Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
When it comes to streetwear, you may have heard the terms “hype clothing” or even “bonking brand”. Do you understand what this means and why it is called that? Let’s take a look at all the hype…
It’s well-known that Streetwear in 2019 isn’t just for the streets. Streetwear is also dominating the fashion industry and even making its mark in the luxury market.
It is amazing to think that trainers and hoodies will be dominating luxury fashion runways around the world.
So, why is streetwear so popular? And where did it come a long time ago?
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 influenced by a particular trend in order to look trendy or fashionable. 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 any money, but they still like to appear to be making more than everyone else. 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.
The term was coined in 2005. However, it made its way into mainstream culture with the release of Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything”, where he sang the lyrics “Hypebeasts” and said “Hypebeasts are cheap, don’t get shoes unless they’re 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 does the “Hype” come about?
If you are familiar with streetwear brands, I am sure you are familiar with the popular “drop” marketing strategy which has been adopted by many of the brands. 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 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 is the king of streetwear and has a huge following. 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’s “hype” and brand name can be attributed to the emphasis on clothing “drops” when new lines 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 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.
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 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.
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 the only way you could get the latest releases was to be there at the right times and then search the shops for limited edition products. It can be argued that these products were more accessible to consumers because of their commitment to them.
Social media has made streetwear more accessible than ever. This means that people don’t need to hustle to grab the latest and greatest items. With little to no thought or connection to brands or their communities, they can get it done quickly.
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 can now be used by hype beasts for discussing and conspiracies concerning the next drops.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking