Ever been to a derelict power station on a hot and humid day to look at some sneakers? Yes, those sneakers that “cosmopolitan” Singapore youth dream about on a silver platter?
Neither have I.
Take my hand as I retell my meandering experience into a world of subcultures at Street Superior 2018. Despite the far-flung locale, I have to admit that the elaborate space-making lent itself well to a feeling almost akin to walking into the wrong classroom or jumping down into the rabbit hole.
Think grungy London back alleys and joggers in Nike windbreakers – you know you like that aesthetic. And the organisers of Street Superior knows it too. Gathered into the power station’s industrial wasteland, the blaring street subcultures aim for seduction in the neon-futuristic colours of electro-sex. As someone who, to date, thinks that Air Max gives you gas, the festival gave me an intriguing foray into a world I had never known.
But apart from superficial stereotypes, what does being a Hypebeast really entail, for one to be able to tie various subcultures together into a cohesive identity, and to make it your own? I sought the answer to these questions as I made my way around the festival held last week, observing and experiencing for myself, the hypebeasts in their natural habitats.
Although street culture has risen to be considered synonymous with youth culture worldwide, its popularity and mainstream acceptance in Singapore has only exploded in popularity in recent years. Perhaps one of the crucial reasons for that is the tropical heat that permeates the island – which is exactly what stands out to me as I stepped into the festival grounds. Despite the palpable heat, one could still observe a sizable number of streetwear fashionistas with inimitable styles, partaking in the festival’s delights. The desire to express yourself and to embody a certain aesthetic definitely won out in this case against practical considerations. Although it’s easy to poke fun at this, it’s much harder to consider if we would or even could commit to an aesthetic, to wear what we want to say about ourselves on our sleeves.
Trying to not look conspicuous with the casual attire I had on, I skulked around the various concept pop-ups and curated experiences, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. Choking with private collectors, sneaker resellers, Instagram-only small businesses, and streetwear brands, it was telling that any esoteric trendsetter could get their fix here at Street Superior 2018 easily. That’s if you have the cash to blow – an average festival item goes from a couple of hundreds to figures that will make you want to be Nick Young or Rachel Chu from Crazy Rich Asians. Obviously, purchases are not for the casual window-shoppers, but for the heartfelt authentic aficionados.
For those of us who are plebeians, however, the festival still extends an invitation to explore your more bourgeoise inclinations. Besides, there are also a ton of Instagram-worthy spots specially curated for the discerning millennial influencer-wannabe. From skating ramps to parkour artists, there’s plenty of photographic materials for you to prove you’re one of the cool kids.
The reimagining of Limited Edt as LE Convenience, a pop-up mama shop selling curated sneakers was the most creative concept that appealed to me. Some of the high-profile names present that you wouldn’t think of
As my hot and humid afternoon drew on into a somewhat cooler evening, I took my leave. The lack of material purchases aside, I went away with a little more insight into
For more information on Street Superior, check out their official website
Photos courtesy of Street Superior.