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 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.
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?
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 Bonking Brand?
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. 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] 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 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.
Although there are many conflicting opinions on what “hypebeast” actually means, it is in agreement that a Hypebeast is someone who keeps up with the latest fashion trends in order to impress friends and those around them, they are obsessed with the latest releases and will go to any length to achieve 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?
If you are familiar with streetwear brands, I am sure you are familiar with the popular “drop” marketing strategy which has been adopted by many of the brands. The “drop” marketing strategy involves the release of small quantities of limited edition clothing at select retail locations. These products can also be sold online. Many of these products are announced via social media. This strategy works to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity and leads the customer to believe that they must purchase the product quickly, in order to own an exclusive and limited edition 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 “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.
Similar products of course can be purchased in any store, but these “hypebeasts” will happily queue for hours on end to have the latest and most popular releases.
These drops were so popular that luxury fashion labels started to copy them and release similar products.
Burberry announced last year a series drops in order to launch their streetwear-inspired range. Customers had just 24 hours to buy. 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 is a key part of the streetwear industry and how brands and products are promoted. 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. Because of the commitment which was necessary to getting hold of these products, it can be argued that consumers had a lot more of a connection to the brand.
It’s easy to access the latest streetwear items on social media.
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 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