By Marisa Pieper
Streetwear style used to be a man’s game. From Thrasher to Supreme, the clothes that ruled skate parks and the heart of concrete jungles like New York and L.A. were made for and advertised to men. Women weren’t really included in the style or expected to wear it.
Now, in 2017, those rules were thrown out the window thanks to women who weren’t afraid to break through the glass ceiling.
Let’s take a trip way back and talk about what exactly streetwear is. Streetwear is a style of fashion worn by skaters and surfers that originated heavily in New York and Los Angeles. It was their everyday fashion, and the brands they represented included Supreme, Thrasher, Huf and Obey.
This is a prime example of the discrepancy between men and women in streetwear from Supreme’s Spring/Summer 2017 lookbook.
Throughout the past three years of their lookbook archives, there’s not a single female model or any sign that they make clothing for females. However, that doesn’t stop women from buying items and making them their own.
Because there’s a huge gap of female inclusion in streetwear, fashion moguls like Leah McSweeney, CEO of Married to the MOB, Misslawn, founder and creative director of HLZBLZ and fashion icon Rihanna are leading the way to make that gap smaller.
Leah McSweeney started Married to the MOB in 2004 because she was “tired of streetwear’s exclusion of girls.”
The brand is described as “street smarts with a feminist edge.” Born out of the streets of New York City, the brand is heavily influenced by East Coast and New York culture. Married to the MOB even collaborated with another well-known street brand, Diamond Supply Co. back in 2014.
Not only is Leah McSweeney and Married to the MOB bringing streetwear to women, McSweeney and the brand are including women in the design and inspiration. Being true to women’s desires is the backbone of the company.
Rihanna was seen wearing the original Married to the MOB “Supreme Bitch” hat which was made to challenge the idea of women being excluded from Supreme’s brand.
HLZBLZ was born one year after Married to the MOB and boasts influences from “the old
school gritty streets of NYC to Cali’s neon pavements where summer never ends.”
The brand aims to continue to liberate and empower women through fashion by adding spice and femme to streetwear.
Now on the rise, women’s streetwear can be seen all over big cities from New York to Chicago to L.A. to Miami. Instagram stars and fashion icons alike are rocking their sneakers and joggers making the statement that women won’t be excluded in this community.
You can do both! Never limit yourself to what others say you can and can’t wear.
How do you rock streetwear? Tell us in the comments or on Instagram and Twitter!
Loved this piece, especially as a fellow female street wear enthusiast! I love that women are continuing to break down this barrier, but it frustrates me when brands attempt to appeal to women by including skirts/leggings/baby tees with heavy graphics. I’ve always loved street wear for its functionality as a skate kid/tom boy, so I find those designs to be cheap ways to appeal to women.