Words: Alex Synamatix
Design: Chris Benfield
Just before the year was out, we asked you lot to sit down, rack your brains and vote on who you thought really smashed it in 2012 across a selection of topics. We’ve counted all the votes and here are the results of our first ever The Daily Street Awards.
Being our first venture into a reader voted annual awards, we had no idea what to expect in the results. Would they be logical? Would they reflect our personal opinions on the matter? Much to our delight, as we were sat scrupulously counting out the votes using a very old school tally system (we keep it OG), the results were a mixture of surprising and as predicted, but they were always fair.
With topics including best UK streetwear brand and best publication, the awards were pretty varied and the answers were equally as varied. Some topics were won with a landslide, others by just one vote, but we’re gonna keep those specifics out of the picture and let you guess which ones were which. We’ve included the runners up in each topic, quite a few of which are shared.
Congratulations to all of our winners and all of our runners up and thanks to everyone who took the time to have their voice heard. Enjoy the results …
UK Streetwear Brand: Palace
The Palace boys had a damn good year, and finding themselves sat at the top of the list for best UK streetwear brand only goes to show how rooted British streetwear is in skateboarding. There’s still a lot of grey area in between the two.
GRIND London find themselves in second place after a great year that saw the brand really establish themselves as a hotbed for unique shirting as well as other cut and sew. Working with creatives like Hollie Fernando helped really clarify and push the creative mindset behind this young brand.
TooMuch and INDCSN come in third, both very strong UK brands and some of the most established out there. TooMuch have been creeping in the shadows for years, not demanding too much attention, but doing things right always. INDCSN have quickly established themselves as a name we will see on the map of UK streetwear for a long time, regularly causing heated discussion with each drop.
Non-UK Streetwear Brand: Norse Projects
Norse Projects have managed to establish themselves as the modern kings of streetwear, rewriting the rule book and pulling endless influence from the land of menswear. Clean and effective, their design has touched hundreds of other brands and created a storm of rectangular tabs to surface at the bottom corner of garments. It’s no surprise that Norse found themselves at the top of the pile for best non-UK streetwear brand in 2012 after another great year.
Second place goes to Carhartt, who have quickly caught up on the heels of Norse Projects in the UK market with 2012 seeing the brand cement their position at the top of the game. Consistant quality, creativity and solid collaborative projects have kept Carhartt as fresh as ever.
HUF and Supreme both find themselves in third place and coincidentally both come from the skateboarding side of streetwear. It’s interesting to see HUF draw as much attention as Supreme, and just goes to show how much the brand have established themselves especially in 2012.
Skate Brand: Palace
The British skaters are a hard bunch to please, but if you do, you earn their undying respect in return. Palace are a brand who have done just that and it’s no surprise to see them take this one. With one of the freshest approaches to a skate brand, while also holding a classic appeal, Palace have breathed a breath of fresh air into the UK skate scene.
Supreme and Vans share the second spot; two OG’s in the skate world. It’s nice to see one of the old time classics like Vans repped in this list, especially alongside one of the more modernistic skate brands like Supreme.
New York’s 5boro sweep in to claim third place. It’s been a good year for these boys, with several great collaborations including Carhartt and Fifty Fifty as well as the launch of their ‘Join or Die’ video.
UK Menswear Brand: Barbour / Enclave
This was an interesting one, as we see one of the UK’s older, more established brands rubbing shoulders with a young upstart in first place. Barbour have undoubtedly been doing well in the last few years, breathing new life into the brand and in 2012 they starting playing with current trends to great success. Items like their waxed camo bucket hat spring to mind. Enclave on the other hand are a very young brand and have also had a groundbreaking year that saw them gain huge recognition, finishing the year finding themselves stocked in Paris’ Pigalle. Very promising stuff for this young brand.
Second place is a little crowded, with Albam, Fred Perry and YMC sharing the mantle. Three of the UK’s finest menswear brands here, recognised worldwide for what they do. Interestingly, the three brands share a lot of common ground in their visual identities, however they are each very easy to tell apart.
