The debate around whether streetwear is a valid form of black culture has been a contentious issue for quite some time now. Streetwear, which originated in urban areas, is a fashion style that is often associated with sportswear and hip-hop culture. However, some argue that it has been commercialized and appropriated by mainstream society, thereby diluting its original cultural significance. On the other hand, proponents of streetwear argue that it is a reflection of black culture and should be celebrated as such. In this article, we will explore both sides of the debate and try to understand the complexities of this issue.
What is Streetwear?
Origins and Evolution of Streetwear
The origins of streetwear can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s, when urban youth began to incorporate elements of sportswear, military apparel, and workwear into their fashion. This was a departure from the more formal, business-oriented attire that had been popular in previous decades.
One of the key factors that contributed to the rise of streetwear was the growth of hip-hop culture. As hip-hop music and style gained popularity, so too did the fashion choices of hip-hop artists and fans. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Levi’s became associated with the hip-hop aesthetic, and their products became popular among young people.
In the 1990s, streetwear became more mainstream, as brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren began to incorporate streetwear elements into their lines. This led to a boom in the streetwear industry, as more and more people began to embrace the style.
However, as streetwear became more popular, it also became more commercialized. Many brands began to produce streetwear-inspired clothing, often using cheap materials and poor construction. This led to criticism that streetwear had become more about profit than about cultural expression.
Despite these criticisms, streetwear continues to evolve and innovate. Today, streetwear is a global phenomenon, with fans and followers all over the world. As the fashion industry continues to change, it remains to be seen how streetwear will continue to influence and shape the way we dress.
Key Elements of Streetwear Style
Origins and Influences
Streetwear emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a fusion of sportswear and urban fashion. The style originated in cities like Los Angeles and New York, where youth culture and street style played a significant role in shaping the aesthetic. Some of the key influences on streetwear style include:
- African American and Caribbean cultural traditions
- Sportswear, particularly basketball and football apparel
- Japanese street fashion, particularly the harajuku style
- Military and workwear garments
Streetwear is characterized by a mix of casual and athletic wear, often featuring oversized silhouettes, bold graphics, and a focus on comfort and functionality. Key elements of streetwear style include:
- Sportswear Elements: The use of athletic clothing and accessories, such as sweatshirts, hoodies, sneakers, and backpacks.
- Logos and Branding: The prominence of brand logos and labels, often used to convey status and affiliation with specific brands or subcultures.
- Bold Graphics and Prints: The incorporation of eye-catching designs, graphics, and patterns, often inspired by urban art and popular culture.
- Comfort and Functionality: The emphasis on comfort and practicality, with a focus on loose-fitting garments and functional details like pockets and zippers.
- Mix-and-Match Approach: The combination of different textures, materials, and colors, often in unexpected ways, to create unique and distinctive looks.
Evolution and Adaptation
Over time, streetwear has evolved and adapted to changing trends and cultural influences. The style has been influenced by high fashion, luxury brands, and the growing popularity of sustainable and ethical fashion. Some contemporary streetwear trends include:
- The rise of “hypebeasts” and influencer culture, where streetwear has become a status symbol and a means of expressing individuality.
- The incorporation of sustainable and eco-friendly materials, as well as upcycling and repurposing vintage clothing.
- The blending of streetwear with high fashion, as luxury brands and designers incorporate streetwear elements into their collections.
- The expansion of streetwear beyond clothing, with accessories, footwear, and even home decor incorporating streetwear-inspired designs and materials.
As streetwear continues to evolve, it remains a dynamic and influential aspect of popular culture, sparking ongoing debates about its cultural significance and its relationship to Black culture.
The Connection Between Streetwear and Black Culture
Historical Context: The Importance of Self-Expression
The Harlem Renaissance
During the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, African American artists, writers, and intellectuals sought to express their unique cultural identity through their work. This movement, also known as the “New Negro Movement,” celebrated black culture and challenged the prevailing stereotypes of the time. The Harlem Renaissance played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of black America and provided a platform for self-expression and creativity.
Black Pride and Resistance
In the years following the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement emerged as a powerful force for change. Black Americans fought for their rights and demanded to be recognized as equal citizens in a society that had long denied them their basic human rights. Streetwear, as a form of self-expression, can be seen as a continuation of this legacy of pride and resistance.
