Search “Supreme haul” on Youtube you’ll net about 282,000 results. That means hundreds of thousands of people are setting up cameras to record their elation as they reveal the famed skate company’s pricey, exclusive tee-shirts and branded streetwear. This fanatical devotion can border on cult-like obsession. One of the more popular videos includes a caution to the viewers, who the YouTuber calls “‘Preme Gods” while flexing his index fingers in air quotes. The young man, still in braces, premtively takes at shot at anyone about to ride him for ruining the Supreme community or the Supreme culture.
“Shut up, man,” he says. “This is a damn haul video. This is for entertainment.”
This small documented moment of a dude hypebeasting alone in his bedroom reveals the passion with which people across the globe both purchase streetwear and defend the boundaries of their beloved subculture.
Whether or not streetwear should be defined as a subculture of its own or a key piece of other subcultures remains up for debate. There isn’t a single definition for the fashion genre that’s agreed upon by all of the luminaries in the market. For some, streetwear is the product of life on the street, a representation of a specific, independent culture. For others, it’s just another form of consumption, devoid of the philosophical contradiction to mainstream society a true subculture ought to have. The lack of consensus in no way, however, impedes nations around the globe from developing their own streetwear brands or their stylish citizenry from haunting online retailers and waiting hours in line for the freshest gear to drop.
The staples — track suits, ball caps, hoodies, sneakers, and tees — remain consistent across streetwear, but countries manifest their own riffs on the classics. In some instances, they bite the look of a foreign subculture, costuming themselves in gear that would carry a definite ideology in other regions. This approach (which some might call appropriation and others cultural imperialism) supports the notion of streetwear as sheer capitalism. This modus operandi isn’t exclusive to international exchange, either; just look at the adoption of heavy metal iconography by hip-hop over the past year. Other countries are able to keep streetwear soulful by mixing existing elements from hip-hop or skating with those that reflect a national identity, like traditional iconography or patterns.
The following list explores streetwear trends in seven countries with unique expressions of what’s fly. Just don’t expect to see the fashion capitals, like the US, France, and Japan on this compilation. Instead, it’s time you get in touch with some lesser represented steez.