The Ten Most Famous Streetwear T-shirts of all Time
Culture influences style as much as the other way around. Particular moments in history hit the ground running and lead to designs that are worn for subsequent decades. Here we look at some of the most influential styles to have come about over the past few decades, instantly recognisable and provocative designs that are as loud as they are clever.
Parody and subversion are staples of good fashion, and all it took was for designers to take the ‘W’ of the Wilson brand to make an iconic shirt, worn famously on stage by Eminem, a renegade trendsetter for the ages.
Wu-Tang music and its accompanying philosophy is the stuff of legend, in hip hop and across urban culture. Printed onto tees at the peak of the group’s success, the logo is now an iconic design worn as much today as back then.
Obey – Andre The Giant
Famous wrestler and professional troll Andre The Giant’s face was associated more with this t-shirt than the man himself ever was. The ominous visage lends itself to graffiti and stickering all over the US leading to the design’s booming success and recognition.
‘Gun Show’ by Rogue Status
The climax of the rebel movement comes in a design by Los Angeles based Rogue Status, with their ever so popular ‘Gun Show’ t-shirt. The tee is coated in automatic weapons to imply your habitual threat to security. Enjoy.
‘Logo’ – Phat Farm
Russell Simmons Phat Farm label has only got bigger and better since moving up from its Soho roots. Now the brand has evolved into other iconic designs but the original standpoint of the design is the one that will live on.
‘Etch a Sketch’ – Huf
This design came about in the streetwear explosion, where hip hop culture had the bling on the shirts, and skaters had simplicity with designs like this one. ‘Etch a Sketch’ represents graphic design reaching an artistic height here that was starting to take hold across the fashion world.
‘Heart’ – Commes Des Garcons
Before commes des garcons took to the streets, these simplistic designs were the head turners that gave them ground in t-shirt design. The unique standpoint they take in streetwear now all started from original graphics like this.
‘Hanes Tagless’ – Supreme
The bold Supreme text stands undoubtedly stands out from the crowd, but its the understated laid-back look of the shirt that gives it wings. Less than a decade old, the design appears effortless but the craft behind the t-shirt is strongly admired.
‘Go Love Your Own City’ – Reason
At a glance it’s a cliché, but look closer and it’s a hilarious parody of the ‘I love New York’ motto that has gained so much popularity and subsequent disdain over the past decade. With this shirt, irony takes on irony to make for an iconic design.
‘Astronaut’ – Supreme
Another one on the minimalist side, ‘Astronaut’ takes a classic man on the moon image, reflects the supreme logo in his helmet and sticks him at the centrepiece of a white, washed out design that boldly states how understated it is.
Loud, outstanding and recognisable every time, these tees represent a time and place in society at every turn, whether that time be good or bad. Some of these designs are complex, thoughtful works of art, with twisting designs that never let up, others are understated, simple messages that convey uncomfortable truths. Whether minimalist or masterpieces, one thing you can be sure of is that these t-shirts won’t be forgotten any time soon.
In the spirit of iconic streetwear tees, Seventyseven offer a range of musically inspired graphic t-shirts, with original prints from some of the most unique designers in the UK. Check out the awesome collection of graphic tees at http://www.seventyseven.co.uk/collections/graphic-t-shirts