Hype clothing is worth the hype?
When it comes to streetwear, you may have heard the terms “hype clothing” or even “bonking brand”. Do you understand what this means and why it is called that? Let’s dive deep and learn all there is to know 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.
It is amazing to think that trainers and hoodies will be dominating luxury fashion runways around the world.
So, how has streetwear grown to be so popular and from where?
Keep reading to see how the Hype about streetwear, also known by hype clothing, has become one of the most loved fashion trends in the history of fashion.
What is a Bonking Brand, exactly?
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 have much, but they love to pretend that they make more than the rest. 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 was first coined in 2005. It is a combination of two words: “Hype”, which refers to excessive publicity surrounding a new trend or item of clothing, and “Beast,” which is slang for someone who is skilled in something. In this case, a person who keeps up with fashion trends.
The word was first used in 2005 by Trinidad James, a rapper who released “All Gold Everything”. His song contained the line “Hypebeasts, we know about cheap”, and the lyrics “Hypebeasts, we don’t want to buy shoes unless they 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.
There are many opinions about what “hypebeast” really means. However, there is agreement that a Hypebeast will be someone who is obsessed with fashion and will do anything to get the “Hype”.
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 “Hype” work 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. This process involves releasing limited edition clothing in limited quantities at certain retail locations and online. These products are often announced via social media. This strategy works to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity and leads the customer to believe that they must purchase the product quickly, in order to own an exclusive and limited edition 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 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.
Many luxury fashion labels are following suit, releasing similar products after streetwear brands have enjoyed 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 quite interesting to see such high-end fashion houses take inspiration form Streetwear companies.
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 a significant role in streetwear’s scene. It is how brands and products get “hype”. 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.
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 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