From Tommy Hilfiger to Calvin Klein, brand clothing has always been the rage. If you’re into fashion, or even if you’re not, you know the satisfaction of rocking those three striped Adidas leggings and looking so sporty chic you’re almost convinced you can play a sport. Maybe it’s the feeling of flashing that new Calvin Klein bralette that all the celebrities were showing off on social media which you just had to join in on by posting a cute pic with the caption #mycalvins. Whatever brand it was that made you feel like a proper fashionista clearly had an impact on both you and the public, however there may be some competition on the horizons. These brands that once were the utmost epitome of trendy high-end fashion may have to take a step aside and make way for the newest competing brands: the hypebeasts.
What the heck is a hypebeast, you ask? Well, that was my thought too when I first heard of the strange term. In my opinion, it seems like only actual hypebeasts know the true meaning behind it, and I’ve gotten into many arguments with people on whether or not it has become a staple in pop culture yet. Basically, to be a hypebeast is to be part of an urban streetwear culture where brands such as Supreme, Bape, Off White, and a plethora more are thriving. These brands are worn by trendy teens and young adults taking on the urban streets of the culture’s origin, NYC, but now the culture is even spreading to suburbs. Though you may have heard of these brands, it isn’t unlikely that the term hypebeast is completely foreign to you, which is partly what makes the culture so mysterious that it’s intriguing. Oh, and did I mention that this street clothing is ridiculously expensive just like any other brand, but there’s a catch that makes it a little more interesting. People are literally buying a simple shirt with the Supreme logo plastered across it for over $100, then they wear it for a little while and enjoy the pleasures of having a piece of the culture with them, and then they sell it. That is a huge part of what makes up the hypebeast culture.
So, what do I think of all of this? Do I think it’s crazy that people are literally buying a cotton shirt originally priced at $150 and selling it to people, who will actually buy it for $500? Of course I do, but at the same time it’s fascinating. Young kids are able to buy clothing deemed popular by other kids like them before it sells out of the original sale within seconds. Then, the clothing becomes even more valuable knowing that the only ones left in existence of that specific collection are ones already purchased by others. People are so desperate to get their hands on these clothes because they missed the original sale that they are willing to drop serious cash, but only with the consolation that they might earn some of it back from their own resale. It’s a wild culture, but the fact that people feed into it and make reselling clothes something cool and trendy is pretty cool.
I won’t lie, I used to think all people who wore Supreme were absolute douchebags, and don’t get me wrong some of them are, but my close-minded judgements of course are not proven correct every time. In fact, a lot of people who wear Supreme and all of the other hypebeast brands are genuinely obsessed with the culture and view the clothing as an art, just as designers do with any other brands owning the catwalks of NYFW. It is art, and it literally has created its own culture, which is why I’m starting to hate these brands a little less and actually start to want some of my own.
Call me a hypocrite, I know. If I were to still believe that all people who are willing to spend that much money on a brand I didn’t truly understand until now were awful human beings, then I am just one of those douchebags I thought they all were. There’s just the appeal of being in the city, attending a pop up shop of the latest drop with like-minded people, and making a fortune off of someone who appreciates the system of all this that now makes a little more sense to me. I do not and will not ever define myself as a hypebeast, just because let’s be real I’m probably not cool enough, but I can appreciate a unifying art form when I see one – and that is exactly what these street brands are.