The decade was fun to be in but it was terrible for fashion.”


It’s over and to the Editor.

In my opinion, ’90s fashion was more minimal than the vibrant 80’s even though Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a clear indication of the opposite. Camden Town and subsequently me were swept into Gangster Nirvana and rap styles. Blur as well as Oasis influence through Jeans T-shirts, hoodies, T-shirts and trainers. Sky TV were taking over the game and brands such as Criminal Damage were coming in.

The key to the game was the advent to the world wide web. It was dial-up but extremely slow for contemporary standards. You were disconnected when someone called the home phone. It opened up the world. I was experiencing conversions with people from all over the world on social networking platforms such as that was prior to Facebook.

At first, surf culture from the USA was coming to my interest. The good news was that the roller-blading singing ‘woahhh bodyform for you was being replaced with the baggy skateboards and baggy clothes from LA. In the theory of things, NWA arguably introduced Californian Streetwear to the world in the latter half of the 80’s, however, it was still a niche and political. I’d suggest that 1991’s Film Boyz in the Hood had a bigger impact on the world as well as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Eminem more popular hip-hop gangsters. The Hip Hop music was the main driver behind high-end jeans and baseball caps throughout the UK.

Honorable mentions for fashion go to vibrant windbreakers Vans, Sketchers, Fila, Hush Puppies, Timberland and Doc Martens. Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, Big baggy MC Hammer pants, Reebok pumps. Tie Dye T-shirts and moon boots.