Is Hype Clothing Worth it?
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 in and find out all 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.
Who would have thought that hoodies, trainers, and other casual wear would dominate luxury fashion runways all over the world?
So why did streetwear become so famous?
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?
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. Although they may not have any assets, they pretend to have it all. 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 is a term that can be traced back in 2005. It was created as a mixture of the two words Hype (which refers in this instance to the extravagant publicity surrounding a brand new item of clothing) and Beast (which is slang term for someone who is skilled at something.
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.
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”, who are often found outside supreme shops, will be there to make sure they get the latest drops.
What is the “Hype”, built around brands?
If you’re familiar with streetwear brands, you will be familiar with the “drop”, a marketing strategy that many brands have adopted. These products are usually released in small quantities at select retail locations or online. They are often not announced and often unannounced on 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 is the king of streetwear and has a huge following. 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 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.
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.
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 launched a series to introduce their new streetwear range last year. Customers could purchase the drops within 24 hours. 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 is a key part of the streetwear industry and how brands and products are promoted. It’s possible to argue that social media is what made streetwear mainstream.
The only way to access the most recent releases before the internet was to be in the right place at right time and search the shops for limited edition items. The commitment required to obtain these products made it possible to argue that consumers felt a stronger connection with the brand.
The rise of streetwear via social media means that hypebeasts don’t have to hustle for the latest limited edition items. It is possible to often get them at the click of one button with little to no connection to the brand and 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 can now easily be teased on social networks weeks before they happen. Twitter has also been a big part of bringing the community back to this culture. Twitter now allows streetwear hype beasts to post conspiracies and discuss when the next drops are.
A new arrival to the Hype Street Wear World is Bonking