Is Hype Clothing Worth the Hype?
You may have heard the term “hype clothing” or “bonking brand” when it comes to streetwear. Do you understand what this means and why it is called that? Let’s dive in and find out all 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.
It is amazing to think that trainers and hoodies will be dominating luxury fashion runways around 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 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. 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 can be traced back as far as 2005, when it was created from the combination of the words “Hype” and “Beast”. Hype refers to extravagant publicity about a new piece of clothing or a trend. “Beast” is slang meaning a person skilled at something.
Although the term dates back to 2005, it became mainstream culture when Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything” featured the line “Hypebeasts that we know about cheap, don’t buy shoes unless you 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”, 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.
How does the “Hype” come about?
Many streetwear brands have adopted the “drop” marketing strategy. 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 creates urgency and exclusivity in the customer and encourages them to buy quickly to have an exclusive, limited-edition item.
Supreme are the kings and queens of streetwear. 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. 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.
Similar products are available in many stores. But these “hypebeasts”, while they may not be able to buy the latest and most popular, will happily line up for hours just to get them.
Luxury fashion labels have begun to release their products in similar ways after the streetwear brands’ success.
Burberry released a series last year to promote their streetwear collection. Customers were given just 24 hours to order. 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 is a key part of the streetwear industry and how brands and products are promoted. It is possible to argue that streetwear has gone mainstream because of social media.
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.
Social media has made streetwear more accessible than ever. This means that people don’t need to hustle to grab the latest and greatest items. With little to no thought or connection to brands or their communities, they can get it done quickly.
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 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