Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
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 dive in and find out all about 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 has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
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 a Bonking Brand and how do they work?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person who follows a trend to be cool or in style. 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] 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 can be traced back as far as 2005, when it was created from the combination of the words “Hype” and “Beast”. Hype refers to extravagant publicity about a new piece of clothing or a trend. “Beast” is slang meaning a person 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”, also known as Hype Beasts, will often be seen camping outside supreme retailers to ensure they are among the first to receive the latest drops.
What does it take to build the “Hype” around brands and products?
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 is designed to make customers feel like they need to act quickly to secure a limited edition product.
Supreme are the kings of the clothing drops and also have a massive following in the streetwear scene. 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. Customers will queue for hours to obtain the new releases every week when they “drop” in their stores.
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.
Luxury fashion labels are now following the footsteps of streetwear brands and releasing their products in similar ways to these success stories.
Burberry released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. 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.
The streetwear scene is also heavily influenced by social media and the “hype” created around brands. It is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
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. 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 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 is now a place for hype beasts to share their theories and conspiracies about the next drop.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking