Teenagers expressing themselves through fashion

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By Luis De La Torre

Noah Bentley is passionate about making music and skateboarding is a fun pastime for him. He derives inspiration for the way he dresses from these creative aspects of his life. He is wearing a Krpt Co. shirt, a pair of athletic ASICS pants, and faux snakeskin striped old school Vans. It builds a clean color blocked outfit and he adds a flannel to top it off.

More than ever, teenagers are active consumers as they tend to take in a lot of media which makes them more aware of different and new clothing styles out there. To replicate these looks, teenagers flock to the Internet and quick trips to the thrift store for affordable finds.

As trends come and go, teenagers search for clothing that will best suit their creative preferences. Recently, there has been a shift for teenagers as they diverge from big retailers and look for more fashionable clothing from thrift stores.

Teens feel driven away from large retailers because they are failing at trying to copy  high-end fashionable clothing because they are not putting in as much effort and are using cheap materials.

“They’re all a year or three behind whatever small retailers or independent sellers are doing,” according to Vice Magazine’s Hannah Ewens.

Teenagers are looking for brands that are new and have something they have never seen before. For this reason, streetwear brands like Supreme, Fear of God, and OFF-WHITE have gained much recognition in the past few years with their avant garde aesthetic and sleek designs.

“Oftentimes art is about taking risks, and I think fashion does that in a way that people recognize,” senior Olinka Castillo said.

While many teens seek cool finds from the thrift stores, there are others who look toward high-end brands such as Gucci, COMME des Garcons, and Yves Saint Laurent for new clothing drops. These teens are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for the newest fashions.

Recently, there have been collaborations between high end fashion and streetwear brands, such as the alliance between Supreme and Louis Vuitton last year.

There are some issues with this, because at times teenagers follow trends so strongly that they focus less on the true fashion of the outfit. There is an influx of teenagers going out of their way to get new clothing items based on popularity and hearsay of others rather than based on their personal tastes. This may cause them to seek out the brands that will give them the most recognition despite the expensive cost.

“The biggest thing setting fashion trends right now is bandwagoning, anything limited with a brand name on it,” senior Brandon Kwon said.

Individuality is important when it comes to what a person wears. As the old saying goes: “It’s the person who makes the outfit, not the outfit that makes the person.” People can share what their interests are whether it be sports, culture, or music by purchasing and supporting retailers that provide something that best suits their styles.

In this new generation, we have a great deal of freedom and creativity to do what is right for us and show what makes us all unique visualists. By wearing something that is specific to your mindset, you can let others know the type of  person you are and what you are trying to accomplish.

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