Classifying the most powerful people in streetwear is a difficult task. For starters, "power" is not the same as "popularity" and list members had to be part of their brand, which means that the majority of famous faces behind brands "designed by celebrities" "like Trukfit, or The rappers known to have co-signed highly publicized brands simply did not succeed.
It is common knowledge that the current success of a person or a brand does not in any way guarantee their sustainability. While overall gaming experience is a factor, we have also taken into account the current influence. In the end, we often talk about the number of product sales, but we wanted to go beyond sales to also determine who was able to change the fashion and opinions of others, both in the industry and in outside. Who directs streetwear fashion and who is simply part of it?
NEW STREETWEAR BRANDS.
Today new French brands are emerging in streetwear and in fashion in general. This is the case of our brand, YUKIO, with Asian streetwear but also of SNKRPARIS with their Parisian Sneakers. Quality and originality at the rendezvous. Create your own identity, develop your style and stand out from the crowd. These are the values of these young brands.
DISCOVER WHO HAD SUCCESSFUL AND WHO IS AT THE TOP OF OUR LIST OF THE 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN STREETWEAR.
25. MICHAEL "MEGA" YABUT
Who is he? The founder of Black Scale.
Founded in 2007, Black Scale has really taken off in the past year. Alfred De Tagle and MEGA started the brand as a secondary element of their concerts at HUF. In fact, Hufnagel was MEGA's mentor in the street industry. By adopting dark colors and occult images from the start, the brand has integrated itself into the street goth aesthetic currently in vogue: its basics and their t-shirts easily associate with designers such as Rick Owens. The number of Black Scale fans has grown exponentially over the past year, in part thanks to the support of their most famous client to date, A $ AP Rocky. According to the story, Rocky started wearing Black Scale after the brand opened with a store in New York in 2011. And although their trajectories towards stardom are not entirely parallel, MEGA and Black Scale certainly benefited from the success of Harlem MC.
24. RUSLAN KARABLIN
Who is he ? Designer at SSUR.
While his "LIKE FUCKDOWN" design has made SSUR a household name, Russ' status as a member of the OG streetwear community is undisputed among the cool circles of cool guys. Born in Soviet Ukraine, Russ grew up in Brooklyn as a fan of Shawn Stüssy. He very early adopted the graphic-based clothes of Stüssy, believing that it was the ideal way to exhibit his works. It was only some time before the arrival of subversive messaging, now synonymous with SSUR. At the moment, it's almost impossible not to see SSUR equipment obstructing a Tumblr feed or an Instagram feed - whether it's a Rolex parody t-shirt or a collab. But these are not his only claims to fame: the SSUR "Ne Blatuy" t-shirt is legendary.
23. MATTHEW WILLIAMS
Who is he ? Designer & Co-Founder, #been #trill
Creative director Matthew Wiliiams and one of his #been #trill cohorts hide behind the striking visuals of artists such as Lady Gaga and Kanye West, and often find themselves in streetwear. Example: their popular collaboration with Stüssy, who validated the false neo-Dadaist movement. His other projects include designing the album cover and making the video, namely the polarizing video lookbook Hood by Air Spring / Summer 2013, which exploits the dark and inspired look of high-fashion that he defended. This diversity of skills makes him someone who currently plays a decisive role in the orientation and aesthetics of fashionable equipment.
22. KARL HEINZ-MULLER
Who is he? CEO at Bread & Butter
How do your favorite streetwear brands buy their products in stores around the world, season after season? Well, in part thanks to people like Karl Heinz-Muller, founder of the Bread and Butter Berlin fair. Despite the global economic slowdown, B & B continues to grow and currently hosts more than 600 brands per season. Without this massive spectacle, it would be infinitely more difficult to give small streetwear brands a presence in new markets.
21. KEITH HUFNAGEL
Who is he? Founder at HUF.
The semi-eponymous collection of skateboarder Keith Hufnagel, HUF was founded in 2002 and has kept its reputation since. Hufnagel remains one of the most visible and authentic contributors to streetwear, perhaps due to its pro-skater roots and more recently by the label's approval by Odd Future. While the fame of Odd Future has certainly contributed to the spread of HUF across America and abroad, its members are but a small sample of the fans who have contributed to HUF's successful years.
