Ruchika Sharma

15 Best Underground Streetwear Brands (Must Try)


In the vibrant landscape of contemporary fashion, the allure of underground streetwear brands beckons to those seeking a blend of individuality and urban edge. These labels, often born from subcultural movements or grassroots creativity, carve out their niche by defying mainstream norms and embracing bold, unconventional aesthetics. From the streets of bustling metropolises to the digital realms of social media, these brands thrive on authenticity and a sense of community, attracting a diverse array of fashion enthusiasts and trendsetters.

What sets underground streetwear brands apart is their willingness to challenge conventions and blur boundaries. Whether it's through avant-garde designs, unconventional materials, or provocative messaging, these labels push the envelope, creating clothing that serves as both a form of self-expression and a statement of rebellion. In doing so, they foster a sense of belonging among those who resonate with their ethos, forging connections that transcend mere consumerism.

As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, the influence of underground streetwear brands only continues to grow. With their finger on the pulse of cultural shifts and societal movements, these labels not only reflect the zeitgeist but also shape it. In an era where individuality reigns supreme and conformity is passé, the allure of underground streetwear lies in its ability to empower individuals to embrace their uniqueness and make a statement without saying a word.

What is streetwear? 

Streetwear is more than just a style of clothing; it's a cultural movement that originated from the streets and has become a significant force in contemporary fashion. Characterized by its casual, comfortable, and often edgy aesthetic, streetwear draws inspiration from various subcultures, including skateboarding, hip-hop, punk, and graffiti art. What sets streetwear apart is its emphasis on self-expression and individuality, rejecting traditional fashion norms in favor of a more eclectic and personal style.

At its core, streetwear embodies a spirit of rebellion and authenticity, challenging the exclusivity of high fashion by making style accessible to all. Brands within the streetwear realm often prioritize comfort and functionality while incorporating bold graphics, vibrant colors, and distinctive logos into their designs. This aesthetic has transcended its humble beginnings to influence mainstream fashion, with luxury houses collaborating with streetwear labels and incorporating street-inspired elements into their collections.

Moreover, streetwear has evolved into a global phenomenon, with communities of enthusiasts and collectors spanning continents. Social media platforms have played a significant role in the proliferation of streetwear culture, allowing fans to connect, share inspiration, and showcase their personal style. As streetwear continues to evolve, its influence on fashion and culture remains undeniable, shaping trends and attitudes in the ever-changing landscape of style.

What are underground brands? 

Underground brands refer to independent or lesser-known labels that operate outside of the mainstream fashion industry. These brands often prioritize creativity, authenticity, and niche appeal over mass market appeal. They may emerge from grassroots movements, subcultures, or individual designers with a distinct vision, challenging the conventions of mainstream fashion with innovative designs, alternative materials, and unique storytelling.

What sets underground brands apart is their dedication to staying true to their ethos and maintaining a sense of exclusivity. They often operate on a smaller scale, producing limited quantities of their products and fostering a strong connection with their audience through direct communication and community engagement. Underground brands thrive on word-of-mouth marketing, relying on loyal customers and niche communities to spread awareness and appreciation for their work.

While underground brands may not have the same level of visibility or financial resources as their mainstream counterparts, they offer consumers the opportunity to discover and support emerging talent, as well as to express their individuality through clothing that reflects their personal style and values. By championing creativity, diversity, and independent thinking, underground brands contribute to the rich tapestry of fashion and inspire new trends and movements within the industry.

Here are Essential Underground Streetwear Brands Worth Discovering

Delve into the dynamic world of underground streetwear with a curated selection of essential brands that defy convention and embrace individuality. From the gritty streets of urban metropolises to the digital realms of social media, these labels represent the cutting edge of contemporary fashion, blending edgy aesthetics with a rebellious spirit. Each brand on this list offers a unique perspective, pushing the boundaries of style and challenging mainstream norms. Whether you're a seasoned streetwear aficionado or a curious newcomer, embarking on this exploration promises to uncover hidden gems and inspire a fresh perspective on personal style.

1. Tripp NYC

Tripp NYC Website Homepage

Tripp NYC, once scorned for its suburban punk style, now experiences a remarkable resurgence within the realms of rap and streetwear. Famous for its iconic split-leg bondage pants, Tripp was a staple of Hot Topic in its early days and has since found favor with chart-topping artists like Lil Uzi. Despite the challenges, Tripp persists, captivating a new generation with its audacious colors, bold patterns, and extravagant accessories. Its enduring appeal underscores its ability to transcend trends and maintain relevance across generations. What's remarkable about Tripp's enduring popularity is its ability to adapt to changing tastes while staying true to its distinctive aesthetic. The brand's outlandish designs, once derided, are now celebrated for their fearless individuality and unapologetic flair. As a new cohort of tastemakers embraces Tripp's legendary style, it reaffirms the brand's status as a cultural icon in streetwear fashion. Tripp NYC continues to inspire and captivate, proving that true style knows no bounds and that the spirit of rebellion endures in every generation.

2. Warren Lotus

Warren Lotus Website Homepage

Warren Lotas, the enigmatic LA-based designer, crafts an aura of exclusivity around his elusive clothing releases. Often requiring a password for access, his high-priced items, like hoodies fetching over $1k, vanish from shelves almost instantly. This calculated scarcity acts as a deliberate marketing strategy, appealing to dedicated fans willing to hunt down each elusive piece. Lotas draws inspiration from a blend of street art, basketball fashion, and motorcycle culture, evident in his sketchy designs that often feature imagery from horror movies or gangster iconography. His approach to fashion not only fuels desire but also elevates his creations to coveted status, resonating with enthusiasts drawn to the allure of limited availability and rebellious design sensibilities.

3. Neighborhood

Neighborhood  Website Homepage

Neighborhood offers a curated blend of streetwear collaborations and original designs, boasting an intriguing aesthetic fusion of understated elegance and edgy illustrations, along with subtle nods to avant-garde influences. This Japanese brand embodies a delightfully deconstructionist design philosophy, far surpassing the overt trends of many US-based counterparts. While not budget-friendly, particularly considering conversion rates and shipping costs, investing in Neighborhood promises something truly distinctive. With its unique approach to fashion and emphasis on quality, Neighborhood stands as a worthwhile choice for those seeking pieces that transcend fleeting trends, offering enduring style and sophistication.

4. FTP

FTP Website Homepage

FuckThePopulation (FTP) has left an indelible mark on the SoundCloud rap era, synonymous with its enigmatic founder, "Zac." Worn by luminaries like Xxxtentacion and the $uicideBoys, FTP operates on a mysterious model, with drops occurring without warning. This unpredictability fuels a cult following, as enthusiasts scramble to secure their coveted pieces before they vanish within minutes.

FTP's clothing aims to provoke, earning ire even from law enforcement. The brand's scarcity model adds allure; each item becomes a rare find, enhancing its value and exclusivity. Despite the current unavailability on the site, dedicated fans scour platforms like Grailed, willing to pay a premium for FTP's iconic logo shirts. The allure of potential profit further amplifies the brand's mystique, as each purchase becomes an investment in both style and potential returns.

5. Awake NY

Awake NY Website Homepage

Founded by designer and former Supreme veteran Angelo Baque, Awake NY channels the vibrant essence of New York City with its logo-centric designs, reminiscent of its predecessor. Seamlessly blending classic and contemporary elements, the brand captures the cultural pulse and diversity of NYC. Awake NY's aesthetic embodies the city's dynamic spirit, offering a range of apparel that resonates with urban sensibilities while maintaining a timeless appeal. With a keen focus on celebrating the multifaceted facets of New York, Awake NY stands as a beacon of urban fashion, reflecting the energy and ethos of the metropolis in every stitch and silhouette.

6. JJJJound

JJJJound Website Homepage

Born as a design blog with a mission to explore the enduring elements of timeless design, JJJJound has evolved into one of Canada's premier brands. Renowned for its clean, sophisticated aesthetic, JJJJound offers a curated collection of timeless classics alongside sought-after collaborations with esteemed brands like New Balance and A.P.C. Embodying an ethos of simplicity and refinement, JJJJound's creations exude a sense of understated elegance that transcends fleeting trends. With a meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to quality craftsmanship, JJJJound has earned a reputation for delivering enduring pieces that resonate with discerning fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

7. Alltimers

Alltimers Website Homepage

Based in New York, Alltimers seamlessly blends skate culture with sheer enjoyment. Their range encompasses skateboard decks to hoodies, all adorned with playful, illustrative designs guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Alltimers infuses every piece with a sense of lightheartedness and whimsy, reflecting the joy and camaraderie inherent in skate culture. Each design captures the essence of fun, inviting wearers to embrace spontaneity and embrace their inner child. With a nod to the vibrant streets of New York City, Alltimers injects a dose of playfulness into the world of streetwear, creating apparel that not only looks good but also evokes a sense of happiness and nostalgia. Whether cruising the streets or hitting the skatepark, Alltimers brings a sense of joy to every moment, making them a beloved staple in the streetwear scene.

8. Kanghyuk

Kanghyuk Website Homepage

Established in 2017 by Kanghyuk Choi and Sanglak Shon, this emerging streetwear label has quickly garnered attention for its innovative approach. Drawing inspiration from industrial objects and unconventional motifs, the brand has attracted collaborations with industry giants like Reebok, as well as numerous other prominent retailers. With its unique aesthetic and commitment to pushing boundaries, this young brand continues to make waves in the fashion world, captivating audiences with its bold designs and distinctive vision.

9. Fried Rice

Fried Rice Website Homepage

Inspired by the creative minds of New York City, FRIED RICE embodies a refreshing ethos centered on fun and enjoyment, often overlooked in the fashion industry. Founded by Maya Wang, the brand prioritizes the joy of design and creation above all else. For Wang, a deep commitment to fun is non-negotiable; if it's not enjoyable, it's not worth pursuing. FRIED RICE celebrates the whimsical side of fashion, offering a cool and vibrant collection that reflects Wang's passion for fabrics and textiles. With a focus on infusing every piece with a sense of playfulness, FRIED RICE invites wearers to embrace the joy of self-expression and creativity through clothing.

10. Menace

Menace Website Homepage

Menace stands out as one of Los Angeles' hottest brands, making waves since its establishment in 2013. Founder Steven Mena's disregard for trends or industry norms ensures the brand remains ahead of competitors. With unconventional offerings like a bible safebox, Menace caters to those seeking unique and edgy accessories. Despite its underground roots, the brand has evolved from humble beginnings on Karmaloop to become a standout in the streetwear scene. In a recent collaboration with Absent, another rising brand, Menace showcased its versatility by offering audiences both an Absent logo ring and a Menace logo ring, a rarity in streetwear. Venturing into jewelry production demonstrates the brand's commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries within the industry. Menace continues to captivate audiences with its bold designs and fearless approach to fashion.

11. Alien Body

Alien Body Website Homepage

Alien Body emerges as a sartorial extension of electronic musician Pictureplane's cult sensation, blending aggressive punk influences with dark glamour in a line of streetwear. From the heart of Brooklyn, this eccentric brand marries post-nu-metal aesthetics with a hint of paranoia, creating a unique fusion of style and attitude. With its darkly glamorous imagery and edgy designs, Alien Body exudes a vibe that resonates with the gothic fringes of the musical spectrum, capturing the attention of SoundCloud rappers and fashion aficionados alike.

12. Brain Dead

Brain Dead Website Homepage

Brain Dead transcends the label of a conventional clothing brand, instead functioning as a global collective of artists and designers who happen to create garments. Rooted in streetwear culture, the brand draws inspiration from a myriad of sources including post-punk music, underground comics, and beyond. Its aesthetic is characterized by bold and disruptive artwork, prominently featured on staple streetwear items such as oversized tees, hoodies, and accessories. Emphasizing graphic-led designs, Brain Dead embraces a vibrant and eclectic style that resonates with the creative and unconventional. By seamlessly blending diverse influences and collaborating with artists worldwide, Brain Dead has established itself as a boundary-pushing force within the realm of streetwear, offering a platform for artistic expression and innovation.

13. Undercover

Undercover Website Homepage

In the late 2010s, the convergence of high fashion and streetwear became a prominent trend, often attributed to figures like Virgil Abloh and landmark collaborations like Supreme x Louis Vuitton. However, Japan's Undercover had been pioneering this fusion long before. Led by Jun Takahashi, the label seamlessly blends elements of streetwear with haute couture, maintaining a strong presence both on the streets and the runway.

Undercover's designs are characterized by bold graphics, often exploring subversive and thought-provoking themes. Notably, the brand has engaged in high-profile collaborations, including partnerships with Nike and Supreme. This unique positioning as a bridge between streetwear and high fashion has propelled Undercover to the forefront of the industry, earning it a reputation for innovation and boundary-pushing creativity.

14. Acronym

Acronym Website Homepage

Since its inception in 1994, Acronym has epitomized futuristic, moody technical apparel, consistently setting trends in the realm of 'techwear' fashion. Renowned for integrating performance materials and functional design into urban clothing, Acronym stands as a key player in this genre. The brand's founders also helm the design of Stone Island's Shadow Project line, infusing the Italian brand's sportswear pieces with their signature innovation and dystopian aesthetic. Acronym's offerings are characterized by expensive outerwear featuring numerous zips and pockets, alongside aggressively tapered legwear and an overall embrace of asymmetry. With a relentless focus on pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, Acronym continues to shape the landscape of contemporary menswear, delivering garments that are as functional as they are forward-thinking.

15. Story MFG

Story MFG Website Homepage

In the dynamic landscape of contemporary fashion, Story MFG emerges as a standout label, captivating audiences with its unique blend of artistry and sustainability. Established in London by a husband and wife duo, the brand prioritizes eco-consciousness through its utilization of environmentally-friendly materials and natural dyes. Drawing inspiration from hippie culture, psychedelia, and the wonders of nature, Story MFG's clothing exudes a whimsical charm. Tie-dye patterns, motifs of mushrooms and peace signs, and intricate embroidery adorn the brand's offerings, evoking a sense of bohemian nostalgia. Embracing an aesthetic of oversized, slouchy, and baggy fits, Story MFG channels a laid-back yet distinctive style that resonates with free spirits and nature enthusiasts alike. With a commitment to sustainability and a nod to counter cultural influences, Story MFG continues to carve its own path in the ever-evolving world of fashion.

In the realm of fashion, underground streetwear brands stand as bold embodiments of creativity, rebellion, and individuality. These labels, often born from subcultural movements or the vision of independent designers, defy the norms of mainstream fashion, offering a refreshing alternative to mass-produced trends. With their emphasis on authenticity, innovation, and community, underground streetwear brands transcend mere clothing; they become symbols of identity and expression.

What sets these brands apart is their ability to capture the spirit of the streets, channeling urban energy into garments that resonate with diverse audiences worldwide. From gritty graphic tees to avant-garde designs, each piece tells a story, reflecting the cultural influences and personal narratives of both the creators and wearers. In a world saturated with commercialism, underground streetwear offers a sanctuary for those seeking individuality and self-expression.

As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, the influence of underground streetwear brands remains palpable. They serve as incubators for emerging talent, catalysts for new trends, and beacons of authenticity in an industry often characterized by hype and excess. With their uncompromising commitment to creativity and community, underground streetwear brands remind us that true style knows no boundaries and that the streets will always be a source of inspiration.


What is underground streetwear?

Underground streetwear refers to a subversive and non-conformist approach to fashion, typically associated with independent and lesser-known brands that challenge mainstream norms. It embodies a fusion of urban aesthetics, countercultural influences, and DIY ethos, often drawing inspiration from street culture, music, art, and activism. Characterized by bold designs, unconventional materials, and a rejection of traditional fashion conventions, underground streetwear celebrates individuality, self-expression, and authenticity. It thrives on the streets and digital realms, fostering a sense of community among like-minded individuals who seek to carve out their own style identities outside of the mainstream fashion industry.

Which is the best streetwear brand?

Determining the "best" streetwear brand is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, some brands have gained widespread acclaim for their innovation, quality, and cultural impact. Supreme is often considered one of the top streetwear brands, known for its iconic logo, limited-edition releases, and collaborations with high-profile artists and designers. Other notable brands include Off-White, with its distinct industrial-inspired aesthetic and Virgil Abloh's visionary designs, and Palace Skateboards, celebrated for its irreverent graphics and British skate culture influences. Ultimately, the best streetwear brand is the one that resonates most with an individual's style and values.

Is Off-White a luxury brand?

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Yes, Off-White is widely considered a luxury brand. Founded by Virgil Abloh in 2012, Off-White has established itself as a high-end fashion label known for its avant-garde designs, premium materials, and elevated price points. The brand is renowned for its innovative approach to streetwear, often incorporating elements of luxury fashion with urban aesthetics. Off-White's popularity among celebrities, fashion influencers, and affluent consumers further solidifies its status as a luxury brand.

Why does Gen Z like streetwear?

Gen Z gravitates towards streetwear for several reasons. Firstly, streetwear embodies a sense of authenticity and individuality, allowing Gen Z to express their unique style and identity. In a culture that values self-expression and creativity, streetwear offers a canvas for personalization and experimentation. Additionally, streetwear's roots in urban culture and subcultural movements resonate with Gen Z's desire for authenticity and connection to their communities. The inclusivity of streetwear, which often transcends traditional fashion boundaries, aligns with Gen Z's values of diversity and inclusivity. Moreover, the influence of social media and celebrity endorsements has propelled streetwear into the mainstream, making it easily accessible and aspirational for Gen Z consumers. Overall, streetwear's blend of style, culture, and accessibility makes it a compelling choice for the Gen Z demographic.

Which is the best site for streetwear in India?

In India, online platforms like Myntra, Koovs, GoFynd and Ajio offer diverse selections of streetwear, catering to varying tastes and budgets. The Souled Store specializes in pop culture-inspired designs, while VegNonVeg caters to sneaker enthusiasts with a focus on footwear and apparel. These sites provide convenient access to a wide range of streetwear options, making it easier for Indian consumers to express their individual style and preferences.

Is streetwear a luxury?

Streetwear itself is not inherently luxury; rather, it spans a broad spectrum of styles and price points. While some streetwear brands may indeed fall under the luxury category due to their high-quality materials, innovative designs, and elevated price tags, many others are more accessible and affordable. Streetwear's roots lie in urban culture and subcultural movements, but its influence has expanded to encompass both high-end fashion houses and independent designers. Ultimately, whether streetwear is considered luxury depends on the specific brand, its positioning within the market, and the perceived value of its products.

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