Everyone has been opining on Street-Goths lately. So, we thought we would, too. First, let’s get a few things out of the way. There will be no dissection of the origins of “Street-Goths” or how they relate to “goth-ninjas” or anything regarding whatever Sociology 101 statement you think you are making by wearing a leather skirt in the summer. There is a lot of that out there already, almost always accompanied by a lively comments section, and we would love to avoid that.
With that out of the way ... The thing I’ve wondered about from time-to-time, since Street-Goth went from being a way to describe how Kanye dressed on his Watch the Throne tour, or how A$AP Rocky dresses in his music videos (and at his Paris Fashion Week cameos), to becoming a serious part of the men's style conversation on the internet, is this: Is this moment in fashion not eerily reminiscent of the mid-2000’s Ed Hardy-driven gaudy t-shirts phase?
Think back to 2005 or so, a clothing line, specializing in hats and t-shirts comes from Los Angeles and, for a brief period, has a serious impact on men's style. And while most people’s last recollection of Ed Hardy was watching the Jersey Shore cast parade around in it, think back a few more years – to when GQ featured trucker hats and just every celebrity around was wearing one. You probably were, too.
During this mini-craze, a number of other brands popped up and did their version of the superfuckingloud t-shirt and hat combo, as well. Many of the same department stores and boutiques that you get your menswear staples from now, were, not too long ago, filled with “artisanal” t-shirts replete with loud, nonsensical prints, at price points that were even more confusing. Keep in mind this is also when “premium” denim was flourishing – which makes sense, because when you’re trying to give strangers a seizure just from looking at you, it makes sense to have an equally loud and abrasive back pocket design and “vintage” denim wash to compliment the rhinestones on your trucker hat and the all-over print of your t-shirt.
Now, you have scrubbed the internet of any photos of you sporting boot-cut jeans and a trucker hat, and you’ve had your mom hide all her photos from family functions during this time. Why? Because it would be really embarrassing if anyone saw them, that’s why.
Now, instead of opting for loud graphics to snap you out of your menswear doldrums, you are opting for all black leather. Sometimes a skirt, sometimes shorts over pants over leggings. Bona-fide fashion brands like Givenchy, Balenciaga and Rick Owens are either biting it or, depending on who you ask, leading the way. So, you tell yourself it has legitimacy. And of course, Kanye and the A$AP crew are killing it.
But – does any of this mean that it’s right for you or for anyone who is not part of the A$AP Mob or on Team Pyrex? Will you readily show future significant others photos of you wearing literally pounds of black leather in the middle of summer? Or, or in a few years time, once the Jersey Shore-equivalent of 2016 is decked out in Street-Goth attire, will you very inconspicuously delete all the #Trill photos of you wearing nothing but Fear of God LA, Skin Graft, and Black Scale from social media and politely ask your mother to please hide the photos where you, a grown man, were dressed like a ninja to your family reunion ... in July.