Is Hype Clothing Worth it?
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’s well-known that Streetwear in 2019 isn’t just for the streets. Streetwear is also dominating the fashion industry and even making its mark in the luxury market.
It is amazing to think that trainers and hoodies will be dominating luxury fashion runways around the world.
So how did streetwear become so fashionable?
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 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. The individual may not have much, but they love to pretend that they make more than the rest. 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.
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.
While there are many different definitions of “hypebeast”, most agree that it refers to someone who is obsessed about the latest fashion trends to impress their friends.
These “Hype Beasts,” who live outside of supreme stores, are known to be camping out in order for them to get the latest drops.
How does “Hype” work around brands?
Many streetwear brands have adopted the “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 is designed to make customers feel like they need to act quickly to secure a limited edition product.
Supreme are the kings in clothing drop and have a large following in streetwear. The brand was founded in Manhattan in 1994. It has since grown to a cult following all over the globe and collaborated with major brands like Nike, Vans, and North Face.
The brand’s “hype” and brand name can be attributed to the emphasis on clothing “drops” when new lines are released. Customers will queue for hours to obtain the new releases every week when they “drop” in their stores.
Similar products can be bought at any store. However, the “hypebeasts”, will happily wait for hours in line to obtain the latest and most sought-after releases.
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.
Burberry unveiled a series this year that would allow customers to shop within 24 hours of the announcement. It is fascinating to see top-end fashion houses taking inspirations from Streetwear businesses.
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. You can argue that social media was the catalyst for streetwear’s rise from subculture to mainstream status.
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.
The rise of streetwear via social media means that hypebeasts don’t have to hustle for the latest limited edition items. It is possible to often get them at the click of one button with little to no connection to the brand and 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 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. Twitter now allows streetwear hype beasts to post conspiracies and discuss when the next drops are.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking