Is Hype Clothing Worth It?
When it comes to streetwear, you may have heard the terms “hype clothing” or even “bonking brand”. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? Let’s get to the bottom of all this hype and learn more about it.
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 how did streetwear become so fashionable?
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 have much, but they love to pretend that they make more than the rest. 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” 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.
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”.
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 “Hype” work around brands?
Many streetwear brands use the popular drop marketing strategy. These products are usually released in small quantities at select retail locations or online. They are often not announced and often unannounced on social media. This strategy creates urgency and exclusivity in the customer and encourages them to buy quickly to have an exclusive, limited-edition item.
Supreme are the kings in clothing drop and have a large following in streetwear. The brand was founded in Manhattan in 1994. It has since grown to a cult following all over the globe and collaborated with major brands like 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. 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 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.
Following the success and “hype” these drops have caused for streetwear brands, some luxury fashion labels have even begun to follow suit and release their products in similar ways.
Burberry announced last year a series drops in order to launch their streetwear-inspired range. Customers had just 24 hours to buy. It is quite interesting to see such high-end fashion houses take inspiration form Streetwear companies.
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”. You can argue that social media was the catalyst for streetwear’s rise from subculture to mainstream status.
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. These products could only have been obtained if the consumer was willing to make the effort. This allowed them to feel a greater connection to the brand.
With the rise of streetwear on social media, it means hypebeasts no longer have to hustle to get their hands on the latest and most limited edition items, it can often be done at the click of a button, with little thought or connection to the brand or 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 been teased on social media several weeks ahead of the official date. Twitter also plays a large part in bringing back that 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