Hip-Hop and Street Culture
Hip-hop music and culture, which emerged in the 1970s, also played a significant role in shaping the contemporary black identity. Hip-hop was a form of self-expression that allowed black youth to express themselves in a way that was authentic to their experiences. The music and style of hip-hop were heavily influenced by the streets, and it was through this culture that streetwear began to gain popularity.
Streetwear as a Form of Self-Expression
In contemporary society, streetwear has become a way for black people to express their cultural identity and assert their place in the world. Streetwear allows individuals to showcase their unique style and individuality, which is a fundamental aspect of self-expression. The style has been embraced by many as a way to challenge mainstream fashion norms and celebrate black culture.
The Importance of Self-Expression
Self-expression is a fundamental aspect of human identity, and it is especially important for marginalized communities. Through self-expression, black people have been able to assert their cultural identity and resist the forces of oppression that have sought to silence them. Streetwear, as a form of self-expression, has become an important aspect of black culture and a way for black people to assert their place in the world.
Streetwear as a Form of Resistance
Streetwear, as a fashion movement, has been widely embraced by people of all backgrounds, but it has particularly resonated with Black youth. The origins of streetwear can be traced back to urban areas where Black culture was the driving force behind its development. Streetwear has become a way for Black individuals to express themselves and their culture in a unique and authentic way.
However, the debate surrounding streetwear’s validity as a form of Black culture stems from the commercialization and appropriation of Black styles by mainstream fashion. Many argue that streetwear has been watered down and commodified, losing its original message and purpose.
Despite these criticisms, streetwear continues to serve as a form of resistance for many Black individuals. Here’s how:
- Empowerment through self-expression: Streetwear allows Black individuals to express themselves in a way that feels authentic and true to their culture. This self-expression can be empowering, as it allows individuals to feel proud of their heritage and to showcase it to the world.
- Challenging mainstream fashion norms: Streetwear challenges the traditional fashion norms set by mainstream society. It celebrates uniqueness and individuality, and encourages people to be true to themselves, regardless of what others may think.
- Providing a platform for social commentary: Streetwear can be used as a platform for social commentary and activism. Many streetwear designs incorporate political and social messages, allowing individuals to express their views and raise awareness about important issues.
Overall, streetwear serves as a powerful form of resistance for Black individuals, allowing them to express themselves, challenge mainstream norms, and raise awareness about important issues.
The Controversy: Is Streetwear Black Culture?
The Case Against Streetwear as Black Culture
Some argue that streetwear does not represent Black culture, but rather appropriates it for commercial gain. They claim that streetwear brands often rely on Black music, art, and fashion trends without adequately crediting or supporting the Black community.
- Lack of Credit and Support
Critics argue that streetwear brands often use Black cultural elements without giving proper credit or financial support to the creators and influencers within the Black community. This is particularly evident in the appropriation of hip-hop culture, which originated in Black and Latino communities in the United States. Many brands have capitalized on this culture without adequately compensating the artists and creators who helped shape it.
- Superficial Engagement with Social Issues
Some critics argue that streetwear brands often engage in performative activism, using social justice issues as marketing tools without actually effecting change. This superficial engagement with social issues can be seen as exploitative and disrespectful to the Black community, particularly when brands profit from the sale of items featuring slogans or imagery related to social justice causes.
- Exclusion of Black Creators
Another issue raised by critics is the exclusion of Black creators and designers from the streetwear industry. While some brands may feature Black models in their campaigns or collaborate with Black influencers, the industry as a whole remains largely dominated by non-Black individuals. This lack of representation perpetuates systemic racism and contributes to the ongoing exploitation of Black culture for commercial gain.
- One-Dimensional Portrayal of Black Identity
Critics also argue that streetwear often portrays Black identity in a one-dimensional and stereotypical manner. By relying on certain elements of Black culture, such as hip-hop music and street art, streetwear brands perpetuate harmful stereotypes and limit the diverse range of experiences and identities within the Black community. This narrow portrayal of Black identity can be seen as disrespectful and further marginalizes Black individuals within society.
Overall, the case against streetwear as a valid form of Black culture highlights concerns about the appropriation of Black culture, the lack of credit and support for Black creators, the superficial engagement with social issues, the exclusion of Black creators, and the one-dimensional portrayal of Black identity. These issues raise important questions about the role of streetwear in the larger conversation around cultural appropriation and the representation of Black culture in mainstream media.
The Case For Streetwear as Black Culture
Streetwear, which originated in urban areas and was popularized by Black youth, has been criticized for its association with luxury brands and its commercialization. However, there are several reasons why streetwear can be considered a valid form of Black culture.
The Origins of Streetwear in Black Culture
Streetwear emerged from the fashion choices of Black youth in urban areas who were influenced by their environment and their experiences of racism and police brutality. They took inspiration from their surroundings and incorporated elements such as sportswear, military garments, and hip-hop music into their style. Streetwear became a way for Black youth to express themselves and their cultural identity in a world that often marginalized and excluded them.
The Role of Black Designers in Streetwear
Many of the brands and designers associated with streetwear are Black-owned or have Black designers. These designers have used their platform to push boundaries and challenge societal norms through their clothing. They have incorporated political and social messages into their designs, and have used their brand to advocate for Black empowerment and social justice.
The Impact of Streetwear on Pop Culture
Streetwear has had a significant impact on pop culture, influencing not only fashion but also music, art, and even technology. Many of the biggest names in entertainment and tech have been influenced by streetwear, and have incorporated its aesthetics into their products and branding. Streetwear has become a cultural phenomenon that transcends race and has been embraced by people of all backgrounds.
The Argument for Inclusivity in Fashion
Proponents of streetwear argue that fashion should be inclusive and reflect the diversity of the people who wear it. Streetwear has provided a platform for Black culture to be celebrated and showcased, and has given Black youth a voice in the fashion industry. The success of streetwear brands and designers has helped to break down barriers and challenge the dominant narrative of fashion being a white, privileged industry.
In conclusion, while there are valid concerns about the commercialization of streetwear and its association with luxury brands, it is important to recognize the cultural significance of streetwear and its role in promoting Black culture and empowerment. Streetwear has the potential to be a powerful force for change, and its impact on pop culture cannot be denied.
Perceptions and Representations of Black Culture in Streetwear
Stereotyping and Appropriation in Streetwear
Stereotyping in Streetwear
Stereotyping in streetwear refers to the perpetuation of negative and often inaccurate stereotypes about Black culture through the design and marketing of streetwear products. These stereotypes can include the over-sexualization of Black women, the hyper-masculinization of Black men, and the perpetuation of harmful tropes about Black people as a whole.
One example of this is the prevalence of “ghetto” or “urban” themes in streetwear marketing, which can reinforce negative stereotypes about Black people and perpetuate harmful ideas about our culture. This kind of stereotyping can be particularly damaging because it can lead to the commodification of Black culture and the exploitation of Black people for profit.
Appropriation in Streetwear
Appropriation in streetwear refers to the use of elements of Black culture, such as music, slang, and fashion, by non-Black individuals and companies without proper respect or acknowledgement of their origins. This can be particularly problematic because it can lead to the erasure of Black people from our own culture and the appropriation of our creativity and innovation for the benefit of others.
For example, the popularization of certain Black-owned fashion brands and styles by non-Black individuals and companies can lead to the erasure of the Black creators and designers who originated those styles. This kind of appropriation can be particularly damaging because it can lead to the exploitation of Black culture for profit without proper recognition or compensation for the people who created it.
In conclusion, the issue of stereotyping and appropriation in streetwear is a complex and nuanced one that requires careful consideration and discussion. It is important to recognize the ways in which streetwear can perpetuate negative stereotypes and appropriate elements of Black culture without proper respect or acknowledgement. However, it is also important to acknowledge the positive contributions that streetwear can make to Black culture and the ways in which it can be used to empower and uplift Black people.
Celebrating Black Culture Through Streetwear
Emphasizing the Role of Black Artists and Designers
The rise of streetwear has provided a platform for Black artists and designers to showcase their creativity and vision. These individuals have used streetwear as a means to celebrate and highlight their cultural identity, drawing inspiration from various aspects of Black culture, such as music, art, and fashion. By incorporating these elements into their designs, they have not only made a significant impact on the streetwear scene but also contributed to the broader cultural landscape.
