90s fashion especially streetwear shaped the way the world would wear clothes forever and it became more socially acceptable for you to wear casual clothing on day-to-day outside the comfort of your home. People began swapping out their set uniforms for jeans, hoodies and baggy t-shirts.
Hip-Hop music helped push forward the streetwear brands in a big way and for that, I’ll be forever grateful for the freedom it gave me when wearing brands, I grew to love. It also inspired me so heavily to start my brand. Back then there was no social media and fashion fit everybody regardless of their shape or size. This is one of the reasons why I will always love the 90s. You were allowed to feel comfortable in your skin and as today is National Old Stuff Day, I decided to celebrate it by making a list of some of the brands I remember from back then. Please keep in mind that this list isn’t in a top 10 order, just the ones I remembered when creating this post.
Founded in 1969 by Don and Doris. The American brand had a plan was to make it easier for the consumer to own a pair of jeans that fit and also commit to doing more. Simple and reliable clothing for people of all ages is something they will always be remembered for and you could purchase your wardrobe in one place. 52 years later, GAP is still going strong with many department stores over the UK.
The letters GAP always remind me of quality warm clothing that made my winters a little easier. Plus, I’m proud to say that I still have a gift box I received on my first birthday from one of my aunts. The gift box contains a range of baby clothes including socks, babygrows and bibs all in striking colours and house in its original pull string bag.
Founded in 1973 by brother Patrick Patrick and Gérard Pariente. I couldn’t find out why the brand was started, but I managed to find out that the brand is now owned by a Chinese investment group led by fashion group La Chapelle who is China’s largest women’s clothing seller when it comes to the cheaper end of the market. They paid 52 million euros in 2007.
48 years later, the Naf Naf hopes to continue being a success in China with plans to open 500 stores across the region and 30 stores across Europe in the future.
I remember so clearly how their products would have bold colour ranges with huge, embroidered text across the front of their t-shirts and jumpers, plus on the back of the famous black bomber jackets. Wearing those items on the weekend to Saturday school and Ice-skating with the highlight to my weekends as I felt so stylish and up with the times.
Founded in 1978 by Marco Boglione. The Italian brand has the iconic logo of a man and woman sitting back-to-back and this automatically gave off the feeling that it’s an inclusive brand.
43 years on, the brand is still going strong with a partnership with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team dating back to 2018.
I remember having a few pairs of hand-me-downs tracksuits from an older cousin. Those tracksuits had the logo copied and running down the seams and tracksuit bottoms had poppers on the side by the ankles. I used to love that feature as it meant I could wear them with pretty much any footwear. The tracksuits were so light, the best for summer when it’s wasn’t warm enough for shorts, but warm enough to wear an outfit without the need for a jacket.
FUBU (For Us By Us)
Founded in 1992 by four friends. The American brand planned to raise awareness for the support of black-owned businesses. They’re known as one of the founding Godfathers who changed the way we view the streetwear industry and they managed to catch the attention of the world using bright colours plus a big logo printed on the front of their products.
29 years on, FUBU are still highly purchased across Asia.
When it comes to FUBU, I was lucky. My oldest cousin used to work for the company as a fashion designer at the peak of their success when she first left the UK and moved to New York. She left after a while with no bad blood, and she returned a few years ago as one of their senior designers. In the 90s I would receive many exclusive sample products for birthdays and Christmases, meaning a lot of the products I wore had never released in the UK, so I had one up on my friends.
FUBU will as remain one of my favourite brands of the 90s and without my cousin’s collection maybe I wouldn’t have loved them so much or caught on to their vibe until way after I did.
United Colours of Benetton
Founded in 1965 by the Benetton family (brothers and sisters). The Italian brand planned to create an iconic brand using bold colours and powerful marketing. They have struggled to hold onto their international status since the peak of their success in the 90s.
56 years on, they continue to compete with the top brands in the industry and hope to one day return to the world ranking list as one of the best global brands.
I remember hearing about the drama surrounding the brand after they released several campaigns throughout the late 80s and early 90s that shocked the world and had them in the news for the wrong reasons. People were complaining about the graphic images they used that shed light on real issues of the world that no one truly wanted to talk about.
I still have in my wardrobe a white t-shirt with a baby printed on the front which belonged to my brother in the late 90s. Being as small as I am, the t-shirt still fits me a little on the big side and is still very white.
Founded in 1998, by Sean “Diddy” Combs after becoming a home hold music producer within the Hip-Hop and RnB scene. Having a Diddy track meant as an artist you’ve made it. The American brand is heavily inspired by the lifestyle Diddy lived and found a way to bring menswear and streetwear together. 23 years on, Sean John has managed to continue trending with the help of its celebrity friends and new-age social media influencers.
I’ve never owned a Sean John product, but I remember visiting New York for the first time in 2004 and Diddy had a huge campaign going on with some of the largest posters hanging all over Times Square including images of himself wearing his brand and it inspired me so much as it was nice to see someone loving their products.
Founded in 1993 by Marc Ecko, the American urban fashion brand was originally called Echo. Mark began selling graffiti-style t-shirts in the mid-80s. The brand was associated with the skating and hip-hop culture that allowed it to break through with their famous Rhino logo within the golden of hip-hop.
In 2009, Ecko was one of the largest streetwear brands in the world and 27 years on, continues to sell products across the globe.
I used to have a red tracksuit with a huge white logo on the front. I remember it being so warm especially in Spring/Summer when the weather finally started to pick up some heat. I used to always wear it with my Ecko White T-Shirt with a big Red logo that was vinyl printed.
Founded in 1974 by Silvano Gerani and Giuliana Marchini. The Italian fashion brand is heavily influenced by the American Pop Art culture, they started as a knitwear specialist and later expanded into leatherwear and jeans.
With their celebrity influence throughout the 90s, they grew into a powerhouse that everyone wanted a part of.
As a luxury brand, I never owned any of their products. My mother wasn’t wasting her money on anything I couldn’t prove it worth, but I do remember how quickly their products became the hottest thing on the market after releasing their range of the big, printed cartoon characters including Mickey Mouse, Popeye and Charlie Brown.
The designs were bold and eye-catching and made loving cartoons even more fashionable.
Founded in 1985 by Thomas Hilfiger. The American fashion brand prides itself on its premium styling and quality. Creating a wide range of clothing from apparel to fashion accessories, there was something for everyone, no matter of your age.
36 years on, they are still a powerhouse not to be played with and always find a way to stay relevant in the ever-growing and changing fashion industry.
I remember Aaliyah always looking so cool from head to toe in her Tommy outfit and I wanted to be a part of it too. I asked my family in America to send me over the latest pieces and I also received a few t-shirts from my Granddad one Christmas. I wore those t-shirts was pride for as long as possible, especially matching them up with my favourite pair of jeans.
Founded in 1975 by Jeff Clyman. Their brand first started off creating superior-styled pilot jackets for the U.S. Air -force. They later received out to musicians, athletes and influencers. 46 years later on, the brand is now owned by Marc Ecko who’s the owner of Ecko Unltd.
After going on their official website to the research of the historic brand, I was greeted with one page that clearly states they’ll be making a comeback this summer and honestly, I’m here for it. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.
I remember having a blue and white Avirex that matched the blue and white Timberland boots my uncle got as a Christmas present. When the time came to wear the two together to complete my outfit for the day, I thought I was one. Nothing or no one could tell me any different.
I've completed my list and I’m sure I’ve missed a few brands that you would say are your favourites... So why not let me know by adding them in the comments.
All images taken from Google search.