This is why streetwear is not a girl's game

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Corrado Manenti
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Streetwear no 2 - a light entry for girls.
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It is not news that streetwear is a male thing. The whole scene is run by males who aim to cater to an audience of other males and, even at the lower end, most brands only produce men's sizes.

And if streetwear is not just clothes but a real culture, then this culture is excluding women.

A woman in a pink hoodie challenges gender stereotypes in the world of streetwear.

Anti Social Social Club x Penthouse

At first glance one might think that traditional women's fashion, with its rigid standards of beauty, is much more sexist compared to the more comfortable clothes and relaxed fit of streetwear, which is why many women like it ? not all of us want to wear heels and tight clothes all the time.

Of course, the problem is not the clothes, but the 'boys' club' attitude behind it, as well as the scarcity of women at all levels of the industry: there are a few, and they make a considerable contribution, but it is not enough to solve the problem; just as in other male-dominated fields, e.g. gaming or tech, there is a lack of female representation ? and when there is, in many cases it is quite problematic.

A woman wearing a yellow hat.

The image of a girl wearing nothing but a T-shirt has become so common that it is now a cliché in streetwear lookbooks, and it is not just something already seen and unoriginal.

In most streetwear photo shoots women are just props, or not at all. By constantly showing such images, women are reminded that the streetwear scene is not for them, and that they are not even welcome. Why then do they still want to be part of it?

There is no doubt that streetwear would be different if there was also a female point of viewTo begin with, women would begin to be shown as more than sexual objects.

A couple sitting on a sofa in a bar.

Surf is Dead

A collaboration with Playboy or Penthouse is not sexist: it is not nudity that is the problem, but that there are few or no women in the creative teamsor that shooting reduces women to a mere collection of body parts.

What is jarring is the double standard with which the male and female bodies are treated, and how the male gaze is overwhelming. Nobody bats an eyelid when Supreme puts a naked woman on a T-shirt - but what would happen if they threw a cap with a picture of a penis on it?

Two photos of a woman in a green streetwear outfit.

Surf is Dead

It is normal that women like streetwear ? why should they not appreciate it? ? but brands don't care. They know that women buy their clothes, but they don't care.

Of course, this does not apply to all brands. Brands like MadeMe and MISBHV are producing clothes and accessories designed by women for women, but you don't have to do that to get them involved.

There are labels like Stray Rats, Only NY and Ader Error that speak to both sectors of the market, representing men and women equally ? without being condescending or objectifying. Not all brands feel the need to value women, but if it comes to spending your hard-earned money, you might prefer to give it to someone who at least sees you as a human being.

It is getting a little better, it is true: If Instagram had existed 10 years ago, virtually all brands would have posted problematic imagesbut the fact that it is still happening in 2017 means that there is a need to talk about it.

A woman in a pink hat showing a streetwear style.

Anti Social Social Club x Penthouse

The frustrating thing is that streetwear is supposed to be non-conformist. Although it may not seem like it now, streetwear used to be against the system, so why reassert the same old sexist values? Especially now that, for better or worse, promoting activism has become a real business model.

Of course, advertising was created to deceive us and convince us that the advertiser is on our side on the barricade, but personally I would prefer to see better representations of women, even from those who are trying to sell me something.

A woman wearing a supreme bikini showcases the essence of streetwear.

It is necessary to take streetwear to a higher standard: if a brand posts an offensive image, it must be said so. Social media implies that companies receive real-time feedback on their work, so if they are criticised for publishing a sexist post, maybe they will think better next time before doing it again.

It is up to you to make sure that what you wear also matches what you think, because wearing the logo of a brand automatically makes you its testimonial. And why should you stand for a brand that does not represent you?

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