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What happened to the chavs?

Chavs haven’t disappeared, in case you thought so. Now they’re more Quechua, Lacoste and the fashion industry celebrates them.

If you thought that the chavs had passed to better life, it is because you have not realized that their best version has arrived together with one of the strongest musical currents of recent times: the drill. This musical genre has become the fashion (and sometimes also the lifestyle) of a whole generation. Let’s see what has happened to the chavs. Stay and find out.

Between 2000 and 2010, the chavs lived their golden age. Gold jewelry, Nike tracksuits, mopeds, rumba, warehouse parties… All this aesthetic brings with it a minimum economic power to be able to maintain a lifestyle that for an average teenager of that time, is far beyond their means. Trapped in this spiral, the chavs were centered on maintaining their social position within the group, focusing on making a quick buck. The Spanish movie “7 Vírgenes” is the best example of the lifestyle of that time.

The lifestyle of a chav at the time was anything but austere. For starters, golds were a sign of status within the group. The more jewelry you had, the better; the heavier and fatter your chains and rings were, the better too. Most would buy a lower quality gold, golfi, to save a few bucks to spend on other things in their look that weren’t exactly cheap: Nike tracksuits, spring sneakers, nike tn etc. The Dolce & Gabbana tracksuit, of course, from the flea market, otherwise the budget would be too much.

Tribals, the mullet and the “ashtray” look have also been things that have made a comeback in current fashion and beauty trends, and the cat eye always comes back, even if it’s not in its golden age now with more minimalist beauty trends.

So, have the chavs disappeared? With globalization, the acceptance of hood aesthetics and the new wave of music, the chav is celebrated and imitated. Just look at the aesthetic elements that are making a comeback: tribals, Nike and Lacoste tracksuits, the mullet…

This individual has been capitalized due to the romanticization of his lifestyle, but things have changed. And of course, music is to blame for that, as almost every time we talk about an urban tribe. Trap music has permanently changed the way of seeing & being of the chavs, turning the kinky into the most modern.

In the Spanish case, the turning point came with Pxxr Gvng. Yung Beef came to parade in the Paris fashion week for Hood by Air and Pigalle, and soon after became the image of Calvin Klein alongside faces like Kendall Jenner or Kate Moss herself.

Now the centerpiece of the Spanish phenomenon is Morad, the leader of the MDLR movement and a mass mobilizer. The acronym MDLR comes from the French concept ‘Mec de la Rue’. Morad popularized the term with a song from 2019 and through his lyrics capture the reality of a working class neighborhood kid. The young people who listen to him, whether they are from the hood or not, subscribe to a way of living typical of the margins of society & an urban aesthetic.

This becomes even more meaningful when we take into account this identification thanks to drill and trap. The social and cultural dynamics of this music scene are a great attraction for them. They probably don’t even have the same economic background. However, they find common ground in the tracksuit, a must-have item in the closets of the chavs. Collectives such as sportmafiaboys or eurobando have actively participated in this aesthetic evolution. They have managed to bring “the mdlr universe” to an absolute veneration through the sportlife culture: air max, lacoste, and soccer jerseys. A union where music, lifestyle and fashion come together to mark a new generation: the neo chavs or mdlrs.

Streetwear brands like Corteiz have perfectly captured these codes. With its rise, the neo cani phenomenon is now even part of the hype culture. Many are positioning Clint 419’s brand like the new Supreme.

One of the biggest demonstrations that neo canis are hitting hard, also in the fashion elites, is Central Cee’s positioning in fashion. His campaign with Jacquemus & his appearance at the British Fashion Awards with a Quechua jacket has been a revolution in the industry. Jacquemus has brought fashionistas closer to the drill, while Quechua has brought hood culture closer to the fashion elites.

The case of Pop Smoke is also a clear example of this. There is no denying that the rapper had some kind of influence on Dior. Especially in how the brand is perceived by the urban community. This powerful synergy led to a tribute to the rapper in the collaboration between Travis Scott and Dior. For many young people Pop Smoke and Dior are two terms symbolically linked forever.

If the brands, which understand and must understand perfectly the codes of the new generations, count on the visible faces of youth movements for their campaigns, we are probably facing a new paradigm. In this new reality, the chavs have simply moved on to a better life, a cooler one far from marginality.

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