Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? 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.
We would never have guessed that trainers and hoodies would soon be on the fashion runways of luxury fashion houses around the globe.
So how did streetwear become so fashionable?
Continue reading to discover how the Hype Around Streetwear, also known as hype clothing, became one of fashion’s most beloved trends.
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. Although they may not have any assets, they pretend to have it all. The Hype Beast will make every effort to have every pair [sic] of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z sporting on 106 & Park.
“Hype Beast” was originally created in 2005. The term is a mix of “Hype,” which in this instance refers the excessive publicity surrounding a new item or trend, and “Beast”, which is slang to describe someone skilled at something.
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.
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 have adopted the “drop” marketing strategy. This process involves releasing limited edition clothing in limited quantities at certain retail locations and online. These products are often announced via 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 is the king of streetwear and has a huge following. 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. When these new products “drop” in stores every week, without fail, there will be customers will be queuing for miles down the street in order to get their hands on the latest releases and obviously there is no better marketing for a brand than passers by seeing queueing down the street to get into 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 released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. It is interesting to see fashion houses taking cues from streetwear brands.
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”. It can be argued that social media is in fact what took streetwear from a subculture to the mainstream.
Before the internet, the only way to get your hands on the latest releases was being in the right place at the right time, and searching the shops to find 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.
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 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 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