For the streetwear lines that clothed and fed the '90s rave scene, the internet was a kind of death knell. Even for the brands that evolved into contemporary institutions (like Supreme), the dilution and egalitarianism that defined the internet era dissolved the potent, drug-fueled scenes that bred and stoked rave culture. Kids began congregating in chat rooms and forums rather than around storefronts they'd heard about from a friend's older brother. For brands that once defined a time and place, the cheekily vague names and exclusivity that once enabled their success render them now, today, almost impossible to find. But with their wild backstories and enduring influence on brands like Hood By Air, as well as the eminent return of OG brands, these lines are gone but shouldn't be forgotten. Here's three to bone up on and keep eyes out for.
1. Liquid Sky
Founder: Husband-and-wife team Carlos Soul Slinger, DJ, and Claudia Rey, a model turned designer.
Hometown: After finding initial success in São Paolo, the couple took Rey's designs to Soho, where they opened a storefront and tapped into the thriving rave scene.
Trademark: A beeper pocket, which did double duty enabling drug buys. The alien-inspired Astrogirl logo and aesthetic.
Wild storyline: Carlos now describes the Liquid Sky era as being based "on utopia and chaos," which seems apt: former employees recall Carlos starting a cult out of the store's stockrooms, becoming a bustling kind of raver salon.
Legacy: The lasting allure of its most famous employee, Chloe Sevingny. She described her role at Liquid Sky earlier this year: "You’d have to explain why the T-shirts were so expensive and just be kind of aloof, which I was very good at... I wasn't so into the music, so that was a struggle. I was into indie rock or punk. But I was into what Carlos was doing."
Rarity: Liquid Sky certainly isn't plentiful, but it's find-able, plus they released a capsule collection with V-Files last year.
Founder: Handsome and charismatic skater Don Busweiler
Hometown: Miami Beach
Trademark: The brand's prescient exclusivity—early on you had to personally know or contact Don to get pieces.
Lifespan: Early '90s to 1995.
Wild storyline: Busweiler turned religious and abandoned the line, leaving Pervert with one of the most mystifying mythologies in streetwear. As Pervert's former head designer and future Supreme creative director Brendan Babenzien recently told Complex, "[Busweiler] kind of lost it and has become a religious person... He still lives on the street, as a Jesus follower.... You have to understand. I was a kid, and there were a bunch of us just bugging out in Miami. A lot of it is really blurry. Miami Beach at that time was like the Wild West."
Legacy: Givenchy sent the label a subtle nod with its Pervert jerseys, which you might've peeped in the "Feelin Myself" video.
Rarity: Extremely rare.
Before there was Supreme and other cool brands, Pervert was the brand. There was no store in the early days, no website, and you could only get the stuff direct through Don, likely due to your skate/bmx/graff/hardcore/hiphop cred. Here's a gem, 1992 production line, found in a packed away box, worn once. #pervert #pervertclothing #donbusweiler #miamigraffiti #miamihardcore
Founder: Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and stylist Daisy Von Furth.
Hometown: New York.
Trademark: Raver gear exclusively for girls, though the line was born out of larger boys brand X-Large. Baby tees and bucket hats.
Lifespan: Early 1990's to 1998, when it was acquired by Japanese corporation B's International.
Wild storyline: They staged a guerilla runway presentation in the streets of Soho produced by Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze and starring Chloe Sevingny. They proudly wore the mantel of having "killed grunge."
Legacy: They were one of the first streetwear lines to admit flat out they borrowed from bigger brands, and their low-cost, empowering ethos has trickled down to everything from Nasty Gal to Reformation.