INTERNAL MEMO: Are We Streetwear?

March 26, 2018


I feel like could start this off by going into the history of streetwear or the history of JAWBREAKING as a brand but that feels redundant, repetitive (yes they’re different) and frankly, boring. Streetwear in most cases is something when you see it you know it. And what you’re typically seeing is a t-shirt or a hoodie. Considering that JAWBREAKING is a brand known for our graphic tees and hoodies and that we are casual in our aesthetic, then by the power of math… as a category we are streetwear. Even culturally, streetwear is known for the culture surrounding the industry and the brands. As a company, we are based in the Internet community and found success dressing young artist and creators who have their own community. Once again, still feels like streetwear,. And yet, I struggle with this. Like… we aren’t crazy expensive and a lot of streetwear is. We don’t really do limited edition drops - which I guess we could -  and it seems as if there is big piece of the culture of streetwear that’s missing in what we do and what streetwear is.

In context, that can be a good and a bad thing. Streetwear is dominated by cis-straight-white -men. In the product, in design and in coverage. So as a brand run by a gay black man and started by an Asian-American female, it already feels different. Plus our consumers are mainly women and gay men. But that’s all good news. It’s refreshing, its different, I’m into it.  Add in our initiative to work mainly with female photographers, exclusively with millennial creatives and we’re hella woke. However, I feel like that’s where the good different stops. So much of the streetwear community and demographic is wrapped up in expensive pieces and exclusivity. In fact, the ones that aren’t crazy expensive tend to be the ones rooted in skate culture. None of those things are us – bad different.

So I ask again, are we streetwear? And more over is it our natural progression? In my tenure, I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over where the brand is going. How do we grow up with our customers? Members of One Direction are in Gucci now and Taryn Manning is definitely not wearing her collab t-shirts to the Emmys. So what do we do? I can’t do the fast fashion. I just can’t, and couture seems like a stretch. Soooo… do we fit in here? In this streetwear space.

Reluctant yes. I think it’s like a great vintage tee. It’s not a perfect fit, but once we wear it a little, cut some holes and wash it a few times…I think it’ll be a match made in heaven. 

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