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As workwear becomes fashionable, Dickies is still shining 100 years later


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It is Supreme. These are Japanese labels. They are local t-shirt designers who claim their city. Rooted in diversity and an exchange of cultures, not limited to a specific musical genre, sport or physical expression, streetwear is constantly defined and evolving.

In this paradigm, the relationship between streetwear and workwear is important. It brings fluidity, purpose and even helps shape communities. There is no brand with a stronger connection to this story than Dickies.

Successful workwear has long been associated with suits, ties and hard-bottomed shoes, but Dickies is dismantling that by making it easier for essential workers, military personnel, artists, skaters and anyone lie in between. “Many subcultures that rely on Dickies like skateboarding, music, lowrider, art, fashion, pop culture are all linked by their obsession with their craft. They need simple adjustments that allow them to showcase their skills, ”said Matt Ting, global director of products inspired by the work of Dickies Sr. Grab in an interview.

Identity

Dickies

While Dickies never sought to become a streetwear brand, it’s as relevant to auto mechanics as it is to skateboarders. It is a consistent, fundamental commodity that so many can count on, and a brand that has always reflected its times.

Dickies has retained its cultural relevance for almost 100 years. The brand began to gain notoriety during WWII, when it started producing military uniforms. After the war, Dickies expanded its geographic reach by opening production facilities and warehouses throughout the United States. Then, in the 1950s, became an international company by expanding its activities in Europe.

“We are able to bridge Between job and way of life but maintain our integrity. “

Fast forward to the 1990s and the usefulness of the Dickies continues to expand, thanks to a buzzing skate scene and artists like Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and WuTang all wearing Dickies, which helped expand recognition for the brand beyond its workwear roots. What started as a global business is now recognized as the definitive workwear brand.

Today, Dickies is just as important, with seamless classics, quality and affordability. “If you were to take our work-inspired collections and compare them to some of our workwear, you would see a lot of commonality in terms of construction, design, details, functionality,” says Ting. “I think this is just a testament to the fact that we are able to bridge work and lifestyle, but maintain our integrity and maintain the DNA of the Dickies brand, regardless of end use.

Essential

This formula of bridge between styles is what allowed the brand to resist the time, even when fashion is the least of our societal concerns. And the current era is no different.

Over the past year and a half, Covid-19 has changed the way people work and dress around the world. The suits were traded for sweatshirts and hard-bottomed shoes for soft-soled kicks. Fashion consumption has just become a lot more thoughtful. And as consumer behaviors continue to adapt in a changing world due to the current state of our society, Dickies has remained the key to everyday essentials.

Dickies have always been a important part from Los Angeles culture. Even before the term ‘street wear’ was created. “

“The pandemic hasn’t redefined Dickies as much as it has confirmed a lot of what we already appreciate about the brand,” Ting said. “Firstly, Dickies is bought primarily for functional reasons and while it could also be a style statement, this functionality makes it more valuable. Especially in times of doubt when every dollar spent counts. “

Timeless Dickies styles like the 874 work pant, Eisenhower jacket, work shirt, jumpsuit and overalls contribute to the brand’s success, all of which are celebrated in the recent Dickies Icons campaign. Dom Kennedy, A $ AP Rock, Teyana Taylor, all reach the same pairs as the neighborhood mechanic or the mural artist. The wearer sets the context for the garment, dictating what’s cool and what’s wacky. These rules have existed for brands over a period of almost 100 years.

Dickies

“I think today’s times demand something less flashy and more timeless,” Ting adds. While the essential workwear brand continues to stand the test of time, it has also had a cross-cultural impact, from the West Coast to the East Coast.

“The Dickies have always been an important part of Los Angeles culture. Before the term ‘streetwear’ was even created, ”Los Angeles rapper Niko G4 said Grab. “We went to the exchange meeting when we were kids and bought what we could afford. If you can’t freshen up with the necessities (dickies x white tee) you really can’t fly expensive clothes, to be true. It’s the Los Angeles uniform. A classic style for our culture.

In the same vein, Dickies also holds a place in DC “Dickies has always been a part of the scene here in DC, from cropped pants with heavily starched pleats fresh out of the dry cleaners to a Sunday hanging out in the park where we always have it. used as the basis to develop our cuts, ”says Dom Adams, co-founder of Somewhere, a Washington DC-based streetwear store.

Fluidity

Dickies

The beauty of the workwear brand’s cultural fluidity is its unpretentiousness, less of a status symbol and more of a cool piece of clothing with utility.

“Our favorite part is that every wearer tends to personalize or style their Dickies in a unique way that makes them look unique. Indeed, Dickies icons become a symbol of individuality and the ultimate expression of personal style, ”says Ting. While much of streetwear culture operates on the hype of getting one piece of clothing before everyone else or copying the latest sneaker version – Dickies has remained a part of that conversation ensuring accessibility regardless of the date. age, class or vocation.

Dickies continue to be defined by the people who wear them. “For the past 100 years, Dickies haven’t been worn by one tribe or another, as they easily transcend all decades, societal dress codes and demographics,” says Ting. During increasingly uncertain times, Dickies hasn’t had to change much, if at all, even as the world around us has changed. It’s a strong testament to how the brand has stood the test of time, even 100 years later, whether worn cut and frayed at the bottom or crumpled with heavy starch, wearing a pair of Dickies never goes out of style.


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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds

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