Hype clothing is worth the hype?
In streetwear, you might have heard the terms “hype clothing”, or “bonking brand”. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? Let’s dive deep and learn all there is to know about 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 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, 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 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.
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.
How does the “Hype” come about?
If you’re familiar with streetwear brands, you will be familiar with the “drop”, a marketing strategy that many brands have adopted. 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 is designed to make customers feel like they need to act quickly to secure a limited edition product.
Supreme are the kings in clothing drop and have a large following in 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. Customers will queue for hours to obtain the new releases every week when they “drop” in their stores.
Although similar products can be bought in most stores, these “hypebeasts,” who are eager to receive the latest releases, will gladly wait hours for them.
Many luxury fashion labels are following suit, releasing similar products after streetwear brands have enjoyed success.
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 plays an important role in streetwear and the creation of “hype” around brands and products. It is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
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. You can argue that the brand was more connected to its customers because they were willing to commit to buying these products.
Streetwear has become so popular that it is no longer necessary to hustle for exclusive items. They can be obtained with just a click, often without any connection or thought to the brand or their followers.
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 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