Two of London’s finest find themselves sharing third place; Oliver Spencer and Percival. These two were always going to find themselves in this list, but we did expect to see them higher – it was a crowded fight for high ranking places though.
The lookbook, an ever appreciated form of expression from brands, stores and publications alike. It can cause a roar of applause as much as a lookbook can be the cause of an angry digital mob. Carhartt take the top spot, mainly for their Heritage line’s beautifully shot and styled outdoor lookbook shot by Nicola Walbeck, proving there is still room in the outdoor, woodland lookbook if done correctly.
The Buttery Store find themselves in second place, which comes as no surprise after they ended the year with an incredible lookbook shot by Andrew Whitton. They went epic and achieved greatness.
Third place goes to Goodhood, who we hold very highly in this area, not necessarily for being as adventurous physically as the other winners, but by adventuring creatively. Goodhood take the simplistic and make it look effortless, the envy of many brands. Their signature humour is infused in every creative project and always appreciated.
Sneaker Brand: Nike
This one was a no brainer. Sorry everyone else, but there was no way Nike weren’t taking this one. And what a year Nike had, with the release of numerous Lunar beauties, a wealth of classic re-issues and the creation of FlyKnit. It was a bright year for Nike.
With Nike dominating the top spot, the real interest comes in who won the rest. Second place was taken, rightfully, by New Balance, who have had an amazing year. The heritage New Balance runners have found themselves at the core of a trend and the brand have capitalised well without putting off their original fanbase. Let’s hope it lasts.
Third place gets split between Asics, Nike SB and Vans. Again we find skate brand ranking on the lists, and again we see a Nike name. It’s nice to see Vans getting some appreciation after a year that saw some great collaborative projects such as Barbour, Metallica and Diemme, not to forget their brave move into technical fabrics with the LXVI project. Asics, the kings of the sneaker collaboration, find themselves comfortably positioned also. The funny thing if that they most probably earned this postion almost completely thanks to the Gel Lyte III. Let’s not forget the Gel Saga II and other iconic runners that this great brand also showcased in 2012.
Sneaker Release: Nike FlyKnit Racer
Love them or hate them (and you should love them), the Nike FlyKnit Racer was most definitely THE sneaker release of 2012, even managing to overshadow the hype of the second Yeezy. The excitement around this new technology was aided massively by the hype of the Olympics as well as the controversial Battle of the Knitted Shoes between Nike and Adidas. This shoe is a masterpiece and the campaign that surrounded it was a joy to watch unfold. A well deserved first place.
Second place sees another two Nike releases; the Air Yeezy II and the Lunar Force 1. The Yeezy was always going to find it’s way onto this sort of list, considering the amount of energy that it manages to churn up pre-release and post-release, but it was interesting to see the Lunar Force 1 appear beside it. A relatively calm shoe in comparison.
Third place sees the Carhartt x Vans Old Skool get the recognition it deserves; a great project that birthed some incredibly well executed footwear. The Jordan IV BRED sees a mention here as well, making it 4/5 for Nike in this category. Quite impressive!
Collaboration: Umbro x Palace / A.P.C. x Carhartt
When Umbro announced their collaboration with Palace, the internet caught alight with buzz. Not only was it a partnership no one saw coming, but the product was equally as shocking – the re-issue of a classic England shirt. It was a typically bold move from Palace and it paid off. In the other corner, we find a much more calm and subdued due in the form of A.P.C. and Carhartt. This partnership has spawned some beautifully minimal collections and the two seasons in 2012 saw the duo really connect on a superb level.
Second place goes to one of the kings of collaborators; Supreme. Suprisingly, it’s their Champion collaboration that has landed in this position. Not the most adventurous collaboration from this camp, it touched a chord with a lot of streetwear heads who were happy to see Champion being splashed about again.
Supreme also took third place with their super hype collaboration with COMME. This collection has managed to stamp itself on streetwear culture and will undoubtedly go down as a classic with it’s easily recognisable giant polkadots, COMME shirting and reversed Supreme box logos.
