Are Hype Clothes Worth the Hype
Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression “hype clothing” (or “bonking brand”) when it comes down to streetwear. Do you understand what this means and why it is called that? Let’s get to the bottom of all this hype and learn more about it.
It is well-known that streetwear is no longer just for the streets. In 2019, Streetwear is a dominant fashion trend and has even made its way into the exclusive luxury fashion market.
We would never have guessed that trainers and hoodies would soon be on the fashion runways of luxury fashion houses around the globe.
So, why is streetwear so popular? And where did it come a long time ago?
Keep reading to find out how the Hype around streetwear a.k.a hype clothing turned into one of the most popular fashion trends in history.
What is Bonking Brand anyway?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person who is following a trend to be trendy or in fashion.” A person who wears what is hyped up.”
- “A Hype Beast or Bonking Brand [sic] is a kid that collect[s] clothing, shoes, and accessories for the sole purpose of impressing others. Although the individual may not have a dime to their name, they like to front like they are making far more then everybody else. The Hype beast [sic] has a mommies credit card and will try to buy every pair of Nike’s Jay-Z wore on 106 & Park.
The term “Hype Beast” or “Bonking Brand” can be traced back to 2005 when the term was coined as a blend of the two words “Hype” (which in this instance refers to the extravagant publicity around a new item of clothing or a trend), and “Beast” which is slang for a person who is skilled at something, in this case a person who is skilled at keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
Although the term dates back to 2005, it became mainstream culture when Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything” featured the line “Hypebeasts that we know about cheap, don’t buy shoes unless you are popular.”
While “Hypebeast” is a relatively new term, people often associate the concept with sneakerhead culture which was prevalent in the late 1990s and early 2000 in which people would collect expensive branded trainers.
There are many opinions about what “hypebeast” really means. However, there is agreement that a Hypebeast will be someone who is obsessed with fashion and will do anything to get the “Hype”.
These “Hype Beasts” will often be found camping outside supreme store to ensure that they are first to receive the latest drops.
How is the “Hype” built around brands?
If you are familiar with streetwear brands, I am sure you are familiar with the popular “drop” marketing strategy which has been adopted by many of the brands. This process involves releasing limited edition clothing in limited quantities at certain retail locations and online. These products are often announced via social media. This strategy works to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity and leads the customer to believe that they must purchase the product quickly, in order to own an exclusive and limited edition item.
Supreme is the kings among clothing drops. They also have a huge following in the streetwear world. Established in 1994 in downtown Manhattan, the brand has come a long way since, amounting a mass cult following around the world and even collaborating with some massive names such as Nike, Vans and North Face.
The “hype” which surrounds the brand and the brand name can be linked back to their focus on clothing “drops” when releasing new lines. The new products “drop” in stores every week without fail. Customers will line up miles to be able to purchase the latest releases. It is obvious that there is no better way to market a brand than to see people queueing on the streets to enter your store.
Similar products are available in many stores. But these “hypebeasts”, while they may not be able to buy the latest and most popular, will happily line up for hours just to get them.
These drops were so popular that luxury fashion labels started to copy them and release similar products.
Last year, Burberry decided to announce a series of drops to release their new streetwear inspired range, giving customers just 24 hours to purchase. It is quite interesting to see such high-end fashion houses take inspiration form Streetwear companies.
Joanne Yulan Jong, a fashion business expert believes that embracing these new tactics is a great way of reaching out to younger audiences and is essential for long-term survival and for ensuring they stay relevant and in the limelight, or risk being taken over by younger, more dynamic brands.
Social media also plays a major part in the streetwear scene and how “hype” is created around brands and products. It can be argued that social media is in fact what took streetwear from a subculture to the mainstream.
The only way to access the most recent releases before the internet was to be in the right place at right time and search the shops for limited edition items. You can argue that the brand was more connected to its customers because they were willing to commit to buying these products.
It’s easy to access the latest streetwear items on social media.
Despite this change in culture, many of the streetwear brands have adapted to this change in consumerism, and what the internet has taken away from these brands in terms of exclusivity, it has given back in the form of “hype”.
Streetwear drops are now possible to be teased on social networking weeks, or even months, before the official drop date. Twitter has also played a significant role in bringing back the community aspect of this culture. Hype beasts can now take to Twitter to discuss and conspiracies when the next drops will be.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking