A break down and comparison of their new Winter collections.
In the skatewear scene, there are not many brands with as much heritage and history as these two. Carhartt’s workwear came to prevalence after its adoption by hip hop collectives like Run DMC, whilst Stüssy became a strong symbol of black empowerment in America in the 80s.
With worldwide success, and prolific domination in fashion, their latest collections will be intrinsic to maintaining their spot at the top, so we thought we would break them down and see which brand has prevailed as the winner this winter.
HOW HARD ARE THE GARMS?
Stüssy: Recently, every collection Stüssy release gets better and better. Long gone are the days when they would plaster their logo across the chest of a sweatshirt, or on the back of a hoodie; the Seattle grunge inspired knitted jumpers and authentic casual tracksuits open up new dimensions for the Californian brand. The illuminating colours and vibrant variations in fabrics work surprisingly well together, creating an authentic punk look. My favourite pieces include the blue and pink striped polo and brown denim suit, which is complemented by the contrasting seams and elaborate stitching.
Carhartt: Digging up pieces from their archives, and reworking them for the end of 2018, Carhartt WIP’s AW18 clothing is both vintage and timeless. Lookbooks for men and women have been released; the Michigan brand have long been advocates of unisex clothing and gender equality - making them arguably more universal than Stüssy. Their classic logo is in heavy rotation this season, with their ‘work in progress’ slogan fitting cosily onto statement sweaters. As expected, there is still a heavy emphasis on denim and parka jackets, making the clothing very practical for the winter months.
ARE THEY PRICEY?
Stüssy: Due to their recent rebranding, Stüssy’s clothing can often seem a little over priced. Justifying the purchase of a pair of trousers for over £120 can be difficult, especially when more sought after brands like Palace and Supreme charge around the same. However, what these labels lack is the promise of quality, which from my experiences Stüssy has never been a problem. Never the less, it is not a cheap brand and therefore slightly contradictory on its ethos and advocation of ‘everything underground’.
Carhartt: For the heavy duty materials that Carhartt use, the pricing is fairly feasible. This collection is no different and explains why the industrial denim is such a staple part of people’s wardrobes. It’s fascinating connection with manual labour means that it would be hypocritical for the label to overcharge. The founder of Carhartt WIP said ‘At a certain point I realised that the cutting-edge crowd was wearing brown canvas’, this awareness of people and working class society makes the brand one of true heritage and therefore cheaper than many streetwear brands out there.
HOW UNIQUE ARE THEY?
Stüssy: In their FW17 drop, Stüssy placed a heavy emphasis on coach jackets and beige colouring, which was a more obvious move for the winter season, but this year shows how willing they are to change the game. Their contrast ripstop tracksuit is an elegant ode to the britpop scene, but also maintains the functional skater aesthetic they are known for. The lime green colours and nylon materials amplify the variety they now bring to their collections, which other brands are failing to copy.
Carhartt: This is definitely the category where Carhartt falls off the pace. As amazing as their essential and classic pieces are, this collection doesn’t exemplify just how creative of a brand it can be. There are some intriguing lilac colours, and cosy camouflaged fleecing, but this doesn’t quite bring out the wow factor the label has in the past. The woman’s clothing is arguably more varsity inspired than usual; the yellow knitted jumper looks a lovely fit and maintains the classic workwear appeal. However, they certainly haven’t gone out of their comfort zone with this one.
STÜSSY OVERALL: 22
CARHARTT OVERALL: 21
Our scoring suggests that Stüssy have just edged Hamilton Carhartt’s brand this time around, although of course this is only one opinion and people with have their personal preferences. One thing is for sure though, you have to get buying some of these pieces; there is certainly no reason to be freezing your bollocks off this winter, so wrap up warm and look the part with these garms.