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HYFINated Conversations

CopyWrite Magazine Puts Milwaukee’s Black and Brown Streetwear Culture on Center Stage

todayApril 5, 2023 1

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The history of streetwear dates back to the late ‘70s and ‘80s when the industrial workforce created a more casual style of clothing that eventually became everyday lifestyle wear. This has now turned into a global trend where streetwear is displayed in all creative forms, including the music industry, runway fashion and collaborations between big brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

In Milwaukee, streetwear culture is a fusion of hip-hop, surf, skateboard, and punk subcultures.

It has created a unique blend of designers who are consistently building an identity through their work. Still, they face challenges within the industry. One of the main issues is the lack of representation and credit given to the originators of streetwear fashion, which has historically comes from Black and Brown cultures.

CopyWrite Magazine, a Milwaukee-based creative collaboration platform, has a mission to support urban culture and entrepreneurship through facilitating creative collaboration. Their event, “SS23”, on April 7, is the second iteration of their “Streetwear Street Smartz” fashion experience.

“SS23” will feature six local designers, including: “Marcellus Brand”, “Platinum Boy Gang Clothing”, “Views Clothing” and “The Set Apart Ones” (Yahad Kadash), who will collaborate to showcase streetwear at an elevated level. The event is choreographed, and designed to provide an experience for attendees that goes beyond a regular runway show.

Element and I interviewed CopyWrite’s Vato Vergara and Lexi Brunson, as well as designer Marcellus, about the city’s streetwear culture, fashion as a means of mental health and self-expression and the legacy of Virgil Abloh. They also reflect on how streetwear has evolved over time and the challenges of going commercial. 

CopyWrite Magazine’s SS23 Streetwear Showcase is Friday, April 7, from 5-9 p.m. at 6204 N. 35th Street. The event is hosted by Noni Juice & Pam, with music by Freakish Nerd. To learn more or to purchase tickets, click here.

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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