The word urban is thrown about so casually nowadays that it is hard to determine what it actually means and whether it means the same thing in every context.
There has been much debate in the music industry about the word urban actually acting as a euphemism for music of black origin, however, the dictionary defines it as of or living in a city or town. So what does the word urban actually mean? And more importantly, what does it mean in the context of fashion?
For the purposes of the UK Urban Fashion Awards, the word urban has been taken to mean the culture that arises in cities and towns as a result of the fusion of different cultures, lifestyles, ideas and attitudes.
Urban Fashion is edgy and reflects lifestyle, attitudes and individuality. Unlike mainstream fashion, anything goes in the urban fashion world and designers are not pressured into conforming to trends. This scene is a law unto itself and trends change with the wind. Inspiration for urban lifestyle trends comes not from the media but from those trendsetters, those individuals within the scene that lead. Those that turn ideas into action. Those who refuse to follow conventions. These are the people that direct the urban scene.
Urban Fashion does not bow to the trends dictated by mainstream fashion. As its central themes are individuality, going against the grain and youth culture, it is an industry which is evolving very rapidly and whose path and trends are somewhat unpredictable. Influences are varied and numerous and include American, British, Asian, Caribbean and African culture, rock, pop, hip-hop, indie and dancehall music. The skateboard culture, youth culture and mainstream fashion also influence urban fashion. All these influences and many more have given rise to a rich fusion of colour, design, style and attitude, which has created the unique and distinctive UK Urban Fashion scene. This scene is also quite distinct from mainstream fashion because the designs are more practical and are, therefore, more likely to be worn on a day-to-day basis, which is to be expected in view of the fact that the word urban is often thought to be synonymous with what is happening on the streets.
In conclusion, urban fashion is real fashion, style that exudes individuality and attitude and is what the ordinary fashion savvy shoppers are wearing right now.
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