Streetwear has been around for decades. Conceived from the laid-back and functional roots of Californian skate and surf culture in the late 1970’s, it has evolved in to a powerhouse in the fashion industry. Celebrity-endorsed and the epitome of urban trend, streetwear labels like Supreme, Stüssy, Anti Social Social Club, and Palace are thriving amidst a climate that demands their products.
Streetwear junkie’s hunger for these coveted brand names has resulted in an increasing sense of exclusivity. Prices on limited items have skyrocketed because people are willing to pay- all for the chance to rock the brands that establish the credibility of their carefully-selected ensemble.
Most major cities worldwide have taken to the streetwear trend. Even Canadian capitals such as Toronto and Vancouver has prominent streetwear communities, holding events to buy and sell rare pieces, and opening consignment shops and boutiques to better circulate the streetwear culture.
However, Ottawa is not one of these cities. Those involved in Ottawa’s industry are often found discussing how the city is strictly ‘political’ and any attempt at hammering through the thick concrete of skirt suits and briefcases would be hopeless.
The lack of an established streetwear network convinced a small but mighty group of young streetwear lovers to chip away at the Ottawa scene’s icy exterior.
For three weeks prior to the April 1-2nd event, the group invited members of the public to drop off their rarest and most valuable streetwear items.
After relentless promotion on social media outlets such as Instagram and Facebook, the day of the pop-up shop arrived. Oliveira says the turnout was overwhelming.
Maybe it's the allure of what one cannot have that makes exclusive streetwear so appealing. Or maybe it's the community atmosphere that arises when sneaker-heads and fad followers come together and talk shop. Whatever the reason, Oliveira and his team says they hope that the 'Unavailable' Pop-Up Consignment Shop will ignite a "streetwear revolution" in Canada's capital.