Streetwear is a fashion statement that is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Not only is it taking over modern-day trends, it’s also taken over various runways. Of course, the likes of Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones have something to do with the rise of streetwear’s prominence. With the many styles that come with streetwear, one that hasn’t been talked about much is techwear.
In a nutshell, techwear is all about functionality and form in a single outfit. It’s very much like what athleisure is looking to capture between aesthetics and utility. However, techwear is all about bringing both worlds together and creating something new from it.
It’s mostly popular in the avant-garde fashion industry, which is all about looking into the future of fashion. This utilitarian-style of clothing is known for serving a purpose deeper than just being a piece of clothing on your body.
But there is still room to grow in the world of techwear and streetwear, most of which are in the same boat. There are already plenty of high-end labels who have begun to dig into the world of techwear and the benefits it brings. Some of the popular pieces you can find with any techwear brand include heat insulation and water resistant technology.
The great thing about techwear is also its versatility. Not only can you wear it outdoors, you can also style it for events and functions. Scroll on down to read up on these techwear brands that are changing the way we see streetwear trends as well as the world of fashion as a whole.
The North Face (TNF) is one of the longest standing American outdoor and apparel brands when it comes to creating techwear apparel. Many of its apparel are focused on ensuring you stay warm even throughout the harshest of weather conditions. TNF’s customer has also steadily grown over the years as more and more streetwear enthusiasts have begun to see the appeal of the brand. It is based on how TNF designs its clothing, particular its jackets that has a heavy techwear influence. TNF has also collaborated with various streetwear labels like Supreme, mastermind world, and Sacai to name a few.
Image Credit: Grailed
Much like The North Face, Patagonia is also an American apparel company that focuses on outdoor clothing. What makes Patagonia stand out from pretty much everyone else is its activism where it donates 1% of its total sales revenue to environmental groups. This was taken a step further in 2016 when Patagonia pledged to donate 100% of its Black Friday sales revenue to various environmental organisations, which totalled to US$10 million. As far as its apparel goes, Patagonia focuses heavily on its environmentalism as well as its iconic logo to help sell the brand. Its popular clothing choices include windbreakers, rain jackets, and even casual hoodies, all of which are made of 100% traceable down feathers and wool.
Image Credit: Papertrail
Acronym is largely considered to be the OG when it comes to all things techwear. While many are still unfamiliar with the name, Acronym has been around since 1994. To be fair, it also doesn’t spend on advertising and prefers to remain under the radar while its designs take centre stage. Acronym has slowly been shaping the way we view techwear for over two decades right under our noses. The brand’s colour palette also doesn’t change much with black being its primary colour while its designs are futuristic and sleek, functional, and above all else, cool. It’s design ideology is mainly focused on meshing military technology with sportswear, which gives you a cyberpunk-esque look and feel. Acronym also has a great relationship with Nike, often collaborating on various Nike sneakers like the Nike Air VaporMax Moc as well as the Nike Air Presto Mid.
Image Credit: Grailed
When one thinks about techwear, renowned Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto comes into mind. While his very own label is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and fashion, his collaboration with Adidas is what sets him apart from the hoi polloi. The name Y-3 as its called, signifies the partnership Yamamoto has with the German apparel company. The ‘Y’ stands for his full name while the ‘3’ talks about the three stripes that represent Adidas. The collaboration has transcended what techwear is in the world of fashion, showcasing its innovative designs with a sporty functionality and fashion elegance.
Image Credit: Y-3
Another popular sportwear and apparel brand known for its techwear is Nike, more specifically, Nike All Conditions Gear (ACG). The entire Nike ACG collection features a wide a range of innovative athletic apparel, which is designed for extreme climates. It also has a cult-like following due to it being less commercialised than the regular Nike apparel. Nike ACG also carries bold colourways with off-the-wall images and silhouettes, making it a fan favourite for enthusiasts who are into techwear. The Nike Air Wildwood ACG as well as the Nike Okwahn II are some of the popular sneakers you can find from Nike ACG, which goes to show its seriousness when it comes to outdoor-oriented sneakers.
Image Credit: Nike ACG
Stone Island has long been a fan favourite of various streetwear enthusiasts and fanatics. It’s known for having its signature compass patch that buttons onto the left sleeve, whether it’s a hoodie, a sweater, or even a t-shirt. Stone Island’s innovative designs set it apart from everyone else and its outdoor wear is known for keeping you warm in the most extreme of climates. In the world of hip-hop and modern-day culture, Stone Island is no stranger as it has elevated itself into the upper echelons of streetwear society, right next to the likes of Supreme, Bape, and Off-White.
Image Credit: Stone Island