In our culture today more than ever the general public recognizes and makes celebrities out of the artists that create what we most enjoy. This means that creators are coming fashion staples themselves, being able to model their own products in the way they intended the product to be used or worn. This focus on creators is being fueled by the recent heavy uptrend in collaborations between not only brands and other brands but now even with television shows with collabs like the recent Adidas x Dragon Ball Z shoes and the upcoming Adidas x Game of Thrones collab. One of the biggest collab brands in street wear is Supreme. Supreme originated as a skateboarding and street wear brand but has branched out through collaborations into a sportswear, outerwear, luxury, and street wear brand. This is where some enthusiasts start to worry.
We saw it in the 80s and 90s, the power of the brand. The idea that if something is part of a brand then it is stylish and cool, allowing the brand to make us into fools while we wear anything they put out. While this power was regaining momentum it has been outdone by the power of creators. This is best viewed in the release of the Nike Air x Fear of God “The Sixth “ collab. Nike had run into a problem with their performance shoes not being worn during the day and outside of their intended purpose. Nike needed to restyle or rework their clothing and shoes in order to make them more admirable. When this problem was addressed to Jerry Lorenzo, the designer for Fear of God, Lorenzo decided that it wasn’t a style problem it was a shape problem. Lorenzo designed a whole collab to solve the problem. The creator and design needed to be liked by the consumer, brand name or not, in order to be bought.
Lorenzo addressed in a Complex interview that he never feels that his brand’s name is not what sells his product. John Mayer, in the same interview, expressed that free thinking is not lazy thinking. Lorenzo agreed and spoke volumes about how he starts every project under heavy pressure to produce and create products that are innovative but not absurd.
It is an exciting thought that creators are taking over the market, once again bringing back the stories and individuality in shoes and clothes. When Jordan and Hatfield began work on the Jordan brand Hatfield and Jordan aspired to make performance shoes that take the product to the next level while also telling a story and being stylish on and off the court. This made the Jordan brand a giant; the people liked the name behind the product, but they were also wearing the shoes on and off the court because they could. These stories are coming back into the process of production and we all gain from it. Our culture is represented in the things we wear, and shoes now more than ever have a personality that makes each pair unique. Of course brands are businesses and they aim to make profit, but as consumers we have given ourselves power to control how they treat us, and the push from us makes brands better. At the same time brands push us to try new products. The creators are close the people; our voices are heard.The equilibrium reached between consumers and brands/creators has become undeniably the biggest renaissance in fashion and performance wear we have ever seen.