… I found him, he’s checking up on his insta.
Millions of teenagers are taking a huge dive into streetwear culture by displaying modern fashion crazes online with rewards of promotional payments or free designer clothes. 18-year-old upcoming streetwear representative Frank has been building on his streetwear Instagram following since 2016, faced with struggles and conflicts that most ambitious trend-setting teenagers face during this new age of social media and advertisement. Frank clearly demonstrates how youngsters are so relaxed within this hobby but yet, so passionate about all the Hypebeast hype.
South East London is where Frank began his journey into streetwear and fashion culture as he was always dragged about through the shopping center with his mum, being made to wear fashion disasters that honesty “I didn’t give two shits about”. School dampened his sense of self-expression, the uniform which everyone thinks sucks arse really cannot refect anyone’s personality. Once finishing school his eyes opened as he describes “I became immediately more conscious of what I was wearing and what others around me were wearing, and started to see clothes as more of a form of self-expression”. From flying the nest of compulsory education Frank develops his individual and unique style as he states “I went from not caring what I wear to caring what I wear, and with that, I went from wearing high-street, mainstream giant brands like GAP and Topman etc, to wearing mostly designer brands and streetwear brands.” The expansion of his interest is getting more and more common by the hour with teens raking up thousands of followers each on Instagram, Frank having an online army of 1,327.
“For me, the clothes you wear say a lot about who you are,” Frank suggests, it’s clear he has open ideologies over current fashion trends and streetwear although he’s not just following the leader, as he calls it “sheeping”. After asking if he thought anyone could rock streetwear fashion he replied “If you don’t have your own style and take on it, you’re just following the baitest trends and being a sheep. For example, I like mixing hype brands with vintage designer and all types of clothes together really, that’s my own style.” Clearly, Frank believes that fashion and owning the outfit you wear is a lot more than just branding like Supreme, Palace, and Off-White as you’ve got to have your own unique and individual portray on it.
Freedom and expression of speech and individuality are what most of us are applauding from the Instagram streetwear movement. Teens are crazier creative and aesthetic artistic as ever finding new ways to reveal their imaginations, benefiting all teens including Frank, “Having freedom is arguably one of the most important things in life, and this includes the freedom to dress and express yourself as you want to.” Although this hobby and upcoming industry are not always pleasing for our eyes, as Frank thinks,”I know that lots of my mates who I chat to over insta about streetwear culture are game when I say at times it seems like youths are “ruining” streetwear culture by flexing all the same bait brands. I stumbled across dis interview by The Sole Supplier with Patta London’s manager, Damo, said there’s some sorta “uniform for it” which I hear as true.”
After discussing more fashion pieces with Frank he comments that “streetwear is a gateway into the bigger world of fashion. I think the feeling of being part of something big, a community, is desirable for us.” Also outlining how social media can impact the our younger generation due to the fashion industry as he says “the rise of social media, particularly Instagram, puts pressure on young people to be ‘cool’, some people might just see people wearing these clothes and copy it, whereas finding an interest and developing a passion for it off your own accord it and developing your own style is just how I roll. Just wear what you like, not what other people are wearing.”
You can tell Frank bosses his creativity in streetwear from his very knowledgeable understanding about fashion “brands such as Palace and Supreme and I would call these gateway brands, they reach out to similar brands and collaborate” and he seems very comfortable with quick trend changes and the forever developing fashion industry, he’s totally unshakeable “I don’t keep up with trends, I’m miles ahead. I’m not going to lie and say that I developed my own personal style 100% on my own because that would be untrue. As humans, we will always look at others and compare ourselves, but its unhealthy in a way which is damaging like appearance wise because we have no control over that, but streetwear wise, if you’re into fashion, you’re always looking for inspiration to develop and evolve your personal style”. He is even the founder of Dripped Streetwear on Instagram, a current street fashion inspired page which deals with common trends and current fashion activity in the streetwear industry.
Having consciousness about current brands and trend patterns is also key to having the perfect streetwear persona, Frank is all over audiences and promotion techniques as he says “Supreme x The North Face and Palace x Adidas I feel they target such a similar audience, encouraging teens to expand and rep brands such as Stüssy, A Cold Wall, Vetements, Marche Noir, Places+Faces; brands on a similar hype wave to those gateway brands.” Is the streetwear promotion a knock-on domino effect as Frank suggests, well this is clear to be proven right so far. As long as people are befitting from movements and iconic trends like streetwear fashion then the way we brand and drop streetwear clothing then this domino effect couldn’t be slated, there is obviously a high demand and slow supply.
Changing up your style is always a positive step as teenagers develop and grow into individuals, “I’m always finding new brands I like, naming two off the top of my head; Waviboy is a brand that contacted me via Instagram and I’m really fucking with their aesthetic. If I wasn’t a brokeboi I would definitely cop.” Being curious about the expenses of the streetwear fashion hype Frank wasn’t able reassured us “when you only live off £3 meal deals and Morley’s in order to fund it. Seriously though, yes of course it can be, but I’ve got a job and I tend to sell on clothes after I’ve worn them and invest in upcoming brands which I predict will increase in value and then sell them on after a while, but I do not condone reselling or proxying at any expense”. Obviously, its clear that streetwear fashion is no walk in the park operation, struggles and challenges are still to be faced during these student shopping-sprees.
By talking to Frank, it’s more understandable to why teenagers are so passionate about fashion and streetwear, as its a sense of belonging and self-worth which leads to freedom of expression. Something that our current generation pulls off very nicely.