Brand Feature: the Atlanta Streetwear Market
A Q&A with Chris Peeples about Atlanta culture, the enduring nature of streetwear, and building a clothing business during the pandemic.
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Customizing your fragrance
So I was recently put on by the good folks at Fulton & Roark (a grooming brand), and they sent me some products (face wash, beard oil, etc) to test out. Not gonna lie, I’ve been using them ever since.
Wanted to share their fragrance sample pack, where they mail you 8 different scents and you choose the one that works best.
Y’all should test out their sample pack. It costs $20, but comes with a $20 off coupon on the back of the card when you receive it, so it’s basically free.
Today we dive into the world of streetwear. Pumped for y’all to meet my friend, Chris Peeples. He’s a designer, visionary, angel investor, a believer in Atlanta, and founder of two streetwear brands, Full Clip Global and Atlanta Streetwear Market.
I’ve known Chris for almost two years, and one of the things I admire most about him is that he’s a builder. He’s laser-focused on his goals and forward-motion. Chris was kind enough to chop it up with me about life, business, and what he’s been up to in Atlanta.
Let’s dive in!
Let’s talk about the origins of ASWM. Where did the idea come from?
I’ve always struggled to find places where I could sell my brand (Full Clip) to other people. In a retail environment that is sometimes driven by politics, there aren’t always great physical options for upstart brands like mine to connect with others. So, I had this idea one day that it could be cool to run a retail pop-up for brands to set up shop and sell in a “market” style.
With the help of my friends, we pulled it off! The first one featured 12 local brands, and from there, we knew we had something. I wanted to give it a name that had a strong cultural appeal, and Atlanta made the most sense. Atlanta is the center of culture, from arts and entertainment to music, fashion, and entrepreneurship. So, in 2017, the Atlanta Streetwear Market was born.
ASWM feels like this melting pot of sub-cultures. Has it always been that way?
Back to my comment about ATL as a cultural hub, the streetwear market is a reflection of the city. ATL has always been a melting pot, and because everyone has a story here, we wanted to promote the city’s diversity with the market, which was easy to do since it already existed.
What was it like for you navigating the last year while running a business built on in-person gatherings?
Last year was tough, but it gave me and my team the time we needed to strengthen our foundation and go to market in 2021. Over the last year, we’ve gradually expanded and grateful to our community for supporting us.
Ultimately, the market is built on a strong community, where our pillars are unity, inclusion, and creativity. Anyone who joins the market—whether you’re a market-goer or a participant—understands those values, and ultimately this is what attracts people to our platform.
No one is bigger than the overall mission of the ecosystem. That’s what makes it special.
What are some of your favorite brands you've seen at the market?
There’s that Virgil Abloh quote: "streetwear is dead." Yet, the ASWM points to something very different about streetwear. Unpack what all that means for us…
First and most important, streetwear in its authentic state has never died.
Streetwear as a mainstream “cash cow” or a media darling has probably seen its flame fizzle. But, in my opinion, the fashion industry played their cards right and capitalized on commercializing the culture of streetwear. We've seen luxury fashion especially ride this trend. There's nothing wrong with that.
When Virgil said streetwear’s dead, maybe he was speaking about it from a trend perspective. But make no mistake, streetwear is alive and well. You just have to look at all the different subcultures and you’ll see it never died.
Where is streetwear headed?
Streetwear is constantly evolving. Old styles and influences are reappearing in the form of new brands and products.
You can’t reinvent the wheel, but you can always remold it. That’s what makes streetwear special. It’s synonymous with culture; it’s both by the people and for the people. Streetwear is about living by your own rules. The clothes reflect a person’s identity.
When I look at the next wave of streetwear creators and brands, I see a group that’s incredibly talented. They have a unique voice. We’ll see loads of innovation, all because people are finding their voice and amplifying it. Using your influence to tell the world what you’re about will change the status quo.
Here are some details about the ASWM.
If you’re in ATL, register for it here. Tell Chris I sent you!
Follow ASWM on Instagram for announcements and updates.