Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. Are you unsure what the hype is and why it’s called this? Let’s take a look at all the 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 for more information about how the hype surrounding streetwear, also called hype clothing, turned into one the most fashionable fashion trends of all time.
What is Bonking Brand anyway?
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. Although they may not have any assets, they pretend to have it all. The Hype beast [sic] has a mommies credit card and will try to buy every pair of Nike’s Jay-Z wore 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.
It was popularized by Trinidad James’ 2005 song “All Gold Everything”, which included the line “Hypebeasts I know about cheap, don’t purchase shoes unless these 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.
While there are many different definitions of “hypebeast”, most agree that it refers to someone who is obsessed about the latest fashion trends to impress their friends.
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.
What is the “Hype”, built around brands?
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. 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 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 are the kings of the clothing drops and also have a massive following in the streetwear scene. 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. These new products will “drop” every week in stores, and customers will line up for miles to get them. This is a great marketing strategy for any brand, as it will attract people who are willing to queue to get in 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 launched a series to introduce their new streetwear range last year. Customers could purchase the drops within 24 hours. It is fascinating to see top-end fashion houses taking inspirations from Streetwear businesses.
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 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. Because of the commitment which was necessary to getting hold of these products, it can be argued that consumers had a lot more of a connection to the brand.
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 now easily be teased on social networks weeks before they happen. Twitter has also been a big part of bringing the community back to this culture. 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