When I was growing up I was privileged to be at the birth of Urban fashion, baggy jeans, jeans with designs, t-shirts and Jumpers with creative flare and Coats to match, co-ordination and imagination all in one. I can only liken the flamboyance to that of the catwalk only you would and could wear it everyday.
I just read a blog about FUBU which added fuel to a fire I am kindling where I feel that cheap high street clothes and pop fashion has killed off the beauty and creativity of Urban fashion. With the likes of Rocawear and Sean John holding fort and the death of Karl Kani and FUBU the list is few but strong: Akedemiks; Enyce; Willie Esco; Pelle Pelle; FUBU; Karl Kani to name but a few. Rare, hard to find but it was an era of Urban style and image of its own. I have seen a few brands such as Raw Blue attempt to continue in the Urban style but they always seem like cheap imitations rather than the quality I once bought.
There used to be 1 Jean store in each town that stocked these brands and I always shopped there, T K Maxx even stocked them when they first came to England but soon stopped sadly.
Now I find just one stockist in half od England or I have to take a risk online with sizing. Talking of sizing I never once had a problem with American Urban sizing, unlike UK high street stores where an XL can range between Medium and XXL depending on where you shop. I knew exactly what size I needed when buying American Urban brands as the fit was always lose.
Then I found that high street brands and the Anglo Saxon brands gained a reputation through the lyrics of Hip Hop artists which then made the Anglo Saxon styles more popular and thus the brands more popular, as well as that the high street stores meant you could buy your clothes almost anywhere and cheap versions of the same style. This quickly stopped the supply of Urban brands in the UK and drowned the brands into the sea of Tight jeans and poorly printed rock style t-shirts.
Sean John seems to aim his brand at the smarter more R & B image while Rocawear seems to keep the monopoly on the Urban Hip Hop style, if you want good quality Urban styles.
alternatively there are a couple of cheaper brands available out there but you never really feel like you are wearing a work of art but more like a quick knock up reprint.
Bring Back Urban Fashion and Let those that Birthed it Manage it but most of all support it.