Streetwear Store: Urban Industry
This was always going to be an interesting one. Who would be crowned the king of streetwear stores for the year? Urban Industry settled into their thrown in the top spot. With a vast range and great service, it’s no surprise. These guys are tireless when it comes to promoting what they do and helping to support the younger UK brands.
Second place goes to a cult streetwear store; The Hideout. Always finding itself having all sorts of moaning fingers pointed at it, be it for it’s staff or selection, this is still a very valid second place win. The Hideout continue to push streetwear culture forward in London and the UK.
Birmingham residents The Candy Store find themselves earning third place and earning it well. It’s been a big year for these guys, taking a huge leap and opening a new physical store in the heart of London’s Soho. They didn’t cut corners either. It’s nice to see their efforts rewarded here.
Menswear Store: Goodhood
Here we see East London’s Goodhood step up to take first place for best Menswear store, which is interesting as they cater more for the streetwear influenced menswear than the more traditional menswear stores out there. Goodhood is one of London’s finest establishments and one of the UK mens fashion scenes more influential stores, so it’s great to see it get this recognition.
Newcastle’s End Clothing take second place, and a well deserved one at that. These guys are a great case study for how to expand without alienating your old customer base. Their online presence is up there with the very best and their editorial and presentation is super clean.
The Buttery Store step in for third place, and considering they only launched back in August 2011, they’re having a damn good amount of attention in this awards. And deservedly so. These guys have put in the effort and it’s definitely paying off.
Sneaker Store: Footpatrol
London’s OG sneaker store Footpatrol take top spot here. Having been at the forefront of the sneaker scene in London back in the day, and reopening it’s sadly closed doors back in 2010, Footpatrol have managed to regain and excede the reputation they originally held so dear. A worthy win.
Interestingly, and very honestly, size? come in second place. Now, size? is one of those stores where every sneaker head shops, but still feel the need to bash because it’s not an independent. Whatever you think of it, size? has brought the goods this year and has been responsible for re-issuing some great sneakers.
Newcastle’s Soleheaven take third place. With their tireless approach to crisp photography and creative marketing, it’s no surprise to see them enter this list. Their three way collaboration with King Apparel and Asics will have gone a long way to earning them this spot. These guys have worked hard in 2012 and deserve this mention.
In 2012 we really got back into printed media, even bringing traditional printed publication pieces of editorial to The Daily Street in the form of our Editor’s Letter. Hypebeast’s printed publication has been going from strength to strength since it’s recent launch and 2012 see the magazine affirm itself as one of the top fashion magazines. It’s here to stay. Inventory on the other hand is a fashion magazine staple, continuing to do things right and in their own clean way.
Britain’s street art specialists VeryNearlyAlmost win second place, and a well deserved one. These guys continue to push the street art scene here in the UK and do it superbly well.
Third place is a busy one, with stylish BMX newcomer Albion, must-have paper accessory Monocle, OG sneaker bible SneakerFreaker, Bristol’s new favourite bass music magazine TRAP and London’s ever-controversial Vice Magazine all sharing the limelight.
TDS Mixtape: 028: South London Ordnance
Last award goes to our hugely talented guest mixtape curators. We’re very proud of our mixtape series and continue to push great music and great artists though them. 2012 was a great year, seeing the likes of Two Inch Punch, Irrelevant and Ifan Dafydd all get on board. The winner however, is South London Ordnance and considering the amount of well deserved hype this guy is currently conjuring up like Merlin, it’s no surprise.
Second place goes to Manchester’s Beneath, a man responsible for cross-pollinating Dubstep and UK Funky to breath fresh air into the genres. His mix is one of our favourites, so it’s nice to see it on this list.
Third place goes to our first ever (and currently only) female DJ in the ranks, but that’s not important, what’s important is the skilful selection and mixing ability behind this mixtape. Moxie has had a great year and it’s set here up for a very promising career as we look forward.
Thanks again to everyone who voted and congratulations to all who got a mention, especially our winners. Let’s see how 2013 unfolds.