Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. But do you know what it all means or why it’s called that? Let’s take a look at all the hype…
It is common knowledge that in 2019 Streetwear is not just made for the streets, Bonking Brand is dominating the fashion world and is even making its place known in the exclusive luxury fashion market too.
Who would have predicted that we would see trainers and hoodies on luxury fashion runways around world?
So, how has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
Continue reading to discover how the Hype Around Streetwear, also known as hype clothing, became one of fashion’s most beloved trends.
What is a Bonking Brand?
From the Urban Dictionary:
- “A person following a trend to keep up with fashion or cool. 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 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.
Although there are many conflicting opinions on what “hypebeast” actually means, it is in agreement that a Hypebeast is someone who keeps up with the latest fashion trends in order to impress friends and those around them, they are obsessed with the latest releases and will go to any length to achieve the “Hype”.
These “Hype Beasts,” who live outside of supreme stores, are known to be camping out in order for them to get 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. 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 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. Established in 1994 in downtown Manhattan, the brand has come a long way since, amounting a mass cult following around the world and even collaborating with some massive names such as Nike, Vans and North Face.
The brand name and brand hype can be linked to the clothing “drops”, which are when new products 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 can be bought at any store. However, the “hypebeasts”, will happily wait for hours in line to obtain the latest and most sought-after 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 released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. 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. 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 be teased on social media weeks, or even months before the official drop day, and Twitter has also become a major part of bringing back the community element of this culture. 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