Hype clothing is worth the hype?
In streetwear, you might have heard the terms “hype clothing”, or “bonking brand”. Do you understand what this means and why it is called that? Let’s dive deep and learn all there is to know about hype…
It is well-known that streetwear is no longer just for the streets. In 2019, Streetwear is a dominant fashion trend and has even made its way into the exclusive luxury fashion market.
Who would have predicted that we would see trainers and hoodies on luxury fashion runways around world?
So, why is streetwear so popular? And where did it come a long time ago?
Continue reading to discover how the Hype Around Streetwear, also known as hype clothing, became one of fashion’s most beloved trends.
What is a Bonking Brand?
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 any money, but they still like to appear to be making more than everyone else. 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 is a term that can be traced back in 2005. It was created as a mixture of the two words Hype (which refers in this instance to the extravagant publicity surrounding a brand new item of clothing) and Beast (which is slang term for someone who is skilled at something.
It was popularized by Trinidad James’ 2005 song “All Gold Everything”, which included the line “Hypebeasts I know about cheap, don’t purchase shoes unless these 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 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?
If you’re familiar with streetwear brands, you will be familiar with the “drop”, a marketing strategy that many brands have adopted. 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 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 is the king of streetwear and has a huge following. Established in 1994 in downtown Manhattan, the brand has come a long way since, amounting a mass cult following around the world and even collaborating with some massive names such as Nike, Vans and North Face.
The brand name and brand hype can be linked to the clothing “drops”, which are when new products are released. Every week these products “drop” into stores and people will wait in line for hours just to get their hands on them.
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.
Luxury fashion labels have begun to release their products in similar ways after the streetwear brands’ success.
Burberry announced last year a series drops in order to launch their streetwear-inspired range. Customers had just 24 hours to buy. 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 is a key part of the streetwear industry and how brands and products are promoted. You can argue that social media was the catalyst for streetwear’s rise from subculture to mainstream status.
Before the internet, there was no way to obtain the latest releases. The only way was to be at the right spot at the right time. 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.
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 can now be teased on social media weeks, or even months before the official drop day, and Twitter has also become a major part of bringing back the community element of this culture. Hype beasts can now take to Twitter to discuss and conspiracies when the next drops will be.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking