Must-Know (Wear) Streetwear Brands Right Now
These are the best 33 streetwear brands of 2021; most coveted and most wanted by streetwear lovers all over the world.
To some, ‘streetwear’ is a quasi vague word referring to the latest styles spotted on the streets of London, New York, Toyo, or Paris.
That’s because before it became a cultural and stylistic phenomenon, streetwear meant “unflattering fashion consisting of graphic T-shirts, baggy cuts and worn-out sneakers.”
Nowadays, hoodies and harness bags are sent down fashion-week runways by the best streetwear brands, competing for attention with luxury labels recognized for their razor-sharp tailoring and trench coats – you know who I am talking about.
Supreme is the perfect example: the OG streetwear label has become a billion-dollar behemoth and one of the best streetwear labels in the world right now.
Supreme has partnerships with historic haute-couture and luxury houses on outdoor and skatewear styles.
And thanks to Supreme, BAPE, Y-3, and many other streetwear names, styles, and cuts once reserved for the skater community have become the norm of London, New York, and Paris runways.
But, there’s so much more to streetwear than Supreme, BAPE, or Y-3.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the best streetwear brands of 2021.
Trendier than ever, modern, casual, and unique in their styles, these leading streetwear brands are blending hip-hop-leaning old-school with luxury-forward new-school.
There are prices for all budgets, but, if you’re on a tighter budget, here is a great list of cheap streetwear brands.
Without further ado, these are the top 33 best streetwear brands of 2021, and the streetwear designers worth keeping on your sartorial radar.
Who are the real winners of the explosive popularity streetwear’s enjoyed over the last few years?
Sportswear giants like Nike, Adidas, and, of course, New Balance have benefitted from the movement’s sudden rise.
But, from all, New Balance stands atop, by borrowing some of its design chops, often in the form of sold-out collaborative collections.
The iconic three-stripe sneaker has been stomping its place firmly on the street-style pavement since the ’90s.
As an OG sports label, Adidas is also one of the top street style brands right now.
The German sportswear label is responsible for gifting us Kanye West’s Yeezy line of sneakers and Pharrell William’s NMDs, amongst many other celebrity collaborations.
The Yeezy Boost range, designed in conjunction with Ye, produced some of the most talked-about and sought-after shoes in recent history.
It also helped to put Adidas firmly on the streetwear map.
Nowadays, Adidas’ streetwear kicks appear on the world’s best sneaker websites.
And now, with the 1990s footwear trend in full swing, ‘Three Stripes’ place within the scene is only becoming better established.
Nike is one of the Original Gangster brands famous for streetwear and sports couture.
No sneakerhead can ignore Nike’s beloved logo as, throughout the years, the brand has evolved into a modern giant, always up to date with fashion trends.
The brand has collaborated with other consecrated streetwear brands such as Off-White and Patta and has successfully launched some of the best street style pieces to date.
Sneaker culture is a massive part of streetwear, and any sneakerhead worth his or her salt will tell you that ole Swoosh is the most respected label in the game.
A fair share of its success is down to the masterful work of footwear designer Tinker Hatfield, who created some of the brand’s most iconic silhouettes, including the Air Max 1, MAG, and countless Air Jordans.
There’s also an intelligent approach to unique partnerships to be thanked.
Via a long list of exciting collaborations, the brand established itself as one of the leading names in this difficult-to-please, stylistic scene.
With no sign of slowing down, it looks like Nike will be rocking the streetwear stage for many years to come.
BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB
Founded by Pharrell Williams, it’s no surprise Billionaire Boys Club earned its status as streetwear legend so quickly.
With the ‘outer space’ being a significant influence for many of the designs, Pharrell has been known to source materials directly from NASA.
The brand has a playful, colorful, unique, and all-around relaxed effect, while some looks are straight out of the ’90s.
The brand’s logo was designed by Sk8thing, the brains behind Cav Empt.
The label markets rare collections of tees, jackets, and hoodies.
Pharrell also launched a sister label, Icecream, which houses women’s apparel.
If you wonder how to look rich, the answer is simple: wear this streetwear brand.
Cav Empt is a streetwear brand championed by those who outgrew Supreme’s box logo hoodies and went looking for a new streetwear brand, fresher and more exciting.
With an emphasis on unique prints, practical detailing, and futuristic styling, this Japanese label has taken Europe and the US by storm.
Sk8thing created Cav Empt – you may know him as the brain behind the iconic graphics of Human Made, Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream – and music industry veteran Toby Feltwell.
The brand’s unique garments have seen this Japanese streetwear king become one of the most sought-after names in this post-streetwear age.
Russian photographer-slash-designer Gosha Rubchinskiy‘s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
However, the fact his eponymous label is tricky to say (it’s goh-shah rub-chin-skee, by the way) hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most talked-about in fashion.
Rubchinskiy earned his peers’ respect early on and was taken under the wing of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, who now assists in producing his seasonal collections.
Embodying post-soviet youth through sport and skate-influenced designs and the use of unconventional models, this eponymous label has become one of the most talked-about streetwear brands.
New York, US
Launching its first foray into streetwear in 1995, 10.Deep has cultivated a rep for producing some of the highest quality gear on the market.
Scott Sasso, the brand owner, is a true master craftsman and one of the most respected designers in the field of urban clothing brands.
10.Deep is known for its versatile range of seasonally-themed street-savvy apparel.
Think military jackets, camouflage blazers, cowl-neck sweaters, Letterman jackets.
Patta is the brainchild of two veteran players in Amsterdam’s hip-hop scene.
The pair decided to channel their love of sneakers, music, and streetwear into a store housing all their favorite gear.
In the early days, Patta’s logo was printed onto a small batch of tees for family and friends.
But, as demand grew, this soon evolved into a fully-fledged in-house brand.
The focus is on big logos, loose cuts, and vibrant colors, with seasonal collections routinely flying off shelves in no time at all.
New York, US
The brainchild by New York footwear don Ronnie Fieg, Kith operates on two levels.
Firstly, it’s a menswear store stocking some of the most coveted names in the mens’, womens’ sneaker (and streetwear) world.
Keith is best known for its logo-heavy, urban garments, and limited-run collaborations, with some pretty unexpected brands.
In the past, Kith has joined forces with names as obscure as Bugaboo, the luxury pram manufacturer, and even Coca-Cola.
However, more recently, it teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger to produce a nostalgia-laden capsule collection for AW18.
The multifaceted label boasts a retail space that houses some of the most coveted names in the sneaker and streetwear world.
Comme des Garçons is a fashion house with a reputation for outlandish designs and bizarre runway shows.
However, the label’s Play imprint is known for quite the opposite.
Featuring the iconic bug-eyed heart logo, CDG Play’s output instead focuses on simple staple items like Breton tops, hoodies, and logo tees.
There’s also a long-running collaborative effort with Converse.
The converse collaboration has seen Rei Kawakubo’s brand put its stamp on the Chuck Taylor All-Star 70.
It has also created one of the most popular streetwear shoes in the process!
Los Angeles, US
Undefeated is a premium sneaker and streetwear boutique oozing that east-coast American streetwear vibe.
Based in Los Angeles, California, it has quickly cemented itself as the go-to destination for street style pieces and gear worldwide.
Founded by James Bond and Eddie Cruz, Undefeated frequently collaborates with A Bathing Ape, Champion, Neighborhood, Wtaps, Adidas, ASICS, Converse, Nike, and Vans.
Los Angeles, US
Above all, the guys over The Hundreds do ‘streetwear things’ a little differently.
Not only do they run a streetwear brand, but their site is also a media platform dedicated to street culture from around the world.
Based in Cali, the label was founded in 2003 by Bobby Kim (Bobby Hundreds) and Ben Shenassafar (Ben Hundreds).
Maybe not one of the cheap streetwear brands out there, the label’s offering includes fashion handbags, T-shirts, denim, wovens, fleece, headwear, and outerwear.
Hard-to-pronounce names are ten a penny in the world of fashion, and if you thought streetwear was going to be any different, you’d be sadly mistaken.
According to the Japanese label’s creators, WTAPS is pronounced ‘double taps.’
However, we’re not quite sure where they got that from.
WTAPS comes from a military term that pretty much means kill shot, and the aesthetic is a lot more simple than its name would suggest.
But, its name isn’t the only thing that is military-inspired. The label’s look features baggy cuts, soldiery workwear influences, and Japanese utilitarian styling.
Think lots of army green, cargo pants, and loose-fitting hoodies, with the occasional preppy Ivy League style.
A COLD WALL
When thinking of British brands, it’s usually the heritage names that spring to mind instead of genre-bending Haute streetwear.
But with London-based A-Cold-Wall going from strength to strength in recent years, that’s set to change.
Designer Samuel Ross’s trailblazing imprint straddles the line that divides avant-garde and wearable, earning him nods from several industry heavyweights.
His label’s designs employ utilitarian silhouettes and rare fabrics to create fashion-week-worthy streetwear.
Oh, and he’s not opposed to sending the odd naked model down the runway either.
A-Cold-Wall also has built a reputation as a genre-bending brand by merging the lines between high-end couture and street style casual wear.
Undercover‘s weirdly wonderful designs and next-level graphic print T-shirts made it a pillar of the ultra-hip Ura-Harajuku scene in ’90s Tokyo.
Nowadays, Undercover is one of the most respected fashion-leaning labels in streetwear and a favorite among those in the know.
When he was younger, the brand’s founder, Jun Takahashi, was profoundly influenced by the UK punk scene, which inspired some of his most daring designs.
Aside from that, Undercover produces fashion-forward luxury sportswear in collaboration with Nike, under the Gyakusou name.
Once popular in 90’s fashion in Tokyo, Undercover has grown into one of the most prominent and most respected labels in the streetwear industry.
The staples of Undercover are quirky tees splashed with over-the-top printed graphics.
CACTUS PLANT FLEA MARKET
Want to know the fastest way to create a successful streetwear/hypebeast brand?
Partner with Cactus Plant Flea Market (lather, rinse, repeat).
The intentionally enigmatic label founded by Cynthia Lu in 2015 has lent its signature DIY typography and smiley face motif to Nike and just about every other major player in the streetwear space.
Cactus Plant Flea Market represents a notable standout run by a WOC in a primarily male-dominated fashion segment.
Los Angeles, US
Golf Wang is an American streetwear brand established in 2011 by American musician Tyler, the Creator.
Golf Wang’s name originates from his Los Angeles-based musical collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA), or Odd Future for short, of which Tyler was a co-founder.
Golf Wang has expanded beyond the Odd Future affiliation and has established itself as a name in the fashion industry, known for vivid visual aesthetics.
The brand offers streetwear clothing, footwear through Golf le Fleur, jewelry, and other related products.
Golf Wang is Tyler’s outlet to express his singular take on the skate-rat look he made mainstream, now updated to reflect his maturation as an artist and a man who gets off perfect fits.
AIMÉ LEON DORE
Queens native Teddy Santis launched Aimé Leon Dore in 2014, as a way of communication style through streetwear language.
After a few initial and critical co-signature launches, the label’s gone from success to success to (yep) another success.
To date, no brand elevates affordable streetwear quite like ALD.
Santis imbues each collection with a retro nostalgia touch that feels equally fresh.
The designer does this by filtering his singular take on throwback style through particular inspirational touchstones that somehow always look like something new.
THE NORTH FACE
San Francisco, US
The North Face is an American outdoor recreation products company that produces clothing, footwear, and outdoor equipment.
Founded in 1968 to supply climbers, its logo draws inspiration from Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
By the late 1990s, the label had expanded beyond outdoor enthusiasts, and in the 2000s, it became a streetwear fashion style symbol.
Nowadays, The North Face is regarded as the best mountaineering brand of streetwear brands.
