Techwear : History of the urban and functional style originating from streetwear

All the true sneaker fans know that sneakers are a phenomenon that was born in the 80s. A period that marked the arrival of Michael Jordan in the NBA, the legendary player of the Chicago Bulls. At the same time, in the streets, breakdancing enthusiasts put on their PUMA Sweden to defy gravity. From then on, all these shoes, which were initially made for sports, were used in almost every field.

This democratization will therefore impact the entire urban environment in general and the city in particular as well as any place that can be walked on simply with a pair of sneakers. The foundations of streetwear as we know it today were laid as a result of this trend that emerged with a sudden desire to wear very comfortable clothes.

Thus, in an unpredictable way, several derivative styles were born. The first one on the list is techwear; a fashion that tries to set itself up as a standard to follow, with the support of powerful equipment manufacturers like Adidas and Nike.

Techwear : its style and its history

As you can imagine, the discovery of the techwear style was made more or less forty years ago outside of streetwear, a style from which it is finally derived. Its objective is to be very technical. That's why in these creations, we find elements often synthetic and very resistant. Moreover, these manufacturing techniques are innovative and at the same time futuristic.

His inspiration comes from the DNA of every military equipment such as trellis, rangers and everything that soldiers of several countries wear when they go on mission. Among the instigators of techwear is Massimo Osti. He interpreted the compass rose in a different way, following a kind of military crest, to form the logo for Stone Island (his brand). It was in 1982, the year the iconic Air Force 1 was released, that Stone Island was created. The position that this brand occupies in techwear is what Nike occupies in sportswear.

Techwear: the must-have brands

Although Stone Island is one of the most important brands in the techwear industry, it has to be said that it is no longer alone in this universe. Several sports giants and especially confirmed specialists in the field have joined it.

First of all, we will talk about ACRONYM which was founded in 1994 in Germany by Michaela Sachenbacher and Errolson Hugh. The objective of these founders was to use a design agency to sell their various services to the textile industry. Thus, in collaboration with Nike, they participated in the revolution of the All Condition Gear (ACG) range created by the American company in 1989. The goal is to manufacture equipment that can properly satisfy the enthusiasts of trekking and hiking sports. All these activities and disciplines were very developed at that time. Today, techwear lovers are flocking to Nike ACG items, like those of Adidas that are marked by the Y-3 logo. This is for the fans

the techwear style

As for the new brands that, in reality, are no longer brands because of the popularity they enjoy, we can mention Outdoor Voices and lululemon. The latter share an important place with the above-mentioned references thanks to the boom (still called activewear) on which they have surfed. If it is possible to compare them, we will say that they have more or less the same style as Uniqlo. In other words, the fabric pieces in their catalogs are ahead of and even more futuristic than what Acronym offers, aesthetically speaking for example. Therefore, they can be easily worn in everyday life.

However, in terms of performance, they have everything you need. Indeed, according to the explanations given below, style and comfort are notions that are not at all dissociable. This is more obvious in techwear than in streetwear. We can't finish without mentioning TENSHI™. This is a new store to discover without delay on Tenshi Streetwear, especially if you have a weakness for the urban style inspired by Japan and Asia. This young store, created in 2017, is undoubtedly a pure techwear space where you can also receive advice and discover look concepts 

Accessory or techwear : the characteristics

techwear clothing

Today, the techwear style is made up of two trends. Each of them brings out a fundamental component among the existing multitude. The first trend is totally stylistic, as it focuses mainly on sneakers. We are particularly interested in it. The second stream is more operational. Like the elements that all manufacturers use, these alternative looks are very tricky. No matter what current they prefer, they are the same. This is because their accessories and clothing are made from tough and usually waterproof elements, allowing users to cope with the harassing weather conditions.

Like what hikers wear, their goal is to provide warmth while eliminating moisture. This is also the case with shoes. So it was a good thing that Nike agreed to work with Gore-Tex (a leader in waterproofing) time and time again..

Techwear: where can you buy them and how much do they cost?

techwear clothing

Obviously, before manufacturing this kind of clothing, it will be necessary to invest a lot in development and research. The creativity of designers is not to be overlooked either. Without a doubt, prices will be impacted, so that pieces that are very well made can cost more than 1000€.

If you want to wear a pair of pants, a hoodie, a jacket or a coat according to what the techwear clothing market offers, you will have to pay more than a hundred euros. Nevertheless, the majority of the products are affordable. Those who can't afford it can choose a cap, a t-shirt or any component of the look. As long as it is presentable in its entirety.

Now we will see how you can start or probably continue your shopping. Along with the official platform mentioned above where the brands are published, you can also visit the one of the distributors like Footshop and END Clothing. Also take a look at the farfetch website. The must-haves of the recent collections like Nike Y-3 and ACG can be found there too.

Keep in mind that these different stores that sneaker fans know well can access several labels. They are less popular, of course, but the quality of their items is not comparable to the style in which your outfit will be made. One such label is Heron Preston. This popular designer from New York is as good on the decks as he is with a pencil. Do some research on ASOS. You might just stumble upon some nuggets.