As the yellow vest protests raged on in Paris this past week, designers and fashion press alike turned out in droves for the Mens Fall/Winter 19 collection showings. Upon reflection of the trends and patterns seen at the shows, there is one just hot question on the industry's lips: are we witnessing the beginning of the end of 'streetwear'?
'Streetwear' as we know it first infiltrated the luxury fashion industry through sneakers. With the last decade's rising sneaker obsession taking the world by storm, it was inevitable that we would see show-goers and fashion mainstays both introducing an understated Nike or Adidas trainer to their expensive, curated wardrobe. Sneakers then became a 'foot in the door' (excuse the pun) for streetwear as a whole to enter the luxury scene, with early adopters like Shayne Oliver and Virgil Abloh making hyper branding and 'cozy' outfits the new must-have. Over the last 10 seasons, we have seen streetwear go from strength to strength. From Balenciaga's introduction of the Triple S sneaker, to LouisVuitton's appointment of Virgil Abloh as creative director, it has been undeniable that streetwear is the new luxury.
However, as is the nature of fashion, any revolution must eventually be met with a counter-revolution, and the Mens F/W runways may have just started that. Across the board we see a call for men to ditch the loungpants and once again embrace the suit. Kim Jones made a strong case for the latter, presenting a new monochrome, tailored man at the Dior show, Off White left the branded prints for an oversized suit silhouette, and Valentino made it clear that it is time to leave the hoodies at home, and step out in a trench coat once again. These are just a few stand-out examples from fashion's big dogs, but it is clear throughout all the presentations that there is a movement in the water...and smart tailoring is coming back for a BIG moment.
Of course, streetwear still has legs. And it will never ever be eradicated completely. But all we're saying is: buy a suit, now!