Over the years, the brand has collaborated with several streetwear brands such as Supreme.
It has also helped new labels such as the Japanese “Purple Label” line gain recognition and followers.
BAPE (A bathing ape)
BAPE is one of the most famous Original Gangster players in the Japanese streetwear movement.
Founded in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo, in 1993 by Nigo (real name Tomoaki Nagao), A Bathing Ape (or BAPE) has become known as the place to go for, especially if you’re after off-kilter streetwear with a Japanese touch.
DJ and fashion designer, BAPE’s founder is somewhat of a cult figure in the scene.
His obsession with sneakers, toys, and in-your-face graphics has seen his label grow into one of the most recognizable streetwear brands there is.
BAPE’s quirky and colorful shark hoodies in eccentric design motifs gained tremendous popularity and became a symbol of alternative street fashion.
Nigo’s bright, multi-colored camouflage prints and shark hoodies that zip right up over the wearer’s face are extraordinarily well-received in men’s streetwear fashion.
The use of bold design motifs has made the label popular with teenage hypebeasts the world over, while older streetwear fanatics tend to stay clear.
If you’re on the hunt for a killer streetwear brand with a bit of Japanese fusion, then A Bathing Ape should be at the top of your checklist.
Who’d have thought that a brand set up to equip the blue-collar workers of North America in the 1800s would one day mutate into every streetwear aficionado’s go-to label for urban wardrobe essentials?
Carhartt WIP (WIP = ‘Work In Progress’) is the cooler European cousin of Detroit’s workwear stalwart Carhartt.
Since the sub-label launched in 1994, it has transformed the brand from purveyor of grubby overalls to the backbone of all the coolest kids’ clothing collections.
Combining the rugged quality of heritage Carhartt with an eye for contemporary design, WIP has earned a spot as one of the greatest streetwear brands on the planet.
If you hail from the states, you may still think of Carhartt as a workwear brand.
However, the label’s UK division is perceived as a streetwear staple, quickly recognized all over Europe.
Where its English version differs from its American cousin is its streamlined silhouettes.
The UK label also features more contemporary streetwear cuts with skate-centric direction.
San Francisco, US
Deeply rooted in the heart of streetwear culture, HUF got its start in the early 90s.
Following a stint with Stussy, New York native Keith Hufnagel launched his namesake label in San Francisco.
Since then, the brand has only gone from strength to strength to become a one-stop shop of all things skate and surf.
Now stocked worldwide, HUF is considered one of the most iconic streetwear labels of modern times.
Los Angeles, US
Kyle Ng launched Brain Dead as a creative collection of artists and designers from all over the world.
Since then, Brain Dead has become one of the hottest streetwear labels in town, collaborating with a ‘who’s who’ in the streetwear scene.
Some big names that the label has collaborated with include APC, Carhartt, and The North Face.
These collabs covered highly covetable pieces that charter the brand’s signature doodling and scribbled graphics.
The artist Shepard Fairey founded Obey streetwear in 2001 as an extension of his artistic works.
With deep roots in skating and punk’s countercultures, Obey has reached popularity by incorporating activism into their clothing.
The brand’s creations align with Fairey’s populist views and serve as another canvas to convey his agenda.
The label has been incredibly popular since its inception and remains a stable of the streetwear industry.
New York, US
Heron Preston, a founding member of the music and fashion collective, followed in his fellow members’ footsteps, Virgil Abloh and Matthew Williams, and launched his namesake streetwear label.
Launched as HPC Trading Co. in 2016, since then Preston’s brand has become known for its genre-bending and unpredictable streetwear designs.
Heron Preston’s label has grown into one of the most influential forces in contemporary fashion while retaining a cult-like status.
Think oversized cuts, quirky motifs, and signature bright orange branding.
Although founded by an American designer, the Neighborhood streetwear brand is crazy popular in Japan.
The brand is adored by the longtime streetwear vet crowd, often mentioned in their discussions about the rise of streetwear and other prominent brand names.
