Hype clothing is worth the hype?
In streetwear, you might have heard the terms “hype clothing”, or “bonking brand”. It’s common to hear the terms “hype clothing” and “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. Let’s dig in and get some knowledge on all things hype…
It is no secret that streetwear in 2019 will not be limited to the streets. Instead, it will dominate the fashion world.
Who would have thought that hoodies, trainers, and other casual wear would dominate luxury fashion runways all over the world?
So, how has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
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 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. The individual may not have much, but they love to pretend that they make more than the rest. The Hype Beast [sic] will work hard to get every pair of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z wear on 106 & Park equipped with mommies [sic] credit.
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.
The term was coined in 2005. However, it made its way into mainstream culture with the release of Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything”, where he sang the lyrics “Hypebeasts” and said “Hypebeasts are cheap, don’t get shoes unless they’re 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.
Although there are many differing definitions of what “hypebeast,” it is generally agreed that Hypebeasts are people who keep up with the latest fashion trends to impress friends. They are also obsessed with the latest releases and will do whatever it takes to attain the “Hype”.
These “Hype Beasts” will often be found camping outside supreme store to ensure that they are first to receive the latest drops.
What is the “Hype”, built around brands?
Streetwear brands are well-known for their “drop” marketing strategy. Many of them have adopted it. 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 urgency and exclusivity in the customer and encourages them to buy quickly to have an exclusive, limited-edition item.
Supreme are the kings and queens of 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 “hype” and brand name can be attributed to the emphasis on clothing “drops” when new lines are released. 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.
Following the success and “hype” these drops have caused for streetwear brands, some luxury fashion labels have even begun to follow suit and release their products in similar ways.
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.
The streetwear scene is also heavily influenced by social media and the “hype” created around brands. It is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
Before the internet, you could only get the latest releases by being there at the right moment. You also had to search the shops to find limited-edition items. It can be argued that these products were more accessible to consumers because of their commitment to them.
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 be teased via social media for weeks or months ahead of the actual drop date. Twitter is also a key part of bringing back this community element. Twitter is now a place for hype beasts to share their theories and conspiracies about the next drop.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking