Streetwear trends are culturally nuanced, specific to each nation’s Gen Z tribes. China is no exception.
As Terry Zhu, co-founder of Doe Shanghai, told Jing Daily last year, the focal point of Chinese streetwear, trends within this fashion domain exhibit pronounced variations from one city to another.
"We have quite a different culture and background. Right now, streetwear is a big conversation as we have so many different levels of consumers,” he said.
Here, we breakdown some of the most prevalent streetwear trends that China is taking into 2024.
Coined by the Nymphette podcast and publicly celebrated by American music artist Doja Cat in conversation with Ice Spice, “blokette core” is a trend that merges hyper-femininity with brazen British lad culture. It is a combination of “coquette” and “blokecore.” Think soccer tees and pretty silk bows, track tops and frilly skirts, and baggy jeans teamed with corset tops.
Even though the hashtag #Blokette has just 41,600 views on Gen Z-dominated Xiaohongshu, the platform is brimming with a ballooning number of explanations of, and styling inspirations for the trend. This is one to watch.
Even though it was recently reported that Chinese sports brands Anta, Li-Ning, and Xtep all saw growth dip in 2023, the rate at which domestic streetwear brands are launching collections and collaborations shows they are boldly optimistic about the market.
From Adidas Originals recently collaborating with Hamcus for a second time, to Ugg's November 2023 three-way project with local labels Staffonly, Attempt, and Randomevent, Western brands are showing confidence in China’s homegrown favorites.
On Xiaohongshu, for example, #Hamcus has 6.9 million views, #Randomevent has 4.3 million, and #Staffonly has 3.7 million. Melting Sadness attended world-leading streetwear convention ComplexCon last year for the first time. Chinese streetwear brands will likely continue to shine this year.
The preppy all-American “Ivy League” trend that swept through menswear last year is still going strong. Labeled as a “Westernized fit,” or “Americanized” aesthetic, this look features baseball caps, immaculate slacks, and boat shoes, and seems like it’s been plucked straight out of a high school movie.
Popular in the mainland, the hashtag #ivystyle, under which classy menswear looks are posted in their droves, has generated 11.8 million views and counting on Xiaohongshu.
Last, but far from least, is 2023’s chart-topping trend: “clean fit.”
With the hashtag #cleanfitjiandanchumen (#cleanfit简单出门) at 1.26 billion reads on Xiaohongshu, the trend shows no signs of slowing this year.
Simplicity is at the core, with anti-logo, immaculate aesthetics overriding the “gorpcore” trend that has steered the streetwear market for the past few years. Otherwise known as “quiet luxury,” it’s a movement that brands need to have on their radar for 2024.