It is this success that has earned the label collaborations with Converse, Nike and Jansport. Although HUF has moved away from retail - by closing popular stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco - it maintains a strong wholesale business and has expanded into new areas, such as a line of athletic shoes. Year after year, the brand offers solid offers such as its almost ubiquitous "Plantlife" socks and caps. Huf attaches great importance to skate culture rather than clothing trends, which is why she has maintained her integrity for so long.
20. MATT GEORGE
Who is he? Founder of United Front.
Although Matt George is a name you may not know, you have certainly seen his work. The Canadian designer is the talent behind the retail spaces such as Nomad, Stüssy Toronto and Goodfoot. The sneakers he creates under the brand Ransom by adidas are among the most beautiful collaborations there are. It is these frequent small projects that increase its influence on streetwear. However, most know him for his role as creative consultant at Kanye West, where he helped Yeezy develop his collection of women's clothing as well as the defunct Pastelle line.
19. AARON LEVANT
Who is he? Founder of Agenda.
If you're a streetwear or action sports brand looking to expand your reach, then go to Calendar. Founded in 2003 as a modest trade fair made up of 30 brands, Agenda now has more than 300 brands with salons set up all over the world. Aaron's unwavering dedication to quality, while still giving their fair share of respect to new labels, has led to the success of Agenda as the leading streetwear trade show.
18. ROB GARCIA
Who is he? Designer at En Noir.
Rob Garcia volunteered with MEGA as a designer for Black Scale, but it was his new venture, En Noir, that made the point. Launched in 2012, capitalizing on the ubiquitous baroque themes in streetwear and haute couture over the past year, it instantly found fans among celebrities and style junkies. En Noir is unique because it is in this gray zone between fashion and streetwear, in particular because certain clothes are extremely expensive for people used to buying graphic t-shirts (leather shorts of $ 1,000, Are you tempted?). That said, Rob’s streetwear reputation and En Noir’s current popularity let him know what he’s doing.
17. NICK BOWER
Who is he? Chef designer at Stussy.
Nick Bower is part of a strong team of creators such as art director Adam Jay Weissman and brand manager Fraser Avey, who make Stüssy the center of today's streetwear. Nick was educated at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, which includes creators such as Christopher Kane and Alexander McQueen. He then worked with Valentino and Versace before the love of surfing took him to California.
At Stüssy, he signs everything, from t-shirts to caps, and played a decisive role in the creation of Stüssy Deluxe, by introducing a high-end line to support the ubiquitous streetwear brand and a new generation of customers. Quality was the goal rather than relevance, and he continues to be an integral part of the local team that helps Stüssy do what she can do best: creating classic clothes in their own way, while cultivating a clientele massive, but totally organic.
16. ERIN MAGEE
Who is she? Founder of MadeMe.
As production manager of Supreme, Magee oversees the production of everything from camp caps to sweatshirts to woven shirts and pants. This means that the quality we all expect from Supreme is largely in his hands. In 2007, Magee launched her own brand, MadeMe, where she created quality streetwear for women, which reflected her style inspired by men's fashion. As the owner of MadeMe, she collaborated with Schott, Vans and Stüssy. Make no mistake: she is not only one of the most influential women in streetwear, she also gives each of the other players in the industry a real deal.
15. ERIK BRUNETTI
20 years later, FUCT continues to have a lasting impact on the world of streetwear. His name alone is responsible for the use (or abuse) of the word F in streetwear, but the themes of the counterculture are only part of what makes Erik Brunetti a great artist. and from FUCT a great brand. Brunetti's relentless authenticity for himself as a person and as an artist has been a constant in his work and what has kept him relevant all these years later. In an interview with Hypebeast, Brunetti said, "To stay relevant in this industry, you have to do it on your own terms." Obviously it does just that.
14. VIRGIL ABLOH
Despite the criticism of his latest collection, one thing is undeniable: it sold instantly. Thanks to his close ties to rappers such as Kanye West and A $ AP Rocky, Virgil's work has reached astronomical demand. He is also part of the #been #trill cohorts of Matthew Williams, a troupe that has worked for streetwear heavyweights like Stüssy and high fashion places like Milk Studios. Although it is too early to speak of its lasting influence, it is clear that Virgil is a figure to watch as the border between streetwear and haute couture continues to blur.
13. CHRIS GIBBS
From his beginnings in the legendary SoHo store scene, while Stüssy, Union and Supreme were leading shit, Chris Gibbs learned his craft from the best. And since then, it has become his own taste. Remember when visvim was only available in Japan? American enthusiasts rejoiced when UNION LA started stocking the legendary Japanese label. Chris' remarkable talent for style and understanding of trends is in large part what made UNION LA such a success. Today Gibbs remains a leader in the search for new quality labels such as US Alteration, Tantum and Anachronorm. He basically finds all the favorite brands of blogs before the Internet.
12. RONNIE FIEG
The cult shoe designer also heads one of the best emerging New York brands. Of course, the store always stocks Ronnie's latest sneakers collaboration, whether with Supra, Asics, Doc Martens or Puma, who according to Matt Halfhill of Nice Kicks, makes Ronnie one of the most influential people in sneakers material at the moment. But Kith also manufactures quality clothing and collaborates with the best talent. From day one, he managed to get coveted clothing like a leopard print college on celebrities like Justin Bieber, and now he's stepped up his game with products from his brands like BWGH and legacy brands like Harris Tweed .
11. NICK TERSHAY
10. BOBBY HUNDREDS
Founded in 2003, Bobby and Ben Hundreds have since built a loyal business, with accurate numbers to back it up. In 2008, Inc magazine was to generate revenues of $ 4 million, a figure that has grown exponentially since then. In addition to having a strong bi-coastal presence in Cali and New York, what really holds the discussions is the figure they generated on the Internet. In addition to the brand's popular blog, which provides an overview of Bobby's current of consciousness, they have accumulated a considerable number of follow-ups on social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
9. EDDIE CRUZ
In 2002, Eddie Cruz and James Bond started with Undefeated, a store specializing in sports shoes, but quickly diversified. Since then, the only thing more difficult to find than a pair of limited edition sneakers at the store is a person who does not have at least one item from the Undefeated label. Today, Undefeated is one of the best known and most respected streetwear brands on the market. He did this thanks to Eddie's expertise in the sector, an activity he acquired by working for iconic brands such as Supreme and Stüssy. Undefeated's consistent quality offerings and collaborations with brands like PUMA, as well as Cruz's casual sneaker designs for Nike, demonstrate how the brand lives up to its unbeatable name. And with Eddie at the helm, that probably won't change anytime soon.
8. LEAH MCSWEENEY
In 2004, streetwear was not only a predominantly male world, but women in this sector were more difficult to find than the latest limited edition sneakers. Almost nine years later, women in streetwear do what they do and, in some cases, stage the most respected brands on the planet. This evolution of gender roles in streetwear can be largely attributed to the efforts of Leah McSweeney, founder of her label Married to the MOB in 2004. The brand's strength has always been to combine graphics centered on women with a finger on the world.
Even today, Married to the MOB is one of the strongest and most diverse streetwear brands on the market and has inspired countless female brands. She didn't do it alone however, her sister Sarah McSweeney being one of the hottest girls in streetwear, and Futura's offspring, Tabatha McGurr, provide the voice of the brand through her writing. With such a crew, Leah may be holding the crown as the "supreme queen" of streetwear.
7. HIROSHI FUJIWARA
Being caught up in the daily whirlwind of limited edition streetwear copping makes it easy to forget how the culture of limited editions began. While many think of the sect craze as something that started with James Jebbia and Supreme, the truth is that Hiroshi Fujiwara did it first. In 1993, he opened a store called Nowhere (with the help of a child named Nigo), a place that helped establish Japanese streetwear culture.
Fujiwara's role in the Tokyo chapter of the International Stüssy Tribe is what inspired him to create his first brand, GOODENOUGH in the late 1980s. Today, Fujiwara uses its reputation as an elite to offer highest quality products, from clothing to phone, under the Fragment Design brand, while collaborating with other legends, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker, on the Nike HTM series. Although his reputation is what drives him, his consistency in the quality of the results, combined with his lasting impact on streetwear, makes him an icon.
6. GEMO WONG
Gemo Wong and all of Nike Sportswear have been crushing everything for years by offering products that no other streetwear brand is capable of. Thinking back on what Nike is as a brand, they not only took out the sportswear (from the gym and on the street), but they also took it for the future. They channeled old-fashioned manufacturing with the NSW Pinnacle collection, while defending technology in clothes like the 21st Century Windrunner. Gemo Wong and the NSW team have done an exceptional job creating tech-inspired clothing that works great and looks great. While Gemo was not personally involved, the collaboration between Nike Sportswear and Undercover has been one of the most creative and visually appealing capsule collections released in the past year. We are confident that Gemo's talents will serve him well when he becomes Director of Energy Product Design at Jordan Brand later this year.
Since opening in 2003, Reed Space has become a streetwear institution in New York. Its owner, jeffstaple, has not only launched its own internal label, Staple Design, but has also edited the internal magazine Reed Pages. His rise to streetwear fame dates back to 2005, when Staple designed one of the most coveted Nike Dunks of all time, the "Pigeon Dunks". Since then, the Pigeon logo has worn both Staple Design clothing and a handful of other collaborative efforts, including a New Balance 575 sneaker and a 5-panel Kangol hat. When it comes to Reed Space, the store has some of the best streetwear brands on the market, such as FUCT, Acapulco Gold, Norse Projects, Fragment, Reigning Champ, Undefeated and others with no name. As a designer and curator of quality products, jeffstaple cannot be stopped. The combination of these two talents is what places him in the top 5, where he should stay for years.
4. ANGELO BAQUE
Angelo’s story as manager of the new underground brand Nom De Guerre means that he knows something about unobtrusive marketing methods and how to keep a brand relevant. If the hype can indeed be explained as a mathematical equation involving notoriety, mystery and exclusivity, then Angelo seems to be an ace who makes this shit a science.
3. GREG SELKOE
2. KEVIN MA
In 2005, Kevin Ma launched an online magazine dedicated to tracking the release of coveted sneakers. With a name built on somewhat demeaning humor, Hypebeast has quickly become a primary source of information for streetwear enthusiasts looking to find out where and when they can get their next sneaker patch. With 3 million unique views per month, you could say that Ma is the most important person on the Internet to decide which brands of streetwear are worth knowing. With an audience as large as that of Hypebeast, a single post can be enough to validate the success of a brand.
Last year, Hypebeast not only launched a print magazine, but also an e-commerce store, diversifying the reach of the brand while monetizing the products it defends. Hypebeast is a real game changer, minimizing the reach of brands and consumers and creating the type of exaggerated atmosphere that we rank in this list. In addition, the Hypebeast forums have served as streetwear knowledge and trend fishing schools.
1. PHARRELL WILLIAMS
In 2005, Pharrell used his superstar status to create a collection of t-shirts, hoodies and sneakers inspired by the BAPE. With Nigo as a mentor, Pharrell's involvement in his label is much deeper than most star groups. He is more than the face of the brand, he sits at meetings, signs designs and runs a business. Although Nigo's BAPE line weakened and was eventually sold to I.T. Group Hong Kong in 2011, the BBC remains a private and independent enterprise.
In 2011, Jay-Z partnered with him to take the brand to the next level. Thanks to a collaboration with Palladium Boots that resulted in an exploration of Japan after the earthquake, the recruitment of Mark McNairy, the man of Complex Style next year, to design the high-end Bee Line collection for the billionaire Boys Club , or his role as creative director at KarmaloopTV, Williams not only has his finger on the pulse of streetwear and youth culture, but remains the most prominent voice in the conversation.