Top Streetwear Designers of 2019

As much as we all love and admire high fashion and its extravagant ways, we can’t deny that streetwear has taken over both men’s and women’s fashion. In fact, high fashion itself is bending more towards streetwear. And it is becoming more wearable for men’s everyday lives. So; Who do we thank for that? Streetwear designers, of course.  

Over the years, many unique designers have become famous in street fashion and we are going to talk about those who have managed to keep men’s interest for 2019 as well.  

Here we have the top streetwear designers of 2019 listed in no particular order.  

  1. Rick Owens 

Image source – news.artnet.com 

Rick Owens known to his fans as the Lord of Darkness is a famous American-born designer. He is the king of perfectly mixing luxury with streetwear and we can’t go on without mentioning him. His creations have been a massive inspiration for streetwear and that will never change. His signature exaggerated yet monochrome aesthetic has influenced many street fashion designers including Kanye West himself.  

Rick Owens launched his fashion line in 1994, Hollywood Boulevard. In 2003, he moved to Paris and mounted his collections in there since.  

Owens gained huge success after French Vogue ran an image of Kate Moss wearing one of his leather jackets. Owens managed to use the moment and made his post-apocalyptic, gothic style famous around the globe.  

On December 15, 2017, Rick Owens’ first museum exhibition and retrospective, chronicling over 20 years of his life’s work, entitled, “Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” opened at the Triennale di Milano.  

Rick’s dark aesthetic is one of a kind and he deserves being credited for it forever both in high end and street fashion. 

  1. Virgil Abloh  

Image source – media.wmagazine.com 

We can safely say that American designer, DJ, and music producer Virgil Abloh is one of the designers and just fashionable people who have started the new era of streetwear alongside with Kanye West and others. In 2009, when they hit the Paris Fashion Week, they have become the center of the attention. “We were a generation that was interested in fashion and wasn’t supposed to be there. We saw this as our chance to participate and make current culture. In a lot of ways, it felt like we were bringing more excitement than the industry was,” Abloh tells W magazine.  

Abloh’s career in fashion started, when he and Kanye West became interns at Fendi in 2009. Then, in 2010 he officially assumes the place of the creative director at Donda (Kanye West’s creative agency) and his career takes off massively.  

In 2012 Abloh launched his first brand, Pyrex Vision, which was already a statement that he is going to work on streetwear couture mainly. He bought deadstock shirts from Ralph Lauren for $40, screen-printed designs on them and sold them for prices upward of $550. After a year, Abloh closed Pyrex down and founded Off-White. Yes, he founded one of the most iconic streetwear brands ever. Off-White was a huge success and it still one of the top brands for both men’s and women’s street fashion. Then he collaborates with Nike, where he recreates the brand’s 10 most iconic sneakers in a “work-in-progress” style.  

In 2018 Abloh was named the Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections. Which marks him as the first person of African descent to lead the brand’s menswear line. Needless to say that he gave the brand a fresh new start and made it streetwear appropriate.  

Overall, he is an amazing designer who is capable of mixing streetwear and high-end clothing, while creating interesting outfits for street fashion. 

  1. Marcelo Burlon  

Image source – cdn.marceloburlon.eu 

Marcelo Burlon is different from others mentioned in this list because he actually doesn’t think of himself as a fashion designer. “I don’t consider myself a designer because I’m not. I am an Art Director and I like to play different roles – from PR to creating videos to an editor and a stylist”, he stated in his interview with GQ.  

This Milan based artistic mind is not just a designer; he started from PR, then fell into DJ-ing and opened his own night club “Pink Punk”. That is where he met many famous designers such as Raf Simons and got interested in fashion.  

Marcelo started that part of his career in late 2012 when he launched a simple line of t-shirts that would become a uniform of sorts for his cultivated gang. The inspiration behind this line was his native Patagonia and 90’s club culture.  

After the massive success of his line, Marcelo launched his famous streetwear brand “County of Milan”. It currently turns over €9 million a year and is stocked in over 250 stores around the world, including influential retailers like Opening Ceremony, Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols. The brand had a very successful collaboration with Eastpak. Moreover, the company now provides production capabilities to Off-White. 

Marcelo’s streetwear is edgier and draws inspiration from nightlife, music, and different cultures.    

Well, he may not consider himself a designer, but many people love him for his contribution to street fashion and he continues to amaze people with unique designs.  

  1. Yohan Kang  

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Yohan Kang is the creative director of the beloved South Korean streetwear brand Charm’s. He launched the brand in 2013.  

He is known for his quirky street style designs that are loved by famous K-pop celebrities. such as ONew from Shinee-Key and Sunny from Girl’s Generation. He designed the costumes for Shinee’s Japanese concert tour. Kang is known for taking inspiration from the 90’s Hong Kong street gangsters, Chinese slogans and dark themes.  

But Yohan is most known for his oversized outerwear mixed with tailored ready-to-wear separates. The inspiration for his Fall 2017 collection, named “Puberty”, was inspired by Pink Floyd and everything that Yohan himself went through as a teenager. 

He loves pairing polished, structured sweaters and blouses with lounge wear, like hoodies and sweatpants—his best sellers.  

