Are Hype Clothes Worth the Hype
Streetwear is often referred to as “hype clothing” and “bonking”. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? 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.
Who would have thought that we would be seeing hoodies and trainers dominating the luxury fashion runways across the 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 a Bonking Brand, exactly?
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 be able to make a living, but they will pretend they have more than others. Equipped with mommies [sic] credit card, the Hype Beast [sic] will try his hardest to make sure he has every pair of Nike’s [sic] he saw Jay-Z wearing 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.
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,” who live outside of supreme stores, are known to be camping out in order for them to get the latest drops.
How 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” 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 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 kings among clothing drops. They also have a huge following in the streetwear world. Since its inception in Manhattan in 1994, Supreme has grown into a global brand with a large following and collaborations with big names like 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.
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.
Many luxury fashion labels are following suit, releasing similar products after streetwear brands have enjoyed success.
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 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.
The streetwear scene is also heavily influenced by social media and the “hype” created around brands. Social media can be said to have helped streetwear move from being a subculture into mainstream.
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.
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. 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