Preserving and Sharing Histories of Black Culture
Streetwear has played a crucial role in preserving and sharing the histories of Black culture. Through clothing and accessories, designers have created pieces that pay homage to significant events, figures, and traditions in Black history. This has helped to educate and inform others about the rich and diverse history of Black culture, as well as promote a sense of pride and empowerment among those who wear these items.
Creating a Unique Sense of Style and Identity
For many within the Black community, streetwear has become a means of expressing their individuality and creating a unique sense of style. By wearing clothing and accessories that reflect their cultural identity, individuals can assert their presence and showcase their personal tastes and preferences. This has led to the development of a distinct aesthetic, often characterized by bold colors, graphics, and slogans, that sets streetwear apart from other forms of fashion.
Building a Supportive and Inclusive Community
Finally, streetwear has helped to foster a supportive and inclusive community among those who identify with Black culture. By wearing clothing and accessories that celebrate their shared identity, individuals can connect with one another and build a sense of belonging. This has led to the development of a vibrant and diverse subculture, where creativity, self-expression, and community are highly valued.
The Future of Streetwear and Black Culture
The Evolution of Streetwear
The Roots of Streetwear
Streetwear can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s, when young Black and Latino individuals in urban areas began wearing clothing that reflected their cultural experiences. These early pioneers of streetwear fashion often took inspiration from their environments, incorporating elements such as sportswear, military garments, and hip-hop culture into their style. As a result, streetwear emerged as a unique form of self-expression, allowing individuals to express their cultural identity through fashion.
The Rise of Streetwear Brands
As streetwear gained popularity, a new generation of designers and brands emerged, bringing the style to a wider audience. Many of these brands were founded by people of color, who used their platforms to celebrate and promote Black culture. They incorporated elements of African-American history, music, and art into their designs, creating a powerful visual language that resonated with people around the world.
The Globalization of Streetwear
In recent years, streetwear has become a global phenomenon, with brands like Nike, Adidas, and Supreme dominating the market. While this has brought streetwear to a wider audience, it has also sparked debates about the commodification of Black culture. Critics argue that these brands often appropriate elements of Black culture without giving proper credit or support to the communities that created them.
The Future of Streetwear
As streetwear continues to evolve, it is essential to consider its impact on Black culture and communities. While some argue that streetwear is a valid form of cultural expression, others believe that it has been co-opted by mainstream society and is no longer a true reflection of Black culture. It remains to be seen how streetwear will continue to evolve and what role it will play in shaping the future of Black culture.
Embracing and Preserving Black Culture Through Streetwear
As streetwear continues to gain popularity and influence, it has become a platform for many to express and preserve their cultural identity. Streetwear has allowed for the fusion of different elements of Black culture, such as music, art, and fashion, creating a unique and recognizable style that reflects the experiences and values of Black communities.
One way in which streetwear is preserving Black culture is through the celebration and promotion of Black-owned businesses and designers. Many streetwear brands are owned and operated by people of color, and they are using their platforms to showcase the work of other Black designers and artists. This not only supports the growth and sustainability of Black-owned businesses, but it also helps to keep the culture alive and thriving.
Additionally, streetwear has provided a space for marginalized voices to be heard and represented. Many streetwear brands and designers are using their platforms to address social and political issues that affect Black communities, such as systemic racism and police brutality. This not only raises awareness and sparks conversation, but it also helps to empower and uplift those who have been historically excluded and oppressed.
Furthermore, streetwear has also played a role in preserving the history and heritage of Black culture. Many streetwear designs and trends are inspired by the styles and traditions of Black communities, such as the hip-hop and R&B music scenes, and the influence of African and Caribbean cultures. By incorporating these elements into their designs, streetwear is helping to keep the culture alive and pass it down to future generations.
Overall, streetwear has become a powerful tool for embracing and preserving Black culture. It has provided a platform for Black communities to express themselves, celebrate their heritage, and address the issues that affect them. As streetwear continues to evolve and grow, it will be interesting to see how it continues to shape and reflect the culture of Black communities.
Reevaluating the Debate
The debate surrounding streetwear and its relationship with Black culture is a complex and nuanced one. As the popularity of streetwear continues to rise, it is important to reevaluate the conversation and consider the ways in which the fashion industry and society at large perceive and consume Black culture.
One aspect to consider is the role of appropriation in the streetwear industry. Many critics argue that streetwear has been co-opted by mainstream fashion and popular culture, leading to the commodification and appropriation of Black culture. This raises questions about the ownership and authenticity of streetwear as a form of Black culture.
Another aspect to consider is the impact of streetwear on the broader fashion industry. As streetwear continues to influence high fashion, it is important to examine how this trend may perpetuate or challenge stereotypes and misrepresentations of Black culture. It is also important to consider the economic implications of streetwear for Black designers and entrepreneurs, and the potential for greater representation and ownership in the industry.
Overall, the debate surrounding streetwear and Black culture is a multifaceted one that requires a critical examination of the ways in which the fashion industry and society at large perceive and consume Black culture. By reevaluating the conversation and considering the various factors at play, we can gain a deeper understanding of the role of streetwear in shaping and reflecting Black culture.
Moving Forward: The Role of Streetwear in Black Culture
As streetwear continues to evolve and gain popularity, it is important to consider its role in shaping and reflecting Black culture. While some argue that streetwear is a valid form of Black culture, others believe that it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and erases the complexity of Black experiences.
One perspective is that streetwear provides a platform for Black creators and designers to showcase their unique styles and perspectives, thereby contributing to the broader cultural conversation. For example, many streetwear brands are founded and run by Black individuals, who draw on their personal experiences and cultural backgrounds to create clothing and accessories that reflect their identity. By doing so, they challenge traditional notions of fashion and style, and offer a fresh perspective on what it means to be stylish and fashionable.
Additionally, streetwear has the potential to transcend cultural boundaries and bring people together. With its global reach and diverse influences, streetwear has the power to bridge gaps between different communities and cultures. For instance, many streetwear brands collaborate with other designers and artists from around the world, creating clothing and accessories that reflect a fusion of different styles and traditions.
However, it is also important to acknowledge the criticisms of streetwear as a form of Black culture. Some argue that it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and reinforces negative perceptions of Black people. For example, some streetwear fashion trends, such as the appropriation of African and African-inspired designs, have been criticized for being culturally insensitive and disrespectful. Moreover, some argue that streetwear does not adequately represent the diversity and complexity of Black experiences, and that it often focuses on a narrow range of styles and aesthetics.
Moving forward, it is important to continue the conversation around the role of streetwear in Black culture. While streetwear has the potential to be a powerful force for cultural expression and identity, it is crucial to ensure that it is done in a way that is respectful, inclusive, and representative of the diverse experiences and perspectives of Black people. By engaging in dialogue and working together, we can ensure that streetwear continues to evolve in a way that reflects and celebrates the richness and complexity of Black culture.
Acknowledging the Complexities of the Relationship Between Streetwear and Black Culture
As the popularity of streetwear continues to rise, it is essential to consider the complex relationship between this fashion trend and Black culture. To better understand this relationship, it is important to acknowledge the various factors that have contributed to the evolution of streetwear and its connection to Black culture.
One of the key factors is the role of Black creators and innovators in the development of streetwear. Many of the most influential streetwear brands and styles have been created by Black designers, artists, and entrepreneurs, who have drawn inspiration from their cultural heritage and experiences. These creators have played a crucial role in shaping the aesthetic and cultural identity of streetwear, and their contributions should be recognized and valued.
Another important factor is the role of Black consumers in driving the popularity of streetwear. As Black people have become more visible and influential in popular culture, they have also played a significant role in the rise of streetwear as a fashion trend. Many Black consumers have embraced streetwear as a way to express their cultural identity and affiliation, and this has helped to fuel the growth of the industry.
However, it is also important to acknowledge the potential negative consequences of the commercialization of Black culture in the context of streetwear. Some critics argue that the appropriation of Black culture by mainstream fashion brands and retailers can be exploitative and perpetuate harmful stereotypes. It is essential to be mindful of these concerns and to ensure that the representation of Black culture in streetwear is authentic and respectful.
In conclusion, the relationship between streetwear and Black culture is complex and multifaceted. By acknowledging the contributions of Black creators and consumers, while also being mindful of the potential pitfalls of commercialization, we can work towards a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of the role of streetwear in shaping the cultural identity of Black people.
Final Thoughts: A Call for Authenticity and Respect in Streetwear
In order to fully understand the significance of streetwear within black culture, it is crucial to examine the impact of its evolution on both the industry and society as a whole. While streetwear has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping fashion trends and global cultural identity, its potential for fostering meaningful representation and empowerment within black communities remains a subject of ongoing debate.
