The Tribe who ‘want out’ of the Mainstream – an experimental Tribe trying anything and everything Alternative from Grunge to Hardcore…
Young Alts are a long standing youth
Skaters are one of the few activity-based Tribes, enjoying their new influential status as Skater trends become embraced by the Urban, Leading Edge and Aspirant Tribes.
Skaters are one of the longest standing subcultures worldwide and an archetype of what a Tribe is – clear passions, hobbies, interests, language, media and venues that hold them together.
While the Skaters themselves continue ‘as normal’ in UK youth culture, the rise of skate-inspired fashion across the Tribal map (from Made In Chelsea to Hipsters in Shoreditch) means the Skaters are more defensive about their subculture than ever before. While skate culture will never go away, the more prevalent and stereotyped it becomes, the more ‘true’ Skaters will need to defend their Tribe.
are still top of the Tribal map and care constantly creating new contentDIYers are creative, tech savvy self-starters that bring culture to life for Tribes today – they produce music, promote club nights, start indie brands and create festival stages. Many are also Creatives, but DIYers are set apart by their aspirations to ‘make it’, create events and actively influence culture in their area. DIYers used to be focused more in London, but in 2015 all major cities have a strong DIY scene.
Hardcores have a serious affinity with a screaming genre of punk and the straight edge scene – wearing their distinctive tribal tats and turn-up look with pride.
The Hardcore joined the Tribes in 2012 in a flurry of slam dancing, and Straight Edge ethics; with X’s drawn on their tattoo-adorned hands. Today the Hardcore remain (especially in the west), but their Hipster-esque look (skinnies, band Ts) means they have come under similar threat from Aspirant adoption.
Metal Heads left the Tribes map in 2012 on the grounds they had grown out of the scene or been absorbed in to other Tribes, but in 2015 we find them going strong with a younger audience in cities like Birmingham.
The modern Metallers are all about head banging, band T-shirts and loud music (as ever!) but are distinctly different to their Hardcore cousins – today’s Metallers love a drink and are just as likely to have dance, Lady Gaga and pop punk alongside heavy metal on their playlists. More of an entry-level Tribe than metal stereotypes would suggest, the normalisation of tattoos and diversifying music tastes across UK Tribes mean Metallers are more common than you’d expect
Punks are back – with punk fashion all over the high street, punk and metal music in the Mainstream and Activists back on the map, the Punk/Metal/Hardcore sub-section of youth culture is more diverse and interconnected than ever before.
While Punk is one of the longest standing youth Tribes, today’s Punks are more of a sanitised subculture than the original icons – dominated by younger Tribes (plus a few stalwarts in their 20’s) taking on the music, politics and fashion cues of the scene
Sea Punks are a niche digital subculture that originally stemmed from social media and nostalgia around 2011 – especially in Paris and New York, where Sea Punks were closely connected to nightlife scenes. Having started as a web parody (sorry Sea Punks!) the look was adopted by artists like Azealia Banks, Katy Perry and Rihanna and distributed to the Mainstream. Sea Punks in the UK today still have the neon blue hair, hippy iconography (from wind catchers to weed logos) and the link to digital arts – and are the closest Alts to Hipsters.
Ghetto Goths (and the sister trend/Tribe Health Goth) stem from fashion label GHE20G0THIK’s fashion parties in NYC; and the ensuing Tribe that mixes hardcore Alt Goth style with Urban street wear. ‘Killed’ by Riri (in the words of founder Venus X) the Ghetto Goth look spans UK Tribes and is credited with bringing Dr Martens to the Urbans and brands like Hood By Air to the mainstream.
Activists a major new player in the Leading Edge – on the front line at protests and driving the politicisation of UK Youth.
Activistars are passionate about inequality and social change, so are taking to the streets and social media to protest, campaign, squat and sit-in. Especially relevant in 2015 with the General Election looming, Activists are aspirational across the map and admired for their passion and dedication to the cause – be that racial equality, housing, feminism, the environment.
are creative, tech savvy self-starters that bring culture to life for Tribes today – they produce music, promote club nights, start indie brands and create festival stages.
Many are also Creatives, but DIYers are set apart by their aspirations to ‘make it’, create events and actively influence culture in their area. DIYers used to be focused more in London, but in 2015 all major cities have a strong DIY scene.
While their 2012 touch points remain (resourceful, tech driven and business orientated) to be a DIYer in 2015 you need to have seen genuine success – so vlogging with 1M+ followers can make you a DIYer, but being a bedroom DJ or Tumblr fanatic won’t!
Setting themselves apart by creating new trends by co-opting fashion and music from accross the Tribal map and blending it with their own individual attitudes. Ever difficult to pin down, they move at lightning speed through youth culture – moving onto whats ‘next’ before it has a chance to become ‘now’.
It’s been a long time coming – but the Hipsters are firmly out of the Leading Edge, and are getting younger by the year.
Poor Hipsters! Since 2012, they took over being the vilified Tribe from the Chavs – synonymous with being ‘try hard’ and vacuous at a Tribal level, but receiving derision from wider British culture too (even your dad knows what a Hipster is in 2015!).
As authenticity became a key tenet of youth culture and the Hipster look was disseminated to teens via Primark; the iconic skinny jeans, glasses and obsession with Bergheim made the Hipsters a stereotype and an insult for the original Hipsters (most of whom have now aged out of the Tribes model).