Chuck Bennett Talks Fashion From the Streets of Detroit

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op fashion designers have always admitted that much of the inspiration in developing their collections comes from street fashion. And let's face it, sitting in a mall watching what real people are wearing can be a lot more interesting than viewing lanky models on a runway showing the latest collection of one designer. Street fashion is generally associated with youth culture and is most often seen in major urban centers.

It is said to be grassroots in the youth culture, particularly of the most recent decade. It is not specific to one type of dressing, but instead covers a host of different styles, all unique in the fact that they were created and styled by the young people who favor them.

"Comfort has become important at work, enabling folks to wear more streetwear," says Zana Smith, who owns Spectacles, a popular downtown Detroit boutique that specializes in urban wear. "The jogger is leading the way in pants. Since footwear has become so important, the jogger allows full vision of shoes and boots. With new fabrics, such as neoprene, and various washes in denim, there are an abundance of options. Hoodies have replaced winter coats. Layering is the function of today's consumers. There is now the elongated T that is worn under your favorite hoodie or crewneck."

Streetwear, when it comes down to it, in many cases, is jeans, T-shirts and caps. But now great attention is being paid to the details of these items and how they can be dressed up with great watches, personality eyewear and layering on wooden bead necklaces and even tasteful gold chains, rings and bracelets.


Probably the biggest influence in recent street fashion is hip-hop fashion, which has now translated itself into a multi-billion dollar industry. Much of the style comes as a statement of the music culture from which it originated. Hip-hop street clothing emerged from the African-American urban movement and filtered into the music industry and was worn by many well-known recognized athletes. And it all comes from the street.

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