Hype clothing is worth the hype?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression “hype clothing” (or “bonking brand”) when it comes down to streetwear. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? Let’s take a look at all the 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.
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 has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
Keep reading to find out how the Hype around streetwear a.k.a hype clothing turned into one of the most popular fashion trends in history.
What is Bonking Brand anyway?
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. The individual may not be able to make a living, but they will pretend they have more than others. The Hype Beast [sic] will work hard to get every pair of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z wear on 106 & Park equipped with mommies [sic] credit.
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.
Although the term dates back to 2005, it became mainstream culture when Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything” featured the line “Hypebeasts that we know about cheap, don’t buy shoes unless you 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 conflicting opinions on what “hypebeast” actually means, it is in agreement that a Hypebeast is someone who keeps up with the latest fashion trends in order to impress friends and those around them, they are obsessed with the latest releases and will go to any length to achieve 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 is the “Hype” built around brands?
Many streetwear brands have adopted the “drop” marketing strategy. 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 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 are the kings and queens of streetwear. 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’s “hype” and brand name can be attributed to the emphasis on clothing “drops” when new lines are released. Every week these products “drop” into stores and people will wait in line for hours just to get their hands on them.
Similar products of course can be purchased in any store, but these “hypebeasts” will happily queue for hours on end to have the latest and most popular releases.
Many luxury fashion labels are following suit, releasing similar products after streetwear brands have enjoyed 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 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 an important role in streetwear and the creation of “hype” around brands and products. It can be argued that social media is in fact what took streetwear from a subculture to the mainstream.
Before the internet, you could only get the latest releases by being there at the right moment. You also had to search the shops to find limited-edition items. The commitment required to obtain these products made it possible to argue that consumers felt a stronger connection with 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 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 now allows streetwear hype beasts to post conspiracies and discuss when the next drops are.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking