The sneaker has become the new it-bag, and young tastemakers are now more likely to drop two weeks’ rent on Yeezys with bubble waffle cone soles than a Fendi pouch or a Comme des Garçons wallet. As battle lines between streetwear and high fashion become increasingly blurred, the designers behind trending looks are coming from non-traditional places, and Kanye West is the connective tissue between a select group of young innovators who are disrupting traditional notions of how we define luxury.
Off-White has evolved into an unmissable Paris Fashion Week fixture, while other young guns like Salehe Bembury and Heron Preston are being tapped to work with brands like Nike and Versace. Meanwhile, Matthew M Williams and Jerry Lorenzo, both also former West collaborators, have brought an easygoing slouchiness to the runways. Here, we highlight five key names that are defining modern streetwear, mapping out the intricate webs that link them—as well as the the superstar collaborations that jump-started their rise.