The term ‘urban fashion’ may be new but the idea isn’t. The massive boom in hip-hop clothing that can be seen on the streets in the UK and in Europe might also be a relatively recent phenomenon, but this is just the evolution of a tried and tested concept. Each generation finds its own fashion and its own style in streetwear- that is nothing new.
It’s a strange thought for the young people of today (and plenty of the older ones too) but the generations that have gone before us all rebelled away from the clothing worn by their parents. Wearing hip-hop clothing on the high street in 2011 is no more radical and dangerous than wearing a leather jacket in the 60s.
The greasers, hippies, and mods are now grown up. Some of them are grandparents and many have forgotten the outrage they provoked with their own urban fashion back in the day. What they wore was, for the time, just as new, just as different, and just as broadly disliked by the generation that went before them. Their parents probably felt that wearing such clothes probably meant choosing the wrong path in life, abandoning respectability, and getting involved in all kinds of unsavory things.
The parents of today sometimes fall into the same thought pattern when they see their kids dressing like rappers and b-boys. However, it really is no different. Most of the teenagers who subscribed to alternative subcultures and fashion trends in the 60s and 70s went on to lead lives that were perfectly normal and respectable, a kid who wears hip-hop jeans today is no less likely to succeed than the parent who had a mohawk and a ripped denim jacket in 1977. Hip-hop clothing isn’t a threat. It’s not a revolution, just an evolution.