The brand has frequent collaborations with casual streetwear brands such as Converse, Dr. Martens, and watch brand Timex.
The label’s overall aesthetic is casual, dark, and unique; think moody streetwear, clubbing ready, with a ‘don’t care’ vibe all around.
If someone asks which is the most popular streetwear brand in the UK, the answer is, undoubtedly, Palace.
With a proper British style, and even though it was launched just in 2009, Palace has made a good name in the streetwear couture.
Lev Tanju started the cheeky, subversive label to become Supreme’s spiritual successor (the brand’s US stores were some of Palace’s first stockists).
However, the British brand has a take on skate culture that’s all of its own.
Within the next ten years after its launch, Palace has become the UK’s most prominent skateboarding and streetwear label.
A skate label with a sense of humor (not to mention a knack for whipping hypebeasts into a frenzy), Palace has been putting the UK firmly on the streetwear map since 2010.
The London-born brand has achieved a hype level similar to that of its transatlantic counterpart, Supreme.
After taking cues from sportswear kings – namely Adidas and Reebok, Palace’s logo has become one of the most recognizable signifiers.
The USP of Palace is its sporty aesthetic; think tracksuits, baseball caps, and the occasional snakeskin loafer and smoking crop jacket thrown in the mix too.
Safe; however, it is not. So don’t be surprised if you see the odd snakeskin loafer or smoking jacket crop up from time to time.
New York, US
Here’s another streetwear brand launched by Ditto Angelo Baque, another former Supreme director.
The founder named his brand Awake NY and finds inspiration in the latest streetwear trends to design standout graphics.
Some of the most coveted Awake NY streetwear apparel pieces in high demand right now in 2021 are jackets, hoodies, jeans for women, and sweatpants.
In particular, Awake NY’s latest signature clothing collection makes full use of designers’ streetwise awareness.
Vetements is founded by Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian fashion maverick who now sits at the helm of Balenciaga,
The luxury brand is the proof you need that streetwear has thoroughly infiltrated the once-exclusive world of high fashion.
Recognized as one of the top fashion brands for its innovative and highly diverse designs, Vetements has taken runway couture and brought it to streetwear chic.
Vetements’ streetwear pieces are as divisive as they come.
The label is known for causing a stir with broader culture in ironic designs and tongue-in-cheek garments.
Remember that DHL T-shirt ticketed for over £300? Fashion or farse? You decide.
New York, US
What do you do when you hit your mid-twenties and start to wonder whether or not you should still be rocking an oversized hoodie and Air Jordans at your age?
You start shopping at Supreme or the New York-based Noah NYC, of course.
Supreme’s success is due in no small part to the highly talented people it hires.
Noah was launched by one of the most talented design directors Brendon Babenzian who worked for Supreme for over a decade.
Compared to Supreme, Noah has a slightly preppier take on the freewheeling skater aesthetic he helped make a look in the first place.
Last year, Noah collaborated with Adidas and together revived the classic streetwear shoes.
According to Brenden Babenzien, Noah is streetwear for grown-ups.
Noah has everything, from corduroy caps and collegiate sweats to Oxford shirts and tailoring with a twist.
No conversation on the contemporary streetwear scene is complete without paying tribute to Stussy.
Credited as the original streetwear label, Stussy began as a small graphic tee brand in 1980.
After generating a lot of buzz with his tees, The California surfer Shawn Stussy – the label founder – has expanded his design to include surf and skate apparel.
Forty years later, the Cali-born brand became a streetwear empire, known for innovative and eye-catching designs and purest streetwear styles.
Stussy started by labeling the bottom of surfboards. Soon the logo was on tees, crewneck, and hoodies.
Since the launch in the 80s, Stussy’s stunning graphics have gained immense popularity, transferred into a wide range of streetwear the brand offers.
The brand branched out into surf and skate apparel, becoming the first real streetwear label, laying a foundation for those to come.
Although Stussy, the designer, is no longer involved with Stussy, the label’s offerings, including its rare selection of camp-collar shirts, are still top merch to have.
