Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
In streetwear, you might have heard the terms “hype clothing”, or “bonking brand”. Are you unsure what the hype is and why it’s called this? Let’s dig in and get some knowledge on all things hype…
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.
Who would have thought that hoodies, trainers, and other casual wear would dominate luxury fashion runways all over the world?
So, why is streetwear so popular? And where did it come a long time ago?
Continue reading for more information about how the hype surrounding streetwear, also called hype clothing, turned into one the most fashionable fashion trends of all time.
What is a Bonking Brand and how do they work?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person who follows a trend to be cool or in style. 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 can be traced back as far as 2005, when it was created from the combination of the words “Hype” and “Beast”. Hype refers to extravagant publicity about a new piece of clothing or a trend. “Beast” is slang meaning a person skilled at something.
The word was first used in 2005 by Trinidad James, a rapper who released “All Gold Everything”. His song contained the line “Hypebeasts, we know about cheap”, and the lyrics “Hypebeasts, we don’t want to buy shoes unless they 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,” who live outside of supreme stores, are known to be camping out in order for them to get the latest drops.
What does it take to build the “Hype” around brands and products?
If you’re familiar with streetwear brands, you will be familiar with the “drop”, a marketing strategy that many brands have adopted. The “drop”, which is a small release of “limited edition” clothing at select retail stores or online, involves not letting the customer know about it and often announcing it on social media. This strategy creates a sense of urgency, exclusivity, and makes the customer believe they have to purchase the product fast in order to get an exclusive item.
Supreme are the kings in clothing drop and have a large following in streetwear. The brand was established in Manhattan in 1994. Since then, it has grown to be a huge cult favorite all over the world. They have even collaborated with many big names like Nike and Vans.
The brand’s name and the “hype” surrounding it can be attributed back to the focus they place on clothing “drops”, when new lines are introduced. 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.
Although similar products can be bought in most stores, these “hypebeasts,” who are eager to receive the latest releases, will gladly wait hours for them.
Luxury fashion labels have begun to release their products in similar ways after the streetwear brands’ success.
Burberry released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. It is interesting to see fashion houses taking cues from streetwear brands.
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 plays an important role in streetwear and the creation of “hype” around brands and products. It is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
Before the internet the only way you could get the latest releases was to be there at the right times and then search the shops for limited edition products. These products could only have been obtained if the consumer was willing to make the effort. This allowed them to feel a greater connection to the brand.
Streetwear has become so popular that it is no longer necessary to hustle for exclusive items. They can be obtained with just a click, often without any connection or thought to the brand or their followers.
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