Is Hype Clothing Worth it?
When it comes to streetwear, you may have heard the terms “hype clothing” or even “bonking brand”. Are you unsure what the hype is and why it’s called this? Let’s dive deep and learn all there is to know about 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.
Who would have predicted that we would see trainers and hoodies on luxury fashion runways around world?
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 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. The individual may not be able to make a living, but they will pretend they have more than others. The Hype Beast [sic] is equipped with a mommies [sic] credit cards and will do his best to ensure he has every pair Nike’s [sic] he spotted Jay-Z wearing at 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.
Despite the word tracing back to 2005, it entered mainstream culture when rapper Trinidad James released his song “All Gold Everything” which contained the line “Hypebeasts we know about cheap, don’t buy shoes unless they 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 is the “Hype”, built around brands?
Streetwear brands are well-known for their “drop” marketing strategy. Many of them have adopted it. The “drop” marketing strategy involves the release of small quantities of limited edition clothing at select retail locations. These products can also be sold online. Many of these products are announced via 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. The brand was established in Manhattan in 1994. Since then, it has grown to be a huge cult favorite all over the world. They have even collaborated with many big names like Nike 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 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 have begun to release their products in similar ways after the streetwear brands’ success.
Burberry announced last year a series drops in order to launch their streetwear-inspired range. Customers had just 24 hours to buy. It is certainly interesting to see high end fashion houses taking inspiration from Streetwear companies and it raises the question as to what the future holds for clothing releases and if these “drops” will evolve.
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, there was no way to obtain the latest releases. The only way was to be at the right spot at the right time. The commitment required to obtain these products made it possible to argue that consumers felt a stronger connection with 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 are now possible to be teased on social networking weeks, or even months, before the official drop date. Twitter has also played a significant role in bringing back the community aspect 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