Take a step back and have a look at what you’re wearing. We’re willing to bet a considerable amount of, erm *insert what you most desire here* that either Nike, Puma or adidas are branded on something you’re wearing. If you do, guess what? You’re a bonafide high roller in fashion. That’s because streetwear is peak style now, and we’re not just talking about the apparel people wear on a casual night out – street fashion is a luxury style plastered all over the most notable catwalks in Milan, London and New York. While some are just plain ridiculous (like Balenciaga’s Ikea bag which costs over AED7,000, yikes), we’re here to tell you about the best luxury streetwear brands that go beyond your usual go-to store. Save up those dirhams, it’s time to get street smart.
Off the beaten track
First up is one of the city’s trendiest spots, amongst few. Not only does this Dubai-based brand have its own collection of t-shirts engraved in Arabic, a wealth of snap backs and classic variations of sweatpants, but it also offers exclusive collaborations with the NBA, The Hundreds (also on this list) and niche brands. Be sure to look out for their Reasonable Doubt collection, boasting black and white musical influences in Arabic translations. Having Arabic logos on your attire is stylish and rare. That’s what we call exclusive.
Where: Palm Strip on Jumeirah Beach Road
Contact: +971 4 386 9221
Most of the ladies reading this will know Stella McCartney as a noteworthy luxury brand, but there is also a men’s collection? Yes lads, delve through its website and you’ll find a selection of tie-dye hoodies, sleeveless sweaters and track jackets with a bit of sparkle added on. While most of their apparel are at the smarter end of streetwear, you’ll find you can definitely sport a check blazer and trousers with a trendy pair of Yeezys. For those on the lookout for more of that skater-type style, we recommend its “no smile, no service” T-shirts, that come in minimalist versions or shout-out-loud branding. If that sounds up your street, get involved.
Where: Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall; Mall of the Emirates
If you’re the kind of person who not only pulls off bright colours, but can wear them proud, Off-White should be your luxe brand. You won’t find a single piece of clothing that won’t make you stand-out from the crowd, from its green and pink neon graffiti ski jackets all the way down to its selection of high-raised cross-flamed socks that are definitely not meant to be hidden behind trousers (especially since a pair can set you back AED305). All streetwear aficionados will know clothes aren’t the only way to stay on trend, which is why Off-White also deal in keychain accessories, headwear (including knitted beanies) and even camera straps. Going completely Off-White is certainly no bad thing.
Where: The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 54 454 1546
Out of the norm
Who said you have to play sports in order to kit yourself out in sweatbands and aerodynamic leggings? Italian luxury fashion brand Z Zegna answers that question with its tennis-inspired fashion line, featuring deconstructed jackets, bombers and raincoats in cobalt blues, vivid reds and yellows, along with natural woolen white. Naturally, streetwear and sportswear are one and the same, with the street look’s roots heavily embedded in the skater scene, so sporting (no pun intended) the Z Zegna tennis look is very much on trend. Also, for the more casual streetwear fashioner, its June Edit is all about those cool grey sweaters and a jersey cashmere and silk jacket that acts as both a blazer and hoodie.
Where: The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 4 330 8811
The sky’s the limit for MCM.
Its summer collection reimagines the motifs of aviation into modern expression, giving its customers a new way to reflect their passion of high-flying fashion. Its “Luft (the German word for air) Collection” isn’t what you wear for literal airline travel (although, why not?), but MCM has taken on board the adrenaline-pumping aspects of aerodynamics with its new line. It’s the mobility, freedom and creativity that’s embodied by the art of flight, so expect breezy sweaters, bright yellow jumpsuit trousers and clothes that completely fit the skaters doing a crazy flip in the air.
Where: The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 4 454 7742
If pictures speak a thousand words, then emojis sum up what we can’t quite articulate with everyday lingo. So, wearing a sweater with a wink and a heart from French designer Kenzo’s “I love Kenzo” collection speaks volumes. Blues, pinks and red shades for the colour fans, whites and greys for the more tamer street dresser. If you’re feeling a little more ferocious, Kenzo’s latest line (“The Tiger”) is the look you’re after. Offering one raging tiger design in many colourful shades on different apparel, such as a violet bomber jacket or hoodie sweatshirts, this one comes straight from Paris, and is available to order online.
Where: Various locations including The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates
A BATHING APE (BAPE)
A Bathing Ape, or BAPE, started back in 1993, and continues to deliver seasonal clothing lines that turn heads. When Pharrel Williams started to wear the brand in the mid-2000s he introduced the Japanese streetwear giant to a global audience and it’s never looked back. AAPE, also hugely successful, is a sub-brand of BAPE, which only serves to underline the brand’s increasing popularity, but BAPE recently opened in Dubai Mall on May 31, which means you won’t have far to go in order to pick up the most fashionable items. And if wearing it makes you even half as cool as Pharrel, well, that’s just an added bonus.
Where: The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 4 589 6894
Founded by Shepard Fairey, Obey is steeped in sarcasm and the whole “stick it to the man” culture, which is confusing when one literally wears the word “obey” on their clear-cut Californian shirts. It’s all reverse psychology, though, which is why you’ll see plenty of those prone to the world of satire honouring the label. Think mostly dark tees, shirts covered with crooked smiles and, of course, the beloved capitalised ‘OBEY’ scrolled across snapbacks. It also has a line of waistbags that actually look cool, not like the ones seen attached to tourists on “an adventure to Asia”.
Keeping true to its ‘90s roots, HUF is well known for producing clothes for the actual skater boys of this world. And if you’re not one yet, its fashion line will make you want to buy a deck with wheels just so you can say you are. HUF quickly became a one-stop shop of all things skate and surf back in San Francisco when it first started, thanks to its minimal designs such as a simple HUF on a white t-shirt or its now-trendy triangle designs on long-sleeved shirts. For nostalgia factor, HUF also has sweet collaborations with classic toons, including Peanut sandals and Popeye-punching sweaters.
Offering everything including T-shirts, denim, wovens, fleece, headwear, and outerwear, The Hundreds is way more than just a streetwear clothing brand. It’s a media platform for the latest in street culture as a whole. Just check out its site, thehundreds.com, featuring the latest events from around the world (street-wise, of course) and blogs from creator Bobby Kim himself. His love of niche art is clearly shown in The Hundreds’ latest designs, with collaborations with Fool’s Gold and even Marvin the Martian from Looney Tunes. Clothes here are usually in beige and calm colours, which is a tad conflicting given The Hundred’s “bomb” logo. But we’re not complaining. Yet another brand worth checking out if you feel as though your wardrobe needs a revamp. Thank us later.