K-Pop street fashion is taking over the world and the designers who make their clothes follow them.  

  1. Mike Amiri  

Image source – http://www.executivestyle.com.au 

California based Persian fashion designer started off as a member of a Korean hip-hop group. He is actually one of the co-founders of Korean hip-hop.  

He grew up in Los Angeles during the Rock ‘n’ Roll era of the ‘80s and he, of course, drew inspiration from it in his fashion. He managed to blend it into street fashion successfully when he created his own brand. Before launching it, he was working as a consultant. His work ranged from helping with denim startups to handbags lines to womenswear lines, which gave him enough experience to start his own brand and inspired him to make special things.  

In 2014, he launched his brand Amiri in the basement of his two-bedroom apartment in Koreatown in LA with seven or eight employees. In 2018, the sales of the company reached 40$ million.  

Amiri is most famous for its jeans, especially by celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lenny Kravitz.  

Amiri jeans are inspired by Levis and, of course, Rock ‘n’ Roll.  

“Around where I grew up, all those gutter-punk kids around Hollywood would sit on the curb and stitch their jeans. I remember watching them stitch these patches. And when I started working on my own jeans, my first embellishment technique was trying to replicate how authentic those stitches looked”, states Mike Amiri in his interview with GQ. And he certainly reached his goal successfully.  

Amiri even blasted his clothes with a shotgun to get an authentic pattern of holes. He makes ripped clothing look luxurious and appropriate for streetwear and, of course, for Rock Stars.  

  1. Jerry Lorenzo  

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Celebrity favorite American designer Jerry Lorenzo has gradually become one of the most influential streetwear designers around the world.  

In 2013, Lorenzo launched his brand Fear of God. He once stated in an interview that it was important for him to do something that had a Christian foundation but wasn’t corny. 

He loves mixing ‘90s subcultures and creating comfortable yet statement streetwear pieces. The love for subcultures comes from his childhood in the 90’s, when grunge, Punk, Rock ‘n’ Roll and hip-hop were evolving hand in hand.  

Jerry worked with many celebrities. He created five custom looks for Justin Bieber to wear on stage during his Purpose World Tour and helped with the famous merchandise. He worked with Kendrick Lamar for his “Damn” tour. And has famous fans such as Kanye West and Kendall Jenner.  

Fear of God’s sixth collection was promoted with a lookbook last year featuring Jared Leto. The collection features many bold colors but it still fits with the brands pared-back color scheme.  

On January 19 of 2019, Fear of God and Nike released their collaboration sneaker “Shoot Around”. The futuristic sneaker was a successful collaboration so far.  

  1. Park Hwan-sung 

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South Korean designer Park Hwan-sung lived in London for eight years, studying at Central Saint Martins College and earned a master’s degree. He took an internship as an assistant at Alexander McQueen for a year in his final year and worked at Tom Ford and Burberry. Then he established a menswear brand under the name A. Hallucination with Korean designer Lee Chung-chung. They participated in London Fashion Week for three seasons with collections taking Peter Pan as their muse. 

Park Hwan-sung launched his K-fashion brand D-Antidote in 2014. It is mainly a menswear brand but due to its gender fluid style, women who love unisex clothing also can wear the pieces. 

In 2018, D-Antidote collaborated with Fila sportswear and created a unique collection inspired by Korean streetwear and 90’s sportswear.  

D-Antidote has already presented it SS 2019 collection, which was inspired by “Chav”, a youth culture that originated in England, and BEAT, a famous Korean movie which focuses on young people. 

Park Hwan-sung was honored as ‘TEN SOUL’ (Best Top 10 Designers) of 2019 in Seoul Fashion Week. 

  1. YOHJI YAMAMOTO  

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Yohji Yamamoto is one of the greatest designers of the last 3 decades and he had a massive influence on modern street fashion. 

He studied fashion design at the famous Bunkafukuso Gakuin, a fashion institute in Tokyo. In 1977 he presented his Y’s collection for the first time in Tokyo and since then it is one of the most loved brands in Japan.  

Black is Yohji Yamamoto’s most used color in his collections. He loves to mix Japanese traditional and contemporary cultures together creating a mystic, oversized, and monochromatic silhouette with mostly dark colors and drape fabrics. Some say that he represents the Japanese culture and recreates old Japanese garments in a new gothic way. “Modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you – don’t bother me” Yohji describes his favorite color. 

Yohji has a long history of successful collaborations with famous brands such as Hermes, Mikimoto, Adidas, and others. He has even worked with many celebrities such as Elton John, Tina Turner, Placebo and others.  

Yamamoto is far from being trendy. Trends follow him and never the opposite.  

Yamamoto said that he can’t imagine himself retiring, so be ready for his upcoming collections and gorgeous creations.  

Conclusion:  As street style continues to conquer the world of fashion, we shall follow the best designers and see what will they come up with for the new trends or learn to have a strong style. Following trends is easy but if you love fashion and want to know all the nuances of street fashion, designers are the people that you should look up to. Each designer mentioned above has his own views and signature, but one thing is the same for all of them; they all love street fashion and influence it by their amazing work. 2019 will be even bigger for street fashion, so buckle up and let’s see what they have got for us this time.