Introducing ‘Streetwear Past, Present and Future’ by King Adz & Wilma Stone
To celebrate the release of his latest book with Wilma Stone, ‘This Is Not Fashion: Streetwear Past, Present and Future‘, we caught up with author and street culture aficionado King Adz (@kingadzrock) to discuss streetwear heritage, influential industry figures and the ever-evolving future of street style.
What is it about streetwear that excites you?
It’s egalitarian-ness. Comfy. Stylish. It represents our internal feelings externally.
How important do you think street style is to the fashion industry?
Hugely. Vitally. Enormously. Massively! Just take a look at the catwalks. Every designer looks to street style for inspiration. Every high end designer is churning out sneakers based on Stan Smiths, except with a £400 price tag. It’s about showing how much you stupidly paid, not necessarily how stylish you are. I would never rock a pair of Gucci’s. I’m down with my reasonably priced Rod Laver all the way.
Do you think there are less or more street style individuals now than in the 70s or 80s?
There are way more now but that doesn’t mean they are any better! Most clothes were pretty rubbish back then but by the end of 80s, streetwear had began to emerge and it was all new. A new industry. Tastes have become way more refined, way more sophisticated with time. Back then you would be overexcited with a tracksuit top or warm-up cagoule but now, we’ve actually got engineered garments constructed by scientists.
Which is the most important streetwear style of our lifetime and why?
Preppie. People always want to emulate the affluent, hoping something will eventually rub off. Without the preppie, there would be no hip hop. No skating, no internet.
Where do you believe street style is heading? How do you think it will evolve?
East in every way. From South Korea to as far North as in Nordic. Some dope work is being done in those cold countries! Our generation is the first to wear sneakers til death. We are the people in charge, we’re the ones running things and streetwear is in our DNA. This is vitally important to the longevity of streetwear.