Culted 101: A guide to the G-STAR universe

Culted 101: A guide to the G-STAR universe

by Robyn Pullen
5 min

You may have heard of G-STAR, but how much do you actually know? The denim specialists have been disrupting the industry since its inception, redefining production methods and informing the style zeitgeist. In case you need a refresher on G-STAR’s history and cultural impact, we’ve laid it all out for you below.

The denim

If G-STAR had to be boiled down to one thing, it would be denim. Experts on the material, G-STAR shook the industry by introducing a revolutionary take on denim, at a time when washed and treated denim was the norm. Creating a new look and attitude towards the material, raw denim became more than just a style, with the brand championing its raw aspect, adopting a rough and down-to-earth philosophy.

G-STAR is also behind the world’s first 3D denim design, called the 5620 Elwood. Again, with this innovation, the Amsterdam-born brand shook the denim industry to its core in 1996, redefining the material’s stance in the fashion scene.

Surrounding subcultures

Ever since its start in the late 80s, G-STAR has been part of denim culture, from being adopted by the techno and rave crowd in Amsterdam to gaining massive popularity in Tokyo, specifically in the Harajuku subculture, which unites different styles together all in the name of self-expression.

From dressing your everyday denim-donning people to finding its products in the wardrobes of our generation’s key tastemakers, G-STAR’s impact goes way beyond the confines of its Dutch home city. Hit up the skate park, your local live gig pub or the rec centre, and someone is sure to be wearing the brand.

Stellar sustainability

Between the washing and treatment, which uses a lot of hazardous chemicals, creating denim pieces can be extremely wasteful, which is why G-STAR’s commitment to sustainability is more important than ever. By introducing its raw denim, the brand has been able to drastically reduce its use of harmful chemicals.

On top of that, its commitment to circular methods of production have proven fruitful. Working with the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard has ensured that the output of the brand always strives to be designed to be reused and provides transparency throughout the supply chain. G-STAR has been making the effort to use cleaner materials, such as organic cotton, and use lower amounts of dyes, for reduced waste. The brand has chosen to use healthier and more sustainable dyes that can contribute to the circular ecosystem by being recyclable. Every day brings a new opportunity to find out more about sustainability within the realm of fashion, and by 2025 G-STAR is aiming for 20% of its entire offering to be made from Cradle to Cradle Certified® materials.

Tapping into the culture

One of the best and most effective ways for a brand to pop off is by getting that celebrity co-sign, and G-STAR has hit the nail on the head with this one. In 2014, the brand tapped Pharrell Williams and his Bionic Yarn brand for a collaboration explorative of greener ways of producing, by upcycling plastic waste found in the ocean. This first collab was only the start, as Pharrell subsequently starred in its campaigns.

Pharrell wasn’t the only one to lend its face and cultural status to the brand. In 2018, Jaden Smith became a brand ambassador, in line with the release of the “Forces of Nature” collection, designed by Smith himself. Snoop Dogg joined the picture in 2021, creating a campaign with G-STAR around his single “Say It Witcha Booty.” Cara Delevingne was G-STAR’s most recent ambassador in 2022, which saw the model and actress dominate the city, dwarfing skyscrapers and twisted roads.

And onto the next big thing

Thirty-five years in, and G-STAR has no plans to slow things down anytime soon. In fact, it has just found its new cultural icon to take on the brand ambassador role: Burna Boy.

The campaign sees an accompanying video shot by legendary director Dave Meyers, where Burna Boy and his dance crew can be seen performing his new single “On Form” while his dancers perform “The Stomp.” Burna Boy x G-STAR? We’re eating it up.

Featured image via G-STAR ©

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See: Burna Boy is the new face of G-STAR

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