London is fashion identity was long defined by upmarket heritage brands like Burberry and Alexander McQueen. They embodied a posh, polished sensibility for which British style has always been revered.
But the last decade saw homegrown streetwear disruptors like Trapstar rewrite those rules. They fused American-inspired urban fashion with London’s vibrant music scene and diverse youth influences. Their jackets in particular shaped contemporary casualwear far beyond Britain, pioneering global menswear trends.
Trapstar’s Origins – Blending US Streetwear With UK Flair
Founded in 2012 by Mikey Asante and Dre Udezue, Trapstar started by importing trendy American streetwear brands to the UK.
“We’d bring it in then add our own British twists that local lads here would rate and actually wear day-to-day, not just to flex at hypebeasts” – Mikey Asante
They quickly saw demand for a distinctly homegrown take on urban gear. So Trapstar began releasing their own tracksuits and bomber jackets, fusing stateside streetstyle with London swag.
British Fabrics and Construction
Trapstar jackets paid homage to Britain’s esteemed heritage of textiles and garment quality by utilizing coveted local fabrics.
Lonsdale Satin: Originally used for boxing robes and exclusive eveningwear, Trapstar popularized this lustrous, durable satin decorated with subtle baroque motifs in both ready-to-wear tracksuits and custom co-labs.
Trapstar’s signature piece – the oversized bomber – was cut extremely roomy by American streetwear standards. But they tailor-tweaked key details for refinement:
- Dropped shoulders eased movement without looking sloppy
- Extended sleeve lengths hit perfectly whether arms raised or down
This novel fusion of casual sportswear with formalwear shapes suited British frames and fashion tastes perfectly.
Spearheading the Casual Tailored Jacket Craze
By shooting oversized, long bombers with lean joggers, Trapstar trailblazed the casually tailored jacket as a mainstream phenomenon. They made athletic outerwear just as fitting for a night out as for an evening in.
As acts like Stormzy, Skepta, and A$AP Rocky sported Trapstar fits both on and off stage, the clobber organically amassed huge hype. Soon this previously niche London label was setting trends across Europe.
Partnerships With UK Rappers Drove Recognition
Trapstar strategically partnered with local rap heroes early on, seeding jackets to pioneers Skepta, JME, and Wiley who all name-checked the brand in songs.
As UK rap went global, these co-signs amplified Trapstar’s reach tremendously. Stateside stars like A$AP Rocky tapped Trapstar for collaborations, drawn by their authentic connections to London’s music scene.
When drill music exploded, Trapstar cannily aligned with emerging talents like Central Cee well before they peaked. Their 2021 collection was fronted by Cee in the defining campaign visuals.
Typical Trapstar Jacket Style Codes
Certain distinctive stylistic codes endure across Trapstar’s seasonal collections:
Rich textural mixes offer both comfort and versatility:
- Satin – Lightweight lustrous sheen, often adorned in classic baroque trapstar symbols
- Nylon – Practical weather-resistance
- Wool – Plush and cozy melton or tailored herringbone overcoats
Dimensions accentuate oversized, wrapper-like fits:
- Oversized – Excess fabric enveloping the frame
- Longline – Extended shirt tails and jacket arms
- Prints – Vivid all-over graphics and photo collage prints reinforcing underground edge
- Logos – Prominent letter insignia and slogan motifs stamped authoritatively
Ultra-luxury price points easily over $1000 position Trapstar jackets as grails cementing their exclusivity
This tactical combination of fine British fabrics and tailoring fused with boundary-pushing urban attitude explains Trapstar’s influential reign.
Why The Style Resonated in London
Several native social elements primed London’s style-conscious tastemakers to champion Trapstar:
Trapstar’s local origins andreferences – from shooting lookbooks in estates to casting roadmen models – resonated strongly versus foreign counterparts.
Showcasing London Globally
As UK rap acts conquered charts internationally draped in Trapstar, their patriotic co-signs broadcast the label to new masses.
Contrast to Other Streetwear Brands
While Japanese labels like A Bathing Ape adopted occasional British codes, Trapstar thoroughly embedded hometown touches at their core.
Cultivated Rarity Allure
Trapstar strategically maintained scarce supply and distribution staying niche versus mass-market sportswear giants.
This authentic celebration of London’s grit alongside next-level fabrics created an alluring formula no stateside streetwear label could replicate.
Broader Influence on Contemporary Men’s Fashion
Numerous recent shifts in menswear trace directly back to styles first popularized by Trapstar:
Normalizing Casual Luxury
Trapstar set the template for premium fabrics and construction techniques applied to casual staples versus formalwear, now seen everywhere from runway shows to mass retailers.
Inspiring Heritage Fashion Houses
Even old-world luxury juggernauts like Burberry now offer oversized trench coats and deconstructed suits, chasing the casual tailored aesthetic Trapstar codified.
Rising Global Recognition
Far beyond just British youth, Trapstar’s aesthetic impact has penetrated streetstyle meccas like Harlem, Seoul and Tokyo from major co-signs.
Emerging UK designers who came up under Trapstar like Nicholas Daley have launched successful high-fashion brands riffing on blurring British tailoring with multicultural influences.
Today’s menswear landscape now skews far more casual and comfort-focused. In many ways, we have risk-taking London pioneers like Trapstar who blazed that trail to thank.
The Uniquely British Jacket Cuts That Changed Streetwear
At surface level, overpiece tracksuits and plus-sized bombers seem simple. But through expert pattern cutting and fabric directional, Trapstar imbued signature jackets with distinctive British heritage appeal that simultaneously stretched global streetwear codes for an utterly novel look.
They focused on accentuating dimensions in the shoulder drop, back pleats, and sleeve circumference that flatter UK frames versus typical American cuts. Then they leaned into motifs like regimental collegiate cresting that signaled British tradition through irreverent executions.
This deft fusion of formalwear shapes with colloquial casual sensibilities created an intriguing push-and-pull tension that came to dominate menswear’s mood for years after.
In the process, they developed an iconic jacket recipe across slim-fit bombers, varsity jackets, overshirts and quilted overcoats that successfully traveled from London council flats to Tokyo city streets by staying unapologetically rooted in hometown references.
At its best, British fashion has always married sartorial artisanship with rebellious flair. For far too long though, these expressions were siloed between Savile Row tailoring and punk counterculture warring poles apart.
Trapstar’s cultural significance lies in organically bridging that divide. They demonstrated how high couture fabrications could be fused with raw, youthful energy inspired by UK hip hop and council.