Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression “hype clothing” (or “bonking brand”) when it comes down to streetwear. You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” used to describe streetwear. But what do you know about it? Let’s dive in and find out all 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 thought that hoodies, trainers, and other casual wear would dominate luxury fashion runways all over the world?
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?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person following a trend to keep up with fashion or cool. 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] is equipped with a mommies [sic] credit cards and will do his best to ensure he has every pair Nike’s [sic] he spotted Jay-Z wearing at 106 & Park.”
The term Hype Beast or Bonking Brand was first coined in 2005. It is a combination of two words: “Hype”, which refers to excessive publicity surrounding a new trend or item of clothing, and “Beast,” which is slang for someone who is skilled in something. In this case, a person who keeps up with 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 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.
How does “Hype” work around brands?
Streetwear brands are well-known for their “drop” marketing strategy. Many of them have adopted it. 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. 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’s brand name and “hype”, can be linked to their emphasis on clothing “drops,” when they release new lines. Every week these products “drop” into stores and people will wait in line for hours just to get their hands on them.
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.
Luxury fashion labels are now following the footsteps of streetwear brands and releasing their products in similar ways to these success stories.
Burberry released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. 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 also plays a major part in the streetwear scene and how “hype” is created around brands and products. It’s possible to argue that social media is what made streetwear mainstream.
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. You can argue that the brand was more connected to its customers because they were willing to commit to buying these products.
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 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 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