French drama of 1995, La Haine (The Hate) was written, produced and co-edited by Mathieu Kassovitz and remains as current as it was 24 years ago. With a simple plot, it depicts life and youth in the suburbs of Paris. It is the story of three friends, children of immigrants, displaced and unmotivated by poverty and unemployment and without prospects for the future. Story told through a 19-hour time span of his apathetic routines.
"And what does this have to do with streetwear?" , you ask… and well! Simple! In La Haine , the clothes each of the three main characters wear is used as a way of expressing a kind of “rebellious” feeling.
Brands like Carharrt , Nike , Lonsdale or Everlast appear to represent a particular inner conflict. More than that, clothes are an integral part of the characterization:Vinz - repressed, emotionally powerless - remains locked up in his Nike jacket everywhere. Meanwhile, Hubert wears Carhartt and Everlast:he is angry and fierce, but when it comes to violence, as shown in the film's outcome, he is gentle and dangerous. Saïd - confused, lost, without form - sticks to unbranded clothes. And there are so many other references and brands mentioned in the film.
In La Haine , as in many subcultures without privileges, clothes signal desire and resistance - the hope that if we look and imitate the figures we would like to become, we will embody their essence.
But nothing like reviewing some of La Haine's images to see how it remains so present and influential in the European streetwear scene (and don't forget that these scenes were filmed in 1995).