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As a long time fan of “streetwear” and “underground” brands, I think it’s time to move forward and to start blurring the lines between street and lux. This doesn’t mean simply raising the prices of street gear, it means looking beyond graphics and thinking more about fit and function.

I won’t name names but certain labels that used to be dope have become stale — shiny screenprints and corny wordplay on t-shirts is so 2006, but the “streetwear” scene remains overrun with gaudy logos and tacky graphics. Enough with printing Disney inspired hoodlums carrying bats and smoking joints or whatever on shirts! These loud designs are not fly and have a horribly short lifespan — if the graphic isn’t faded after the first wash your friends will totally call you out for wearing the same wacky shirt more than twice.

But change is coming: longtime streetwear powerhouse, Freshjive has decided to drop all forms of logos and branding from their clothes beginning in summer 2010. I think it’s a grand idea.

if the graphic isn’t faded after the first wash your friends will totally call you out for wearing the same wacky shirt more than twiceWhile dropping all logos and images isn’t totally necessary, I think its a step in the right direction. Hopefully some form of this idea will catch on and other labels will follow suit and figure out more ways to differentiate themselves besides wild graphics.

I’m not arguing that there should be no more logos or funny graphics but there should be a good balance. I just want to inspire some deeper thinking when it comes to graphics, functionality, fit, and fabrics. I won’t name the labels that need to “grow up,” but joining Freshjive at the front of the subtle streetwear basics pack are Wood Wood, Oak, Peg Leg, Cheap Monday, Neighborhood and CurrentElliot.

The Appeal shops: Shotwell, Darkside.

We’ve also heard good things about: Jeremys, Self Edge, Harputs, The Good Shop

We avoid: Buying clothing on Market between 5th and 8th.

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  • Allan

    See, I saw this coming. When I saw aNYthing’s “Extra Extra” design — which is dope both in terms of typography and overall flavor — I eschewed getting the shirt in favor of the hat, on which the design is smaller and more subtle.