Complex Magazine and Bobby Hundreds compiled a list of The 50 Greatest Streetwear Brands of all time. Well, I am not the list and neither is any other Southern based brand. Nor do I expect to be.
But one thing is clear. Southern Streetwear has lot more to do on our part.
I started Grits not only because I was tired of being a graphics monkey but also because the southern culture is so under represented in this arena. After years of buying shoes and limited apparel from all corners of the planet. I grew little disgruntled over the fact that so many bought brands that didn't represent where they lived. Instead of a diet of based on Southern culture our consist of New York, LA and Japan.
So will it does hurt that not one Southern brand was listed but truthfully. Neither one of us are there yet.
But on the upside I believe that we hold the torch. Much like Southern Hip hop was in the 90's, southern streetwear created our own "Chitlin Circuit" and are playing by our own rules.
So when I read the article I was not surprised but neither should they when we are NOT welcoming them with open arms. Southern streetwear culture in general has always been undervalued by attention but has always been a profit center for our neighbors. My feeling is that we should support the community at large but more importantly support our own local and regional independent culture. And not be so quick to allow anyone to come and take advantage just because they are "popular."
Side note: It should also be noted that I’m not only just a fan of The Hundreds as a brand but a lot of others too. But when all is said and done my heart still lies with my Southern roots.
No Grits No Glory!!