"Down with the Ritz - Long live the street." : a critical discourse analysis on the merge of streetwear and high fashion.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för modevetenskap

Abstract: This study has given insight to the phenomenon of collaborations between high fashion brands and streetwear brands within the fashion discourse. The study uses journalistic texts from popular online streetwear magazines as empirical material in order to perform a critical discourse analysis on the sub-discourses of high fashion and streetwear. By looking at this phenomenon through the lens of personal branding, class, subcultures and postmodernist fashion discussions the empirical material has been contextualized to a contemporary fashion dialogue. In the analysis, I conclude several reasons as to why streetwear has been popularized and why now is the time to execute these collaborations. This thesis is heavily influenced by discussing the power of rap superstars and their connection to fashion. This is coupled with the notion of influencing, where the ”perfect” partner is described, but also the pitfalls of marketing, branding and popularization and what effect this has on subcultures and fashion connected to them. The discussion of ”high and low” is followed through the entire study which is ultimately the most interesting phenomenon, where the conclusion is that streetwear and high fashion are no longer that different, and the mix between high and low symbolic values in fashion today is something recurrent.

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