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Start Date 07 October 2021
End Date 30 December 2021
Venue ModeMuseum
Location Hasselt, Belgium
Curator Dominique Nzeyimana

Streetwear has been an exciting source of inspiration for the fashion world since the 1980s. This impact is also clearly felt in the Activewear expo. So it’s high time to draw attention to streetwear through the pop-up expo “STREETWEAR”. In this exhibition, curated by Dominique Nzeyimana, the museum shows 10 silhouettes, including Patta, Stüssy, Supreme, KAWS/Medicom, A Bathing Ape, BBC, Palace, Cross Colours,… that give an impression of the context of creation of streetwear and its influence on fashion today.

Since the 1960s, fashion has been inspired by the street and youth, but today we see a changing situation. Streetwear, in which influences from sports are clearly visible, not only floods the catwalk, but streetwear designers are also appointed as creative directors of luxury fashion houses. With this they hope to reach a young and fashion-conscious audience. Often they also use elements from streetwear and street culture. Hoodies, sneakers, tracksuits, … are presented on the catwalk in a slightly more luxurious version. This appropriation of elements of an originally black culture, which originated in poorer neighborhoods in the US, is much discussed. Large luxury fashion houses generate a lot of income by incorporating the visual language of the street into their collections, often without any credit or reference. Sneakers, such as the Air Dior Jordans, a permanent part of the street uniform, are sold for exuberant amounts and are only reserved for a niche audience.

It is no coincidence that the title of the pop-up expo is between two quotation marks; this reflects the field of tension between so-called high fashion and streetwear and refers to designer Virgil Abloh who balances between the two domains and invariably places all captions in quotation marks, just to raise this issue and provoke discussion. 

“STREETWEAR” guest curator Dominique Nzeyimana adds: “The long-standing influence of communities of color and Black-owned and POC brands has left its mark on the fashion world. This is an important thread in the pop-up expo. For example, contemporary brands such as Supreme and Stüssy find inspiration in ‘originals’ such as the American pioneer brand Cross Colours, made popular by the cast of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’. The celebrated artist Futura, who started out as a graffiti writer, is also used by dozens of brands, such as Comme des Garçons, Undercover, Uniqlo, … as a credibility accelerator or cultural magnet.”