Are Hype Clothes Worth the Hype
Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression “hype clothing” (or “bonking brand”) when it comes down to streetwear. Are you unsure what the hype is and why it’s called this? Let’s dig in and get some knowledge on all things hype…
It is no secret that streetwear in 2019 will not be limited to the streets. Instead, it will dominate the fashion world.
Who would have predicted that we would see trainers and hoodies on luxury fashion runways around world?
So why has streetwear become so popular and where did it come from?
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 a Bonking Brand?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person who follows the latest trend to be fashionable or trendy.” 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. The Hype Beast will make every effort to have every pair [sic] of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z sporting on 106 & Park.
“Hype Beast” was originally created in 2005. The term is a mix of “Hype,” which in this instance refers the excessive publicity surrounding a new item or trend, and “Beast”, which is slang to describe someone skilled at something.
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 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 are often found outside supreme shops, will be there to make sure they 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”, 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 creates an urgency and exclusivity that leads customers to believe that they must buy the product as soon as possible to obtain a limited edition and exclusive 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 name and the “hype” surrounding it can be attributed back to the focus they place on clothing “drops”, when new lines are introduced. 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.
These drops were so popular that luxury fashion labels started to copy them and release similar products.
Burberry unveiled a series this year that would allow customers to shop within 24 hours of the announcement. 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 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, 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.
It’s easy to access the latest streetwear items on social media.
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