I want to create a streetwear brand for active people who either 1) can’t stand traditional activewear or 2) don’t want to wear athletic apparel before or after the actual physical activity.
In a way, I’m trying to create the opposite of athleisure.
I believe there is a niche market for a brand that would resonate with people who:
Surf/skateboard, but don’t want to look like your typical surfer/skater dude/chick. Practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or other martial arts,) but don’t want to look like the typical cauliflower-ear psycho. People who work out, but don’t want to look like they’ve just popped out of a Lululemon catalog (but could get away with wearing a pair of yoga pants, a graphic tee and a leather jacket out in the wild).
Products created under this brand would be:
- High quality, but not luxury
- Affordable, but not cheap
I named the brand Local Cult because taking part in any of these activities many times feels just like joining a real cult. If you look at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for example, you worship a grandmaster (some people bow to Hélio Gracie's photo in respect,) you attend classes regularly, all you can seem to talk about is BJJ and there’s even a recommended diet for practitioners (the “Gracie Diet”).
The same can be said if you surf; religiously going to the same spot, surfing with the same group of people for years, traveling to surf, attending competitions, following professional surfers like Gabriel Media and Kelly Slater and others and consuming surf-related media (e.g., magazines, videos, etc.)
If any of this resonates with you — congratulations! — you’re part of a local cult.
I personally like the idea of ‘80s brands like Stüssy and Vision Street Wear because they were able to successfully combine lifestyles like skateboarding and surfing with other — then — subcultures like rock, punk, hip-hop, but also elements of fashion, art, design and pop culture to create iconic streetwear.
I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the early '90s and these brands certainly have a nostalgic appeal to me, but I would avoid creating overly retro references, if possible.
Here are some of the brands I find interesting (reference purposes only)