With 2017 quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to look back at 2016 to see what’s going be left behind and what’s going to continue to grow in the new year. Here’s our predictions…
Trends On The Way Out
Dad Hats: Dad hats, unstructured caps, baseball caps, whatever you want to call them. They were a big part of a lot of people’s accessorizing in 2016. It’s not surprising why they became so popular but it happened so fast that their aesthetic saturated Instagram feeds and closets alike. I think part of their appeal came from the fact that they exuded just that right amount of youthfulness, sportiness and mysteriousness while playing into the whole 90’s stylistic resurrection fad that’s still kind of going strong. But as much as we don’t want it to be true, dad hats are pretty much on the way to being the new bucket hats.
Distressed Clothing: Now if you think that distressed clothing doesn’t have a place in fashion, you’re either not that into fashion or you’re not giving the idea of it that much thought. The concept has been around prominently ever since the whole DIY punk aesthetic began to appear in the 70’s with designers such as Vivienne Westwood capitalizing on the look faster than you could lace your 14-eye Doc Martens and spike your mohawk. Love it or hate it, it is difficult to deny that it got played out this year. With Yeezy bringing the hype in his distressed designs, countless smaller brands and designers tried to emulate them with varying degrees of success. I’m predicting that in 2017 we’ll see the streetwear scene cool off on the tears and rips just because it was so popular this year. How am I supposed to know when to get new jeans now since no one’s gonna be telling me to replace the ripped ones?
3M: This one is kind of arguable due to the fact that it never got super huge. But 3M did become trendy in 2016 and that’s evidenced by it showing up on a bunch of places you wouldn’t tend to expect. Like the 350 laces being literally laced with 3M stripes through the whole length of the lace. Supreme slapped it’s logo on an athletic headband in full 3M. A couple of backpacks in full 3M also dropped. 2016 pretty much gave you all the tools you needed to become the best and brightest traffic cone you could have ever hoped to be (see #2 for the Trends That Are Going Strong list).
80’s Thrash Metal Shirts: Biting the metalhead aesthetic was pretty cool when Fear of God did it in 2015. Supreme tried it in it’s FW16 collab with Slayer. It is true that it’s probably one of the best ways to loud up an outfit without too much effort. Maybe that’s why it grew in popularity despite getting a lot of flak from streetwear enthusiasts and metal fans alike, since most of the people styling with Megadeath, Metallica, and Maiden shirts weren’t doing it because they liked the music. Instead, they were doing it because those were the bands that Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo had put on his shirts. This resulted in Eddie the Head showing up in outfits as frequently on Rodeo Drive as he did at Wacken Open Air. Ultimately, this is on the way out because the novelty has worn off and really, who wants to wear a band shirt all the time of a band they don’t listen to?
Cropped Pants: This one is a bit of the wild card because on one hand, it works really well with a lot of types of pants and outfits. On the other hand, because of this fact, it’s done to death. Check out the fits coming from The Basement to see what I mean. Overall, it’s inevitable that people are going to get tired of something that they’re used to seeing, even if the fits it’s used in are well executed.
Trends That Are Going Strong
Boost: Insane sales. Absolutely insane sales due to boost which has without a doubt altered the face of the sneaker game and market. For a while, Nike seemed shell-shocked at the success of this material and arguably to this moment is unable to find a solution to rival boost’s popularity. Newer sneakerheads covet NMDs more than they do Jordans and that’s something that would have been hard to comprehend 2-3 years ago. Adidas isn’t generating hype by creating a false scarcity for the material albeit doing so for certain models such as the NMD and Ultraboost. Instead, the material is just that comfortable and appealing that it speaks for itself. Adidas can probably milk it for another minute while Nike is forced to innovate. A win-win for all sides.
Orange: Life of Pablo Merch. TNF x Supreme FW16. Yeezy V2 350. Vetements. Gosha. Off-White. VLONE. I can keep going but you get the point. Orange was THE color of 2016. It worked really well in some instances and then not so well in others. But either way it seemed like everyone from t-shirt screen printers to high fashion designers wanted to use it.
Tour Merch: This one has been steady growing since 2014 with the sick Rodeo merch courtesy of Travis Scott and maybe as far back as 2013 when Yeezus gear graced the market. But this year Jerry Lorenzo helped Ye blow it up again with the Pablo merch while also helping Justin Bieber tap the fad with his work for the Purpose tour. Those all came out well done, despite criticism of using low quality blanks, unlike the low effort attempts made by Scott for his Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight album and by 21 Savage for his Savage Mode EP. So in that sense, artists trying to capitalize on this trend need to do so carefully and with some aesthetic thought if they want their tour merch to be something more than, well, tour merch.
Shoulder Packs: Sling it right up around your torso and you’re good to go. With the ease of use and versatility, shoulder packs have started to appear frequently in 2016, with both Supreme and Palace putting out popular variants. Maybe Rich Chigga is to blame?
Supreme: Why would I include a 22 year old world-famous brand as a prediction for a trend in 2017? Because the quintessential streetwear powerhouse is enjoying probably their most successful year yet. Whether or not that is due to the quality and artistic merit of their products versus that of the constant growing hype surrounding them is debatable, especially with the past couple of seasons. Nonetheless it remains difficult at the moment to predict the loss of their esteem since the majority of their products continue to sell out and be resold in a lucrative resale market popularized by Complex.