Many times, all of us have heard the word ‘Hypebeast’ without knowing what that term really means. We are used to connect it with the streetwear and yes, they are linked, but they are not the same thing. The ‘Hypebeast’ or ‘beast of the hype’ could be considered as the evolution of the sneakerhead, but more exaggerated. The hypebeast is a person who collects sneakers and other types of garments of the brands with more hype and that are more popular in the streetwear industry, like Supreme, Off-White, Bape or Yeezy, among others.
The hypebeast does not keep in mind if he likes the garment that he is going to buy or not. He usually looks for those items that are exclusive, just launched or popular in the social media like Instagram. In fact, they usually promote these items in that social media. That is the main difference between streetwear and hypebeast.
The hypebeast does not keep in mind if he likes the garment that he is going to buy or not
The streetwear was born in United States between the 70s and the 80s. The skaters were the ones who started this dressing style because they used to look for comfortable clothes for skating instead of beautiful clothes. Therefore, they were the first group won over by the streetwear. At first, the skaters started wearing clothes designed by Element or DC Shoes, which were focused on them. But this started to change and some brands focused on skaters, like Supreme, were born.
Supreme was created in New York in 1994. The brand used to create clothes and accessories for the skaters. Therefore, Supreme focused its business model on this sport and on the riders. But, in 2015 the Brand changed because of Hypebeast’s beginning.
Moreover, hypebeasts are usually in the loop of the next launches of collaborations between sport brands like Nike or Adidas, with other brands like Supreme or Louis Vuitton, among others. They usually wait in queues for hours to get the most hyped garments in retail price. That is because the hypebeast market lies in the resales market, where the items are sold in exchange of much higher prices than in retail. Some examples of these items in the resale market are the collaborations between the Nike Air Force 1 and the Air Jordan with Off-White. The garments designed by Virgil Abloh (founder of Off-White and creative director of the masculine collections of Louis Vuitton) have a lot of hype and manage high prices in the resale market.
Low supply and high demand
That is how the Hypebeast market works. The brands launch items in a low supply knowing that the demand is very high and the hypebeasts are ready to wait hours in a queue to get these items. That is the business model of brands like Supreme. For their part, hypebeasts buy these garments, they upload a picture wearing them on Instagram to publicise the brand and, afterwards, most of them resale the items on Ebay in exchange of higher prices that can exceed the 100% of the retail price. That makes this type of life into hype’s work. In addition, many times hypebeasts survey their followers about the items they have bought to know if they should resell or keep them. That is, they don´t keep in mind their judgement, only their followers’ one.
Many times hypebeasts survey their followers about the items they have bought to know if they should resell or keep them
Furthermore, the most sold garments because of the Hypebeast movement are, apart from the sneakers, the ‘box logo’ items, that is the items that have the brand’s logo perfectly visible. As long as the logo is big and visible the item will have more hype. That is the Supreme t-shirts’ case because these were the first items of the brand included in the Hypebeast movement. The result is that at present a Supreme t-shirt can cost 45 euros, when it used to cost 15 euros.
Because of the hype that the ‘box-logo‘ produces, some brands like Supreme or Yeezy created a process to make their clients buy the most limited items, that is called ‘raffle’. The raffle consists in people interested in buying these garments fill out a form with their personal details (ID Card, email, address). When all the subscriptions are done, the brand raffles the possibility of buying these items, they don´t raffle prizes.
However, the Hypebeast trend cannot be understood without the influence of social media, like Instagram, and of famous rappers, like Kanye West, Drake or XXXTentation, among others. These rappers, apart from having their own brands and collections, usually use this way of dressing. For its part, Instagram allow the promotion of the brands and of the hypebeasts themselves.
In summary, we could define the Hypebeast as the present evolution of the sneakerhead, as a person, and of the streetwear, as a concept. However, the Hypebeast is focused on promoting brands in the social media. Moreover, it has made it into a life style and into the work of many persons, especially young guys. These guys see the opