Top 12 Street Wear Brands in the World

Streetwear is an ever-growing trend but what are the top brands that people prefer? Everybody has their own choices but some brands just stand out and have even reached cult status.

Cult Brands - Everything You Need to Know

With the rise of social media and the super easy way that information and news can be broadcasted all over the planet, so many new concepts emerge making it difficult to keep up and know them all, cult brands are one of these concepts.

What is a cult brand?

Unlike a regular brand, which is just identified by a distinctive logo, cult brands offer much more; a relationship between the brand and the customer leads to fanaticism and extreme loyalty to that particular brand. Although it may sound crazy, cult brands have become quite popular and have many loyal customers creating a group of people who have something in common alongside a sense of belonging.

Clothing cult brands can also be associated with certain groups of people or a particular culture, take the company Vans for example, Vans is a very well-known clothing brand that is, without a doubt, a brand that caters to skateboarders. This doesn’t mean that clothing from Vans can only be bought and worn by skateboarders; it can be worn by anyone, but the brand focuses on fashion for skaters that fit in with that particular sub-culture.

Why should you follow a cult brand?

From a customer’s point of view, wearing cult brand clothes can be quite fun not to mention practical, cult brands tend to produce high-quality garments as they can’t afford to lose their fans, and many of the outfits are extremely stylish making people stand out wherever they go.

It is wise to check the price range of the brand’s products beforehand; some people don’t want to spend too much on a particular item so make sure you see what is right for you.

Top clothing cult brands

Here are some world-famous cult streetwear brands in the world and how they reached the status they have today:

1. Supreme

Targeting skaters, Supreme started as a small business in New York in 1994 and they only had a few T-shirts on sale. However, over time Supreme became known as a “skaters” brand, and teenagers from all over the USA wanted to see what it was all about. The principle behind Supreme is that since young people tend to be more open-minded, it has led to the birth of an open-minded brand.

Supreme has collaborated with other designer brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton to make unique clothing styles and this is one of the reasons that it has become so big. Supreme has reached cult status because it targets a certain group of individuals and is successful at this. One can’t simply say that Supreme targets teenagers only, it’s a lot deeper than that, they target skaters and generally “cool people” who are ready to look good no matter the cost.

Established in 1994, in New York, Supreme started as a small clothing brand for skaters with only a few t-shirts on offer. The new and innovative styling of the clothes resulted in the brand gaining a lot of popularity among teenagers resulting in the brand being known as a “skaters” brand. This popularity is the reason that Supreme can sell clothes at the high prices that they do as they have achieved a cult status where the price isn’t an issue, pure style is.

2. Nike

Nike is the world’s largest sports brand and is extremely popular with people of all ages. Nike started with the name Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, its founders were Phil Knight; an athlete, and Bill Bowerman, his coach. Nike not only sells apparel specifically for sports but also sells pure street fashion wear which has become increasingly popular over the years.

One of the reasons Nike has become so big is the constant re-release of certain products in a retro fashion. Trainers that were in fashion in the 80s or 90s are slowly coming back making it not only a popular brand among many ages but also achieving cult status.

Many celebrities have worn and advertised the brand making it even more popular. An example of this is Nike’s collaboration with the basketball player Michael Jordan producing a sub-brand called Air Jordan, aimed at teenagers who are into basketball trainers.

The principle of Nike is “if you have a body, you’re an athlete” which shows that the brand targets everyone, and Nike is one of the brands that people who are into fitness will wear, along with people who aren’t.  

Nike also releases new versions of the same pair of trainers every year, for example, the Air Max and this makes customers want to purchase the new edition every time, making it an excellent marketing technique.

3. Adidas

Adidas started as a simple shoe-making company called the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory by Adolf Dassler and his brother Rudolf in 1924. In 1949, due to family issues, both brothers left this factory, Adolf made Adidas and Rudolf made Puma, and they are now rival brands.

Adidas became known as the “brand with the three stripes” and Puma is famous for, well, the Puma logo, and both have become extremely successful brands. The brand targets many kinds of people and has clothes for sportswear and streetwear, offering something for everyone. Adidas has become internationally famous and has collaborations with some cult brands such as Bape. 

Adidas has their “sports” division which sells cheaper clothes for use in fitness activities and the “originals” which offer more quality premium streetwear resulting in a larger market. Adidas also owns the hiking company, Salomon, thus increasing its range and target audience.

 4. A Bathing Ape aka BAPE

A Bathing Ape is a Japanese streetwear brand that was started by Tomoaki Nagao or Nigo in 1993. He studied fashion editing in college and borrowed some money to start his own business which he named after the film “Planet of the Apes”.

The name might sound strange but it is a reference to the saying “A Bathing Ape in Lukewarm Water” and it is meant to be humorous and is based on the idea that typical young Japanese people like to be lazy and have a bath in warm water representing the customers of the brand who are typical of the younger generation.

Bape has much collaboration with other brands and it is well known for the typical camouflage design with the shark's face on the hood. Although Bape started in Japan it has become internationally famous and received cult status.

Bape went dead for a while around 2000 and not many people were interested in it but recently this trendy brand has come back in fashion. As of 2018, Bape has become one of the most popular streetwear brands of all time and it almost rivals the streetwear king; Supreme.

Even though the brand has been around for about twenty-five years a lot of youngsters are discovering what it is now. Perhaps the brand became popular because it offers something different from other brands. The design of all Bape clothing is unique and stylish and ultimately this is what the target audience, who are teenagers, are looking for.

When Bape first started in Japan it gained popularity in the music industry and many famous artists such as Jay-Z wore the brand and promoted it using his fame.

5. Billionaire’s Boys Club and Ice Cream

Billionaire’s Boys Club and Ice Cream were started by Pharrell Williams and the founder of Bape, Nigo. They are a premium designer streetwear brand that is worn by celebrities all over the world. It is known as a “hype beast” brand and is quite pricy but since its roots are set in the music industry, it has become quite popular and customers don’t worry about sky-high costs.

The brand is a partner of A Bathing Ape and has become quite popular since the artist Jay-Z has been seen wearing their apparel. To sell to everyone and not just men, BBC released the Billionaires Girls Club or BGC, they originally used to only produce clothing in Japan but recent collections have been produced elsewhere.

6. Stone Island

Stone Island is the brand best known for the compass logo and has a long history behind how it came to fame. It is a high-end men’s Italian brand that was bought by Carlo Rivetti in 1994. Although they didn’t always sell streetwear the brand has teenagers all over Europe going crazy.

The brand has been quite popular among football “hooligans” in England and the brand has featured in many films about hooligans. The brand has also gained fame in the hip-hop industry as the Canadian rapper Drake has been seen wearing the brand.

7. Palace

Palace is a streetwear brand for skateboarders. The history behind this brand is quite interesting as it was originally part of Baker Skateboards which was founded in 1999 by Andrew Reynolds and sold skateboards and skating accessories.

In 2007, Baker Skateboards became Baker distribution and alongside fellow skaters, Andrew Reynolds started seven different brands one of them being Palace. Palace Skateboards not only sells equipment for skating but has started an amazing apparel range that has reached cult status.

Palace has become very popular, is regarded as a “skaters” brand, and has a similar status to that of Supreme. Palace originally sold only skateboards and skating accessories but as of 2009 began to produce clothing that has gained so much popularity which makes the brand, now under the ownership of Lev Tanju a rival of Supreme. Palace’s roots of selling only skateboards go well with its customers who skate; they feel that it is a brand that tailors garments according to their needs and style.

8. Stüssy

Stüssy is a clothing brand that started in the early 1980s in the US and was founded by Shawn Stussy. The brand started to become popular in California following the rise of the trend of surfwear but now the brand is dominated more by streetwear style clothing.

In 1996 Shawn Stussy retired and his company was bought by Sinatra now Stüssy's clothing can be purchased in stores in many countries.

9. Champion

Champion is an American sportswear brand and is owned by HanesBrands Inc. It started in 1919 when it was known as the Knickerbocker Knitting Company but was later changed to Champion Knitting Mills Inc. in the 1930s when they started producing sweatshirts for US military academies.

In the 1980s and 90s, Champion began to produce clothing for NFL and NBA teams and even the Premier League. Over the past few years, Champion has become quite famous and is quite a popular brand in the UK.

10. Obey

Obey is a streetwear brand that started in 2001 in New York and was founded by Shepard Fairey who was originally a street artist studying at Rhode Island School of Design. What makes this brand stand out from others is the fact that it’s all about challenging the system and a lot of its hoodie designs are in the style of propaganda posters.

The brand is mainly influenced by activist work and targets young open-minded individuals.

11. Ellesse

Ellesse is a sportswear brand founded in 1959 by Leonardo Servadio in Italy. It became popular in the 1970s as a ski-wear brand which many of its product designs were based on. Ellesse is also famous for its tennis wear and many tennis players around the world have worn its products.

In 1994 the Pentland Group, which is a British company that owns Speedo and Berghaus, Bought Ellesse and began to give out licenses for their products to be distributed around the world. In the 80s Ellesse became a popular premium streetwear choice in the UK.

12. Fred Perry

Fred Perry was started by a British tennis player who named the brand after himself. The brand’s logo is a laurel wreath which is based on the original logo for Wimbledon. The brand was first run by the Perry family but in 1995 it was sold to the Japanese company Hit Union.

Fred Perry produces premium tennis wear and even sponsors the British Tennis player Andy Murray.