In streetwear culture, competition is stiff and companies who are smart enough to brand themselves compete for the greatest impact and exposure, while informing the public of their brands viewpoint. Brands spend a great deal of time and energy conceptualizing, planning, and executing their storyboards. Often, this is done with little financial backing.
Most lookbooks are handled through favors and admirable gestures. Basically, brands that are respected get the perks. We at Lemar & Dauley show respect back with a Top 10 list of Streewear Lookbooks of 2007 that were able to best capture quality photography, impact, as well as progress their brands integrity through visual content and scored music.
10. Acapulco Gold
This lookbook was actually a photoshoot for the NY Times Fall 07 fashion shoot, but later used as a resource to examine the brand and its impact. The crossover into high-end magazines as well as the exposure to the upper class demographic was a benchmark for the brand, streetwear, and skate. Surely not the first time, but this shoot shot by Ari Marcopoulos executes the vision well with out compromising either parties perspective.
Mishka expands on its brand image with a minimal, yet progressive lookbook which deviates from the brands prior campaigns of punk and light horror for a shoot which better highlights their extensive collection. This shoot also captures an element much needed, but often overlooked by the male dominated market. That’s right! Girls. Mishka incorporated a few, and much to our surprise, they utilized lots of bare legs. Give the people what they want!
Many brands have good collections, decent websites and brand direction, but few can combine all these elements and create a brand story. Undr-Crwn, known for their basketball aesthetic has continued to draw from nostalgia and music and expanded on this premise with a lookbook that brings five infamous DJ’s together in a celebratory moment. Thus, capturing both a URB magazine meets SLAM magazine hybrid.
07. Married to the Mob
M.O.B captures yet another well shot lookbook this summer â€˜07 when it released its bikini set. The brand continues to use a vogue-like setting with color desaturation and pro model aesthetics. Playing off the M.O.B attitude, the brand unveils its femininity without vulgarity, while capturing the tomboy growing into her own place. Boys need be careful.
06. Mighty Healthy
How the mighty have fallen. MH slays the competition with this lookbook that truly represents a 90’s era NYC. The campaign is saturated with dark hues, grim lighting and faces that represent the everyday male. Nothing artificial or generic is depicted. The shoot seemed built for an era when NY mc’s ruled. The shoot leaves you expecting Mobb Deep, DMX or the LOX to pop up in any frame at any moment.
05. Peg Leg
The Peg Leggers deliver an awesome lookbook, which plays on their contemporary art aesthetic, while introducing themselves to the underground masses. The all black backdrop enhances the primary focus, which is color. The shoot also focuses on a seemly strong bond the friends have. Continued focus on rich color and visual arts will place the brand as the Rembrandt of the downtown set.
The Japanese label is a relatively unknown in the American streetwear scene, but it draws many inspirations from the states and this lookbook is no different. The campaign uses non-Asian models, clean backdrops and strong retouching and color adjustments. It’s like a Japanese Gap ad.
03. Lemar & Dauley
The L&D Boys come through in their third lookbook , shot by Jared Ryder. Attention on colored gels, saturated color, strengthens the brands OG status as the Run-DMC of streetwear. With a campaign that continues to merge the underground with the mainstream, L&D call on the sexy female celebrity factor with pop duo Nina Sky, Fools Gold’s Kid CUDI and DJ Aaron Lacrate. Stark lighting and ethnic diversity reflect the melting pot that is NYC and the culture as a whole.
02. 10 Deep
10 Deep deliver with one of the most conceptual lookbooks this year. The brands Holiday 07 campaign focuses on the manipulation of the media and its influence on public opinion. The campaign is greatly lit, and casted with characters more than models. 10 Deep places strong emphasis on artistic and cerebral though, while incorporating entertaining aspects with props and musical contemporaries.
At #1 on our list is the Japanese label Phenomenon. Phenomenon expands on their lux/modern art aesthetic with a campaign thas looks like it was shot for Vogue or Surface Magazine. Completely abstract, modern, sexy and subversive to a culture whose primary focus is gangsta imagery, and posing. No attention to detail is missed as the set design is also a minimalistic interior designed condo and abstract environments and situations which parallel the brands garment design and construction.
Boasting throwback designs, loud graphics, and a great sense of color, Lemar & Dauley are one of the top streetwear brands in NYC at the moment.
See our interview with L&D here.