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7 workwear labels that are streetwear staples

Practical, comfortable, durable

Posted by Joel Adams

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In recent years the role of high-fashion in streetwear has continued to grow with luxury houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton targeting the market as a way to engage younger consumers. Interestingly the staple labels of streetwear haven’t had to give up much of the market themselves while this has taken place. One group from within the streetwear industry that remains as relevant as ever are workwear labels. Brands like Carhartt and Dickies have transcending their intended use and provide a much-needed amalgam of practicality, durability, and looks that accommodate for any situation. These brands have remained streetwear staples, sitting comfortably with hyped up labels and high-fashion brands. Below you’ll find our guide to some of the best and most respected workwear labels in streetwear.

01. Stan Ray

The Texas based brand was conceived in 1972 with a handful of sewing machines and a rented apartment. 40 years later they continue to uphold their principle roots of hard work, high quality, and durable garments. Stan Ray provide a number of minimal pieces suitable for just about anything that range from denim jeans, chinos, tees, jackets, totes, and—if you’re strong enough to weather the storm of “Do you even skate?” comments— camouflage pants. The folks over at Stan Ray just celebrated their launch into Australia and deserve a warm welcome.

02. Carhartt

A definite crowd favourite amongst fellow Australians and the world alike, Carhartt has cemented itself as a versatile workwear staple. Founded in Michigan during 1889 the brand aimed to provide heavy duty items that were designed to be durable and long lasting. Since these humble origins which comprised solely of a workwear range the brand has branched out and lay claim to collaborative efforts with the likes of P.A.M, Patta, Bape, and Converse. Carhartt continue to blend their roots with more contemporary notions of streetwear, ultimately breaching the gap seamlessly between the two genres.

03. EASTPAK

While not a clothing manufacturer EASTPAK have used their military based roots to provide a simple and high quality collection of bags for all scenarios. They originally made gear for the US army under the name Eastern Canvas Products before the ‘70s saw high school kids and college students adopt their product for more toned down purposes. Since then EASTPAK have carved a well deserved reputation and recently teamed up with fashion’s reigning king Raf Simons and much buzzed Parisian brand AMI.

04. Dickies

Just about everyone has at some point in their lives worn a pair of Dickies. And that momentum for the brand shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. While many brands lose their lustre after such high levels of ubiquity, Dickies have only reinforced their timelessness by holding fast in a community where trends are as long as a piece of string. Their ability to remain the largest workwear manufacturer in the world can be attributed to the brand’s quality, toughness, and pride in embodying the spirit of the American Worker. Coming a long way from clothing solely crafted for the blue collar, Dickies now boast a wide spread of jackets, tees, and obviously pants all heavily entrenched in skate and street culture.

05. WTAPS

WTAPS further promotes Japan’s reputation for producing quality garments. Founded by Tetsu Nishiyama in 1996, WTAPS was launched with values rooted in daily life and a foundation based on the adage of, “Placing things where they should be.” Expressed in a variety of silhouettes ranging from jackets, tees, pullovers, pants, and a number of accessories, Nishiyama rightfully places quality as the highest importance. Along with their core ranges WTAPS has teamed up with the likes of VANS, Helly Hansen, Herschel, Porter, and a host of others.

06. Blue de Paname

A label created by Messrs. Lepine and Giorgetti who aimed to bring back the forgotten fabrics of workwear clothing. Proudly able to showcase a 100% French based production, Blue de Paname have since cemented their place as a workwear staple with an inherently French aesthetic as their backbone. The brand has also opened its doors to collaborative works and are soon to team up with CLOT (who notably produced a much adored Nike Vapormax iteration earlier this year).

07. visvim

A tour de force in the Japanese fashion circuit and harbouring global acclaim alike, visvim employs the belief that you have to look back in order to progress forward. Founded in 2000 by designer Hiroki Nakamura the brand has been able to express their vision in a multitude of silhouettes including Gore-Tex outerwear, Native American inspired footwear and indigo dyed kimonos to list just a fraction of their design plethora. Refusing to subscribe to themes or trends for that matter the latest F/W17 collection featured cosy pieces that promote the coming together of the old and the new, all with a helping of near scientific production methods.

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