Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” used to describe streetwear. But what do you know about it? Let’s dive in and find out all about hype…
It’s common knowledge that 2019 Streetwear is not only for street wear, but is also a major fashion force in the fashion world.
Who would have thought that we would be seeing hoodies and trainers dominating the luxury fashion runways across the world?
So why has streetwear become so popular and where did it come from?
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 a Bonking Brand and how do they work?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- A person who is influenced by a particular trend in order to look trendy or fashionable. 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. The individual may not have any money, but they still like to appear to be making more than everyone else. The Hype Beast [sic] is equipped with a mommies [sic] credit cards and will do his best to ensure he has every pair Nike’s [sic] he spotted Jay-Z wearing at 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.
Despite the word tracing back to 2005, it entered mainstream culture when rapper Trinidad James released his song “All Gold Everything” which contained the line “Hypebeasts we know about cheap, don’t buy shoes unless they 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”.
You will often find these “Hype Beasts” camping outside supreme stores in order to ensure they are the first in line for the latest drops.
How does the “Hype” come about?
Many streetwear brands use the popular drop marketing strategy. The “drop” process consists of releasing small quantities of “limited edition” clothing at selected retail locations or online, these products are often released without much warning and are often announced on social media. This strategy creates an urgency and exclusivity that leads customers to believe that they must buy the product as soon as possible to obtain a limited edition and exclusive item.
Supreme are the kings of the clothing drops and also have a massive following in the streetwear scene. 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.
You can buy similar products in all stores, but the “hypebeasts”, who will queue for hours to get the latest and greatest releases, will be able to purchase them at their local store.
Many luxury fashion labels are following suit, releasing similar products after streetwear brands have enjoyed success.
Burberry launched a series to introduce their new streetwear range last year. Customers could purchase the drops within 24 hours. It is certainly interesting to see high end fashion houses taking inspiration from Streetwear companies and it raises the question as to what the future holds for clothing releases and if these “drops” will evolve.
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 is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
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. The commitment required to obtain these products made it possible to argue that consumers felt a stronger connection with the brand.
With the rise of streetwear on social media, it means hypebeasts no longer have to hustle to get their hands on the latest and most limited edition items, it can often be done at the click of a button, with little thought or connection to the brand or their community.
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 can now easily be teased on social networks weeks before they happen. Twitter has also been a big part of bringing the community back to this culture. Twitter can now be used by hype beasts for discussing and conspiracies concerning the next drops.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking