There is more to the youth than just being rebellious. In that same vein, there is more to “street culture” than flexing, turning up and twerking. Events such as STR.CRD are a testament to that. Taking place every November, the event offers young and trendy street culture connoisseurs the chance to link up with like-minded individuals from the rest of the world.
STR.CRD is an abbreviation of the words ‘street’ and ‘cred’, alluding to the idea of a level of respect one commands on the streets due to experience or knowledge of issues affecting those environments. This concept is taken a step further by the event, which has developed into a platform for commending respectable quality and craftsmanship displayed by brands intended for and appreciated by the streets.
This year’s scene featured a mixture of food, fashion and live music performances against the backdrop of Constitution Hill in Braamfontein. The niche street brands – which also had the opportunity to showcase some of their latest ranges – were the main focus of the festival.
The increased focus on brands formed the basis for the first day of this year’s festivities. Organisers of STR.CRD brought us a session called “New Creators Lab” which was basically a chance to hear about those coming up in the fashion game from the perspective of some people who identify with the streets as well as the rewards that come with the success.
Featured speakers and creatives included the likes of Edson Sebajo from a brand named Patta and Farida Sedoc representing a brand called Hosselaer from Amsterdam. They spoke about the relativity of global street culture as whole. “Back in the day we didn’t know no Fed Ex, so we relied on the subway and post office, moving boxes by the dozens. We were just a bunch of guys with a passion,” Edison said, talking about himself and his team mate Garcia Barbados.
Sergio Muster of Sneakerness from Switzerland, Anders Lindholm of AMATOR from Norway and Jeff Carvalho of Highsnobiety and Selectisim from New York completed the all-star line-up. They spoke about finding their niche in all the waves that come about with streetwear.
When asked what he thinks about STR.CRD, Muster said, “This wouldn’t work in Switzerland. Everything back home is too regulated and this would mean getting state permission and following a long line of procedures that might even lead to the event not getting hosted. The cool thing about it how we are able to connect across the globe.” Local creatives Russell (from Durban) and Lazi Mathebula of Greiispaces in joburg, were also in attendance. Lazi is the designer of the official STR.CRD logo so it was interesting to havehim present.
Fashion exhibitions were displayed in booths in an underground parking space. It featured major brands like DC, Reebok, Onitsuka Tiger, Butan and Vans alongside the young jocks like Kreative Beings, UNICORNZ , Retrofontein ,SMB and #BAPS.
“This is where we [directly] get to reach our niche clientele,” said Sizwe Zulu of Retrofontain. Each brand had a booth adjacent to the next. Because of the rain, performances were moved inside, and as illustrated in Mpho Lehlongwa’s event review, energetic performances by the likes of Aeon wolf, Gemmi, Mashayabuqa ka Mamba, as well as Choc aka Stilo Magolide of BOYZNBUCK$ provided the perfect music for the scene.
STR.CRD was originally scheduled to take place over three days but the bad weather literally rained on the whole parade and the outdoor activities had to be cancelled. This left a lot of people disappointed. STR.CRD is more of an exhibition that conveys street culture as a commodity worth investing in. Overall, it was an inspirational space, packed with the knowledge of the ins and outs of branding the streets from sources from all over the world.
That is what makes STR CRD more than just another party. It is more of a convention on how to source and cultivate street culture.