With instant communication at our fingertips ideas can move quicker than ever, crossing borders and timezones instantly – so that means trends spread like wildfire. That’s certainly true when it comes to the intersection of fashion, streetwear and sneakers that defines the Highsnobiety universe – last year gave us more than it’s fair share of new looks, ideas and aesthetics.
We’ve already reflected on 2015’s biggest trends and taken a look at what ones are coming next season, so now we’re going to take a look at some of the fads that we’d rather see the end of. Of course, this is strictly wishful thinking – some things are pretty much never gonna change, particularly when it comes to the effect hype has on otherwise rational human beings.
Either because they’ve become far too played out or because they never should’ve really happened in the first place, here’s six trends we’d really like to see the backside of this year.
Buying in to Irrational Hype
Like it or not, streetwear is a hype-driven business. The biggest brands in the game rely on the buzz they generate to stay ahead of the pack, while the rest of the community emulates these brands’ cool-guy personas, creating an unfortunate environment where people will buy into anything just to keep up with what’s hot this season.
It seems this trend isn’t going away for a while, as 2015’s Supreme drops and Kanye West’s latest line of sneakers were met with the usual mile-long campouts, Instagram flaunting and sky-high resell prices. H&M’s collaboration with Balmain proved that mainstream fashion wasn’t immune from the hysteria either, as people tore each other to pieces just to cop a bit of Olivier Rousteing’s obnoxious luxury on the low. In a rather depressing turn of events, some of the fast-fashion retailer’s garments ended up costing more than the Parisian house’s mainline on eBay.
The Air Jordan V was a prime example of streetwear’s ongoing obsession with hype. The sneaker’s “Metallic Silver” colorway was quietly re-released with high-end leathers back in March, as part of Jordan Brand’s “Remastered” program. When it appeared seven months later in a colorway that was almost identical, save for a few hits of red and an enormous Supreme logo on the side, however, people lost their minds.
It seems people are perfectly happy to sacrifice value for money just to buy into what’s cool these days. Something tells us this won’t be going away for a while, unfortunately.
Wearing Merch From Bands You’ve Never Heard Of
A micro-trend that emerged from streetwear’s newfound love of all things grungy and disheveled, 2015 saw rappers, streetwear heads and fashion influencers discover a new taste for throwback band merchandise. While the designs used by ’90s-era metal, grunge and punk bands have quite rightfully earned their place as some of the most powerful graphics in clothing history, seeing rap megastars flaunt ’80s thrash metal tees was peculiar to say the least.
Much like the football scarf – which Vogue awkwardly declared FW15’s “must-have” accessory – wearing band merchandise without actually knowing the symbolism behind it is fashion victim behavior of the highest order. If you don’t know the opening riff to “Master of Puppets,” please think twice before copping that Metallica T-shirt. Hopefully we’ll have seen the back of this by the end of the year.
Overly Staged Lookbooks
With so many people viewing fashion on a screen rather than IRL, it’s now more important than ever for brands to create striking visuals to accompany their collections. Many labels tried to spice things up in 2015 by going way, way over the top with gawky poses and outrageous props.
Subtlety went straight out the window as models tripped over, leapt into the air and clasped their hands in prayer to the hype gods, making for extremely staged scenes that had us cringing and smirking in equal measure. Smoke bombs and flares, meanwhile, made regular appearances, making photoshoots seem more like an advert for a fireworks than a clothing brand. What happened to low-key photography and thoughtful styling?
While lookbooks are traditionally seen as a way for brands to showcase their gear in their natural environment, these pyrotechnical, gravity-defying, highly staged shots looked less and less like something you’d do IRL and more like stills from a straight-to-DVD action film.
Useless Side Zips
Streetwear in 2014 was dominated by athletic themes. We saw a continuation of this trend in 2015 – apparently it’s called “athleisure” now – as sweat gear, technical outerwear and sneakers with space-age technology became de rigueur among streetwear heads. While we’re all for the day-to-day practicality that athletic gear offers, the unnecessary use of sporty detailing – namely side zips – has become more than a little bit tiresome.
Although zippered ankles on track pants allow extra mobility and ventilation, less could be said about the novelty detailing that we’ve seen added for no reason whatsoever to tees, hoodies and jeans. ACRONYM’s Nike collaboration did seem to poke fun at this trend, though, adding outrageous side-zips to the Lunar Force 1 silhouette, making for one of the most unusual – and ridiculous – shoes released in 2015.
As we said already, we’re totally down with the nouveau-sportswear wave – cutting-edge fabrics, intuitive design and low-key aesthetics absolutely fit in with what people need from their clothing in the 21st century – but adding a load of zips to everything just for the sake of it accomplishes absolutely nothing.
Uber, Netflix, Instagram, Tinder – we’ve got more ways than ever to avoid physical activity these days. 2015’s latest exercise-replacing “innovation” was the Hovertrax – a portable, self-balancing scooter that’s basically a Segway without the handlebars.
Unsurprisingly, people with far too much money gleefully splashed out on the gadgets, and soon the web was flooded with images of mega-celebs whizzing around on the annoying little contraptions. Justin Bieber, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner were among the device’s early adopters, while Wiz Khalifa was even restrained by the police for refusing to stop using his.
Thankfully, Hovertrax (and its many copycats) were soon made illegal on both the streets of London and New York, as authorities claimed the gizmos were too unreliable for use on the road and too unstable for pavements – so hopefully we’ve seen the last of them.
Risking Your Life to Shoot Sneakers
There’s no denying that Instagram has made photography more accessible than ever. The ‘Gram has kickstarted careers, allowed people to showcase their work to a global audience and made anyone and everyone capable of creating – and sharing – high quality images at the touch of a button. Like all social media platforms, though, it also breeds tedious copycat behavior by the bucketload – which camera-savvy sneakerheads are particularly guilty of.
Instagram’s thriving sneakerhead community took their combined passion for kicks and photography to daredevil new extremes recently, as Jordans, Flyknits and YEEZY Boosts were dangled off high buildings, hung out of helicopters and suspended in mid-air – earning countless likes in the process.
While we’re all for interesting new ways to showcase sneakers, putting yourself in perilous situations just for a few (or a few thousand) digital hearts is not something we’d recommend. Similarly, riding on the wave for weird, awkwardly staged photos just because everyone else is doing it isn’t a good look.
Whether or not these trends will have run their course by January 2017 remains to be seen – in the meantime, reflect on last year with The Biggest Trends of 2015 and look ahead to the SS16 season with a few insider tips from some of the world’s top buyers.
The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.
- Cover Image: Jamie Page