Subculture & Style Tribes

21st Century Design, Fashion, Photography, Textiles

On Thursday afternoon, I had a workshop for my 21st Century Design module that was based on subculture. Subculture is a distinct social group within a wider social culture that has a distinct behaviour etc. For example, a group of “punk rockers” within a larger social culture. There is a few things that make these groups stand out with the wider social culture and they are:

  • Identity 
  • Aesthetics – distinctive style, for example, with the “punk rockers” it could be leather, spikes on clothing/accessories/band t-shirts etc.
  • Commitment – committed to a thing that happens in everyday life.
  • Distinctiveness – members that not only have similar styles but similar tastes, ideas, values and beliefs (a truly committed group!)

I also learned about Style Tribes! Style tribes are people who are grouped together based on their style. You may be wondering what these Style Tribes could be? well…here is a selection of different style tribes!:

  • New Romantics
  • Steam punk
  • Death rocker
  • Cyber Goth
  • Lolita
  • Emo
  • Punks
  • Pin Ups
  • Primitive

and many many more! it’s really based on the styles of groups of people so there could be hundreds of different styles out there! Here is a few photographs of a few of the Style tribes from the above list! :

New Romantic

Pin Ups



So that was a few examples of some of my above mentioned style tribes.

So the task for this workshop was to creat our own or dream style tribe for our particular product. As I am a Textile Design student, I have a few possibilities for a product as I could design for fashion, interior etc. From thinking in a more fashion based perspective, I started to think about a possible style tribe that I could imagine my own product being sold to. I thought about different things when scanned some current magazines and decided that I would like to create a much more casual but edgy collection so I think my target audience would be late teens – to early 20s. This is a very rough draft from the workshop!

When I was looking through some magazines, I was looking for something casual but edgy! I then started to think about the “surfer look”. Well, the reason for this, I watch a very well-known TV show called’s awesome! but there is a character called Ivy and she is what you call a surfer girl. From watching this show, I found that I really liked her style because it was so laid back, casual “thrown on” look. Also, she styled it up with different accessories as well so I think that my dream style tribe would be the “surfer girl”!



That’s just some examples from the “Ivy” character in 90210! I think that this actress has great style both on the show and off and I find her style really cool and interesting! definitely a style that I could see myself wearing. I think I do wear some of this style…I think. I’m very much a fan of denim shorts and have a fair few!…some in some different colours aswell!. I think the that this look also has a sort of indie/slight light punk style to it and I think that could be the edge in the look that I would like to go for when designing a product.

So that was just a little insight to my thoughts on my ideal style tribe! hope you like this look as much as I do. Depending on my product however, my ideal audience will probably have a range of age groups so i’ll just have to see what happens!

Hope you enjoyed!


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