Fairfax: The Mecca of Streetwear

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Guadalupe Zaragoza

Los Angeles isn’t only known as the sprawling city of the television and film industries. There is more than the breezes among the blue reflective waters of Venice beach.

The City of Angels is a place that is pushing forward trends and making a statement that fashion culture has flourished.

As an important subculture for skaters, artists, celebrities and trendsetters combined, the current streetwear culture has become a sensation, specifically in the iconic location of Fairfax. The enclave includes big brands such as The Hundreds, Crooks & Castles and Diamond Supply Co.

It’s been around for decades, establishing the personas of these hype-beasts, individuals follows these trends in fashion for the purpose of making a social statement, and sneakerheads.

Overlooked as one of the infamous shopping destinations in the world, the street shares an assortment of stores that go from wild sneaker shops to selling staggering skateboards and limited edition t-shirts.

 

Although Melrose and La Brea were the centers for LA fashion, that all changed in an instance.

 

Coupled with cheap rent, the first West Coast store on the block, Supreme, began a chain reaction of other brands marking their territories on the street.

This was an opportunity for brands to strike further popularity and make a name for themselves but the idea of expansion had run its course.

The 2000s flagged Fairfax as a popular hangout for kids to make a mess, while for many it was a chance to get in line and wait for hours to purchase the newest sleek trainers or other special product releases. And Black Friday’s blowout sale kindled those lines that snake down the street.

That is an aspect of what high fashion brands are attempting to incorporate known as the “drop,” coinciding with the competitive nature of Instagram.

Streetwear’s loud aesthetic allows any trend to make a noise on social media. We are currently living in the image-centric age of Instagram and Generation Z have begun favoring this uniqueness.

Flooding the streets with block parties thrown by brands, or just centering as the scenic background for music videos shot on the strip, Fairfax continues to be a place for individuals who shares an interest in skateboarding and streetwear want to be.

As time lapsed, the street exploded with attention as mainstream rap group Odd Future began to often visit the area because of the atmosphere. This increased the recognition of the street even more.

Streetwear fashion has elevated its creativity to a whole other level as it capitalizes the artistic drive for clothes, and Fairfax succeeds the ideal.

There is no doubt that the fashion of LA has taken flight towards the extreme.

Streetwear enthusiast, Sidney Flores, expressed, “From platform shoes and the return of thin shades that were popular in the 90s to the drop crotch pants, streetwear has no limit. Fairfax remarkably made it okay for one to be expressive with their stupendous shops.”

As high fashion houses tap into this growing social media more and more, streetwear has begun to occupy the upper echelons of style.

Former E “Dash Doll,” and keyholder of the management team at Dollskill, Caroline Burt, gave her two cents on the overtaking of stylish clothes worn down the streets of Los Angeles.

“Right now Fairfax is a big place for that streetwear district, it’s like the new Melrose. So let’s say that there is quite a longevity for it,” Burt pointed out, “Regardless, streetwear is gonna have to evolve with that and keep it going.”

She pointed out that the biggest stores that have taken over the street are Golf with its great amount of clientele, Supreme with its recent boost from collaborating with Louis Vuitton. and of course, Dollskill who has made itself known as the first female and unisex website to be added onto the block.

Retail is definitely dead, and customers at Golf and Ripndip agreed.They don’t share the same characteristics as those who are prevailing such as Supreme. They’re missing a countering factor, the experience.

When first entering Dollskill, Vanae Garcia mentioned that she was unsure what to expect in terms of the outrageous red meat shield as the entrance into the store. Once she was in, it felt like she took a turn to somewhere else.

“From the LED lights to the big ass unicorn and the DJ booth that’s above the fitting rooms, this pretty sick store felt like I just walked into a club. All that’s missing is a bar,” Garcia said.

Shoppers say that’s one characteristic that makes the stores on Fairfax so remarkably special, and also, the dressing of the window displays are the first to catch the attention of buyers.

Ripndip is another example whose dome-shaped store expanded it’s futuristic-theme to the extreme whereas, down the street, Tilf has an ice cream machine.

There are no expectations from these streetwear stores but instead, surprises.

The once Jewish majority neighborhood with mom-pop shops was transformed into the epicenter of streetwear, and that’s one incredibly significant legacy Fairfax will leave.