Streetwear and Social Media: The Influence of Instagram, TikTok, and Beyond

Streetwear fashion has thrived a lot in the last 15 to 20 years. The term “streetwear” has very different connotations, from oversized hoodies to graphic tees. Now, streetwear brands have put more of a focus towards footwear. Streetwear trainers are very much on-trend and these have also changed a lot. 

Social media is one of the main reasons why streetwear has become so popular, especially with TikTok. Let’s see how social media has transformed the world of streetwear to see how it has impacted the fashion industry. 

Social Media Has Become The Platform To Promote The Product Tiktok made me buy it ✨#tiktokmademebuyit#unboxing#asmrunboxing#smallbusinessunboxing#unpackingasmr#aestheticunboxing#luxuryunboxing#unpackwithme ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul

When new streetwear products were released, billboards seemed to be the main area for advertising new streetwear products. Additionally, rappers wearing Supreme and basketballers wearing Nike were the main influences on streetwear. Now, that has all changed. 

Many influencers have impacted this change such as Mubi Idriess, Taylor Rae, Dennis Skindl and many more. Then if you look at the more influential people, Kanye West has impacted the streetwear community with his previously-owned brand, Yeezy. 

Social Media Is Great For Discovering New Brands

Social media has become the new platform for buying products, especially streetwear. TikTok shop and Instagram shopping are other platforms to purchase on-trend fashion items. 

We all know that social media is now the new form of television advertising. The only difference is that it is more tailored to the users who see the ad. Targeting specific audiences is something you can do to drive more conversions rather than increase brand awareness. If you wish to advertise to different demographics then you can. This is a good method for your brand awareness. 

Paid advertisements are being used more and it helps the growth of streetwear brands. Even those brands that are new to the market can advertise on these platforms and be very successful if they reach out to audiences that share similar interests to their brand. 

It Has Built A Community Of Streetwear Lovers

There is no doubt that streetwear has a strong community which has become much larger over recent years. Platforms such as Reddit and Discord are forums where streetwear lovers will share their latest brands. They may even post outfits of their latest streetwear with picturesque backgrounds including high-rises in New York, underneath motorway bridges and shopping centres in Leeds

Even streetwear brands have managed to build their communities to the brand. Some brands even did this before social media was a thing. 

@nigelroxbury The NYC history of clothing brand Supreme 🔴 #nyc #ny #newyork #newyorkcity #soho #bowery #manhattan #supreme #nycskate #nycfashion ♬ (Without rain) Jazz Lo-fi chill out(875940) – Hazumi

Supreme is a prime example of a streetwear brand that is successful because of the community they have built. Supreme developed a unique marketing strategy where each of their collections would be limited edition. Meaning only a number of them would be manufactured. This built up a lot of hype every time they released a new collection and soon became one of the biggest brands in the industry. 

How Social Media Has Developed Drop Culture

Social media has become a place where brands will announce releasing a new collection. Here, they will have a start date for when the product is released. They won’t encourage customers to pre-order and instead, will say when the collection goes live, it will be first come first serve. It is a strategy that hundreds, if not thousands of brands on social media do. 

Drop culture dates back to the early 90s and it has been debated who started it first. Was it Japan or was it America? The Japanese brand that explored product drop marketing was GOODENOUGH, also known as GDEH. Then in America, it was Supreme. 


There is no doubt that streetwear is here for the long run and social media has been one of the main reasons for that. With paid advertising and strong streetwear communities, many brands have become a success thanks to these platforms.

Featured Photo by Brett Sayles

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