And, if Shawn Stussy hadn’t surfed his way into the T-shirt business back in 1980, today’s fashion landscape would be a very different place.
Modern Stussy is a driving force in the streetwear couture scene by providing forward-thinking designs while always remaining true to its Californian roots.
We live in an age when you’re just as likely to see streetwear paraded down the runway as the urban youth is rocking you.
It’s a shift that has redefined what streetwear is, and it’s fair to say Off-White was one of the few labels responsible for the shake-up.
The brand is the brainchild of Virgil Abloh, a designer with a taste for tongue-in-cheek branding who cut his teeth at Fendi while interning alongside Kanye West.
Currently the creative director of Louis Vuitton and one of the most influential figures in fashion, Abloh’s own brand Off-White has become one of the hottest streetwear brands on the face of the earth.
But not many buyers know that Abloh cut his teeth working alongside Kanye West and Fendi before launching his label in 2013.
Ever since, Off-White’s designer streetwear pieces have been making waves on the couture runways and streets with their bold prints, ironic tags, and high-profile collaborations.
Arguably the engine behind the streetwear’s take on the luxury segment, Off-White is seen nowadays gracing London fashion week’s runways and the backs of hype beasts.
Abloh’s melding of culture and couture has birthed a streetwear name known for innovative designs, forward-thinking, bold, and distinctive prints.
Moreover, Off-White, a relatively new name to the streetwear style scene, has earned an iconic status through exciting collaborations.
New York, US
Founded in 1994 in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, Supreme is considered one of the most popular streetwear brands ever.
Moreover, marketing experts say that Supreme’s logo is sufficient to make any clothing expensive and desired.
Over the years, Supreme has been endorsed by Kanye West, Travis Scott, Mike Tyson, and many more celebs, putting the brand on the top rank of Streetwear brands.
Supreme was started as a small skate label by James Jebbia, to the point of scoring a billion-dollar valuation a few years ago.
The label has an intelligent approach to marketing by launching new items in limited weekly drops.
This approach gets customers to form queues around the block, prepared to sleep on the street to have the chance to grab one of the brand’s latest releases.
It’s a move that has seen the skate brand ascend to become one of the most revered names in fashion today, with collaborations with Rolex and Louis Vuitton’s likes.
New York’s Supreme is one of the streetwear OGs and a brand that has revolutionized the urban clothing scene by throwing the traditional supply and demand model out of the window.
By collaborating with Rolex and Louis Vuitton’s likes, Supreme has etched its name into the fabric of streetwear history.
Nowadays, it is seen as one of the few labels able to elevate streetwear styles to the realm of luxury.
The American skateboard and clothing label has graced the backs of fash packs and ballers everywhere, earning its status as one of the most iconic streetwear brands of all time.
Reinventing the supply and demand wheel, Supreme drops a limited range of new items weekly.
So you know you’ll always be able to update your wardrobe with a fresh take on the OG red and white logo.
Chinese or Japanese Streetwear Brands?
Asian streetwear clothing brands have always had a significant influence on the trends we see in Europe and the US.
After Japan, it seems that Chines streetwear brands are taking center stage with their amazing men’s and women’s hoodies, shoes, T-shirts, and jackets.
Li Ning, STA, Occupy, SMF, Afewgoodkids are some of the most popular Chinese streetwear brands right now, worth mentioning here.
While remaining true to the street-wear culture, these brands revive the Chinese artistic style through compelling and unique creations.
However, I’ll cover more about these emerging brands in my next article.
Right now, these are the best streetwear brands of 2021, loved worldwide by anyone with a strong appreciation of urban fashion.
SIMILAR QUESTION: What are the top 10 fashion brands?
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these streetwear brands is your favorite and why?
Do you wear Korean or Chinese streetwear brands? If yes, which ones?
Who’s going to be the king of streetwear brands in 2022 and why?
Are there any other hype streetwear labels missing from this list and you would like me to add?
Please leave your comments below so others can benefit from your expertise.