Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
When it comes to streetwear, you may have heard the terms “hype clothing” or even “bonking brand”. But do you know what it all means or why it’s 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.
We would never have guessed that trainers and hoodies would soon be on the fashion runways of luxury fashion houses around the globe.
So how did streetwear become so fashionable?
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?
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. Although they may not have any assets, they pretend to have it all. The Hype Beast [sic] will work hard to get every pair of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z wear on 106 & Park equipped with mommies [sic] credit.
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.
While there are many different definitions of “hypebeast”, most agree that it refers to someone who is obsessed about the latest fashion trends to impress their friends.
These “Hype Beasts,” who live outside of supreme stores, are known to be camping out in order for them to get the latest drops.
How does “Hype” work 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 is designed to make customers feel like they need to act quickly to secure a limited edition product.
Supreme are the kings and queens of streetwear. 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’s brand name and “hype”, can be linked to their emphasis on clothing “drops,” when they release new lines. Customers will queue for hours to obtain the new releases every week when they “drop” in their stores.
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.
These drops were so popular that luxury fashion labels started to copy them and release similar products.
Burberry released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. 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 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 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. You can argue that the brand was more connected to its customers because they were willing to commit to buying these products.
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 be teased via social media for weeks or months ahead of the actual drop date. Twitter is also a key part of bringing back this community element. 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