It is important to acknowledge that the influence of streetwear extends far beyond the realm of fashion, as it has become an integral part of youth culture and a powerful medium for self-expression. As a result, it is imperative that the industry recognizes its responsibility to uphold authenticity and respect within its creative endeavors.
A crucial aspect of this responsibility involves ensuring that the voices and experiences of black individuals are not appropriated or marginalized within the streetwear space. It is essential for designers, brands, and consumers alike to approach streetwear with a respectful and informed perspective, one that recognizes and values the rich history and diverse cultural contributions of black communities.
Furthermore, as the streetwear industry continues to grow and evolve, it is essential that it remains accessible and inclusive to individuals from all walks of life. By prioritizing diversity and representation in its practices and policies, the industry can help to ensure that streetwear remains a positive force for change and empowerment within black culture.
In conclusion, the future of streetwear and its relationship with black culture will undoubtedly continue to be a subject of ongoing debate and discussion. However, by embracing authenticity, respect, and inclusivity, the industry can help to foster a more equitable and empowering environment for all individuals involved.
Resources for Further Exploration
- Black Fashion: A Cultural History by Richard J. Powell
- Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Food, Borders, and the Politics of Hunger by Seth Holmes
- Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
- The Black Print with Eric Parker by The Black Print
- Fresh Dressed by Sacha Jenkins
- The Black Experience by Independent Lens
- The Blacker the Ink by Sequential
- Slaying Goliath: The Passion of Martin Luther King Jr. by iHeartRadio
- Code Switch by NPR
- “Streetwear’s Cultural Appropriation Problem” by Robin Givhan in The Washington Post
- “Why Black People Should Claim Streetwear As Their Own” by Jayson Jackson in Highsnobiety
- “Is Streetwear the New Black Vanguard?” by Shannon Hickman in i-D
These resources provide a comprehensive overview of the history, politics, and culture surrounding streetwear and its relationship to Black culture. The books offer in-depth analysis of the role of fashion and food in the Black experience, while the documentaries and podcasts delve into the broader social and political context. The articles provide contemporary perspectives on the debate, highlighting the issues and arguments from various viewpoints. By exploring these resources, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of the debate surrounding streetwear and Black culture.
1. What is streetwear?
Streetwear is a subculture that originated in the early 1980s in California. It is characterized by a particular style of dress, often consisting of oversized clothing, athletic wear, and bold graphic tees. Streetwear has become a global phenomenon, with brands like Supreme and Off-White becoming some of the most sought-after labels in fashion.
2. What is black culture?
Black culture refers to the unique practices, beliefs, and traditions of people of African descent. It encompasses a wide range of elements, including music, art, literature, fashion, and cuisine. Black culture has been shaped by the experiences of African Americans and other black communities around the world, and it continues to evolve and influence mainstream culture.
3. Is streetwear black culture?
The debate around whether streetwear is a valid form of black culture is complex and ongoing. Some argue that streetwear has its roots in black culture, with many of the original streetwear brands and designers being people of color. They also point to the way that streetwear has been co-opted by mainstream fashion and popular culture, which has led to concerns about appropriation and commodification. On the other hand, others argue that streetwear is a product of global youth culture and that its connection to black culture is tenuous at best.
4. How has streetwear been influenced by black culture?
Streetwear has been heavily influenced by black culture, particularly by hip-hop and urban fashion. Many of the original streetwear brands and designers were inspired by the style and attitude of black and Latino youth in New York City. They incorporated elements of hip-hop fashion, such as oversized clothing, athletic wear, and bold graphic tees, into their designs. Additionally, many streetwear brands have collaborated with black artists and designers, further integrating black culture into the subculture.
5. Why is there controversy around streetwear and black culture?
The controversy around streetwear and black culture centers on concerns about appropriation and commodification. Some argue that mainstream fashion brands and retailers have appropriated elements of black culture, such as streetwear, without giving proper credit or compensation to the people who originated those styles. Others argue that streetwear has become too commercialized and that its connection to black culture has been lost in the process. There are also concerns about the impact that streetwear has had on traditional black fashion, with some arguing that it has overshadowed and diminished other forms of black style.