Here’s a statistic everyone with social media fatigue has been waiting for: “Influencers” might not be all that influential anymore. At least, when it comes to streetwear.
According to a new study conducted by Hypebeast and Strategy&, 65% of 40,960 people polled said they look to musicians for style inspiration, while 52% said industry insiders were their go-to. Only 32% said social media influencers impact their fashion choices.
While 32% may be a low number given all the money and attention that is spent on influencers in fashion, for this particular genre of clothing, it’s not all that surprising. As The New York Times points out, “streetwear,” as it’s been dubbed in a post-2010 world, got its start in hip-hop and subculture. Influencers are, in many ways, the antithesis of what the style was built on.
In one of the four interviews conducted with people in the streetwear space, artist Daniel Arsham points out, “Maybe not so much now, but before, when you talked about streetwear in contrast to high-end fashion, there was a level of authenticity that was prevalent within it.” StockX founder and CEO Josh Luber echoed this sentiment, saying, “There used to be this idea that streetwear was scarce but low quality. That was what made it, just the scarcity and the low supply and the very local nature of it was what made it valuable.”
The report also breaks down several other aspects of the industry, including which brands are the most popular (Supreme and Off-White are among the top five), how much and how often people are spending on streetwear, and, of course, how social media and the internet have impacted things.
Outside of the influencer stats, nothing in the survey feels all that groundbreaking. Streetwear’s very visible arc over the last 10 years has been unlike anything most expected and according to this survey it had no signs of stopping. Turns out, influencers just might not be part of it.
You can read the full report here.