Americana

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Via Edward Europe

The Americana

From Coasties to K-Poppers, the US is home to a range of teen subcultures. In the fourth of a series exploring Gen Y and Z tribes, Andrea Graham Richeson examines the Americana – teens looking to mid-century America for their inspiration. Can they bring hand-crafted heritage into the 21st Century?

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What’s cooler than being cool? Being authentically American. From the southern rock soul fusion of the Alabama Shakes to American-made denim brand Imogene + Willie, a love for American heritage is being widely embraced. At the forefront of this trend are the Americana, a subculture of youth who take inspiration from the music, manufacturing, fashion and styling of the US’ golden era in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. This movement is reinvigorating denim sales and ushering in a renaissance of heritage brands.

While they may seem to share similarities with Brooklynite hipsters, the Americana are a distinct tribe with their own values and influences. One part Johnny Cash, one part cash-strapped, the blue collar, back-to-basics romanticism of the Americana movement is undoubtedly a reaction to the rapid tech advancements, global homogenisation and economic uncertainty witnessed by many young people today. A reversion to simpler times is indicative of a desire to build a collective identity that will endure. But can a culture built on American heritage and small batch craftsmanship survive in the maturing global marketplace? Read more at Canvas8