Is Hype Clothing Worth it?
Streetwear is often referred to as “hype clothing” and “bonking”. It’s common to hear the terms “hype clothing” and “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. Let’s take a look at all the 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.
Who would have predicted that we would see trainers and hoodies on luxury fashion runways around world?
So, how has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
Continue reading to learn how the hype around streetwear, a.k.a. hype clothing became one of the most recognizable fashion trends in history.
What is Bonking Brand anyway?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person who follows the latest trend to be fashionable or trendy.” 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] 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.
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.
Although there are many opinions on the meaning of the term “hypebeast”, it is agreed that the Hypebeast is someone who obsesses about fashion trends and wants to impress others.
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?
Many streetwear brands have adopted the “drop” marketing strategy. 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 of the clothing drops and also have a massive following in the streetwear scene. In 1994, the brand was founded in Manhattan. The brand has enjoyed a massive following worldwide and even collaborated closely with brands such as Nike, Vans, North Face and Vans.
The brand name and brand hype can be linked to the clothing “drops”, which are when new products 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.
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’s interesting to see top fashion houses take inspiration from streetwear companies. This raises questions about the future of clothing releases and how these “drops” will change.
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 a significant role in streetwear’s scene. It is how brands and products get “hype”. You can argue that social media was the catalyst for streetwear’s rise from subculture to mainstream status.
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. You can argue that the brand was more connected to its customers because they were willing to commit to buying these products.
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 can now been teased on social media several weeks ahead of the official date. Twitter also plays a large part in bringing back that community element. Twitter allows you to talk about and conspire with other hype beasts regarding the next drops.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking