Are Hype Clothes Worth the Hype
In streetwear, you might have heard the terms “hype clothing”, or “bonking brand”. Are you unsure what the hype is and why it’s called this? Let’s get to the bottom of all this hype and learn more about it.
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, why is streetwear so popular? And where did it come a long time ago?
Continue reading to discover how the Hype Around Streetwear, also known as hype clothing, became one of fashion’s most beloved trends.
What is Bonking Brand anyway?
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. The individual may not have any money, but they still like to appear to be making more than everyone else. Equipped with mommies [sic] credit card, the Hype Beast [sic] will try his hardest to make sure he has every pair of Nike’s [sic] he saw Jay-Z wearing 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.
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” will often be found camping outside supreme store to ensure that they are first to receive the latest drops.
How does “Hype” work around brands?
Streetwear brands are well-known for their “drop” marketing strategy. Many of them have adopted it. The “drop”, which is a small release of “limited edition” clothing at select retail stores or online, involves not letting the customer know about it and often announcing it on 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 is the kings among clothing drops. They also have a huge following in the streetwear world. Since its inception in Manhattan in 1994, Supreme has grown into a global brand with a large following and collaborations with big names like Nike, Vans, North Face, and Vans.
The “hype” which surrounds the brand and the brand name can be linked back to their focus on clothing “drops” when releasing new lines. Every week these products “drop” into stores and people will wait in line for hours just to get their hands on them.
You can buy similar products in all stores, but the “hypebeasts”, who will queue for hours to get the latest and greatest releases, will be able to purchase them at their local store.
These drops were so popular that luxury fashion labels started to copy them and release similar products.
Burberry announced last year a series drops in order to launch their streetwear-inspired range. Customers had just 24 hours to buy. 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.
Social media also plays a major part in the streetwear scene and how “hype” is created around brands and products. It’s possible to argue that social media is what made streetwear mainstream.
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. 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