How Streetwear Helps Shape Identity

3 Mins read

Over the last decade, streetwear has emerged in mainstream fashion across the globe. Influenced largely by the culture at large, streetwear is more than just beautiful apparel and footwear. One of the main reasons why streetwear has become so popular, especially with  the youth, is its ability to shape identity and give a sense of belonging to a community. 

Encouraging multi-cultural identity

One significant aspect of the society that defines an individual is its ethnic and cultural heritage. The streetwear community goes against the grain and stylizes differences. From the raw and real to something more creatively comfortable, streetwear is a huge spectrum that encapsulates everything to do with freedom.  

brands and identity black streetwear

Brands like Nike and Adidas are just a few of the top companies that have helped use apparel to push a more multicultural narrative. Furthermore, Nike continues to release sneakers that highlight the characteristics and fashionable sense of a country’s identity itself.


Shop Nike Air Presto ‘South Korea‘ on Novelship

Pride in sexual identity

With an emphasis on understanding and expressing your identity, this places streetwear at the forefront of movements exploring one’s sexual identity and the LGBTQ+ community as well. The desire to express yourself to the fullest is what streetwear culture is all about. According to surveys, 1 in 6 Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ. This places a huge portion of consumers in the streetwear and sneaker space as being part of the LGBTQ community.  Nike and Gap are just a few of the brands that have also raised their voice in support of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, just a few years ago, Nike launched its BETRUE collection, releases sneakers that highlight the colourful world of exploration into your own sex. 

Taking a stand for what you believe in

In recent years, with major political events and social changes sweeping the globe, brands have come forward with apparel imprinted with logos and phrases representing their approach and ideologies. There is no doubt that the demographic of 18-35 enjoy wearing graphic tees that have a message. 

For a culture fostered in a digital era, streetwear fashion and its growing community is a way of expressing yourself in the fullest sense, as mentioned above. This includes political and social ideals. In fact, the heart of streetwear has its roots in rebellion against the powerful and corrupted. It stood for holding up the underdogs and those without a voice.

man in blue crew neck t-shirt holding white and red signage

For example, young females demonstrate their support for the feminist movement with female-inspired apparel. Good Girl Gang, founded in 2017 by Nawel Hussain aims to empower the misrepresented women of the patriarchal society. The same spirit was exhibited during the 2020 riots of the Black Lives Matter Movement, where the youth expressed their support for the movement through slogans on shirts and hoodies.

The identity of the youth which comes in a variety of forms such as race, sex, religion, individuality, political and social stance is displayed through streetwear fashion. Therefore, as much as a fashion statement, streetwear at its core is an ideology.

Streetwear and mental health

 In the modern world, the appearance an individual adopts represents one’s identity. The inspiration for streetwear fashion comes from everything surrounding the community and the experiences in the daily lives of the youth. All around the globe, from the US to Singapore, the streetwear trend and community is continuously generating fashion that reflects the realities of the world we live in.   

mental health streetwear

With adolescents ages 18-35 experiencing more mental health problems than the generations before — especially since the pandemic —the culture and community has become warier of mental health nowadays. This movement has not gone unnoticed, as many streetwear fashion brands have enabled designers a platform to express this message via the clothes, shoes, and merchandise we buy. has enabled not only the designers to communicate their words but also the teens that wear the clothing line to express their mental health problems and find acceptance in society. This beautiful openness breaks all the barriers of humanity. D.R.E.A.M, a streetwear brand, aims to break the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

Take Care with GetDoc

There is no doubt that taking care of your health — both mental and physical — is crucial in this modern day. Not only is it important to normalize the conversation early on in your youth, but we must also learn to encourage adolescents to take action immediately. Novelship has partnered up with GetDoc, a free online platform that helps people make appointments with their panel clinics and mental health practitioners nearby. Predominantly composed of adolescents and young adults, we take mental and physical health seriously. As such, we encourage the community to be aware and learn more.

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