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The global fashion business journal

Apr 19, 20246:32pm

Five ways of surviving in streetwear, a 185 billion dollars business

Authenticity, scarcity, democracy, affordability and linking the online and offline strategy, are the keys that the consultant PwC gives to remain profitable in the urban fashion market.

Oct 2, 2019 — 8:56am
Daniela García

Five ways of surviving in streetwear, a 185 billion dollars business



Streetwear is an emerging trend that comes from the counter cultures of the eighties and nineties. How did this phenomenon that started as an anti-fashion movement turned into a 185-billion-dollar business? The consultant PwC explains the system and the keys so brands can remain profitable in this segment.


This market, that represents around 10% of the entire global apparel and footwear, caught the eye of retailers and luxury brands that saw it as an opportunity of expanding its offer to conquer a younger target market, mostly under 25 years old.


Brands like Supreme, Off-White, Stussy, Nike and Adidas are in the mind of the consumers as the top streetwear brands. But it’s the consumer the one that defines what its cool and what is not in when talking abut urban fashion.





This is not only applicable to brands with a streetwear DNA, there are also brands from other sectors that have seen this market as a key expanding strategy. One of the highest profile examples is Louis Vuitton, collaborating with Supreme.


Brands must listen to a generation that quickly changes its mind, that uses social media for decision-making and that is looking for authenticity and acknowledgment for an affordable price. The first key given by the consultant to remain profitability is authenticity.


The consultant states that to emphasize the heritage of the brand is important for the consumer, as well as redefining themselves every few years. Around 62% of streetwear consumers states that urban fashion items are likely to remain in trend during more than one season.


 The second key is scarcity, in other words to take advantage of the shortage in stock. “To succeed in this market, brands must understand and master the dynamic of limited availability”, explains the document. The drops concept is key for streetwear, customers queue outside the brands store to get limited items of a specific batch.





Streetwear is not an exception of fashion democratization. This is the third key of PwC to survive. Social networks are key for the target consumer to get to know the brand and its products. Instagram is the dominant channel, with 96% of consumers using it to gather streetwear information.

The fourth is affordability, this is the element that has turned a cool t shirts brand into a multibillion-dollar industry. More than 50% of the consumers reportedly spent between 100 dollars and 500 dollars per month in streetwear.


The fifth and last element is the link between online and offline strategy. This is a unique feature of the segment, the importance of combining an online presence and the fact that consumers want to make the actual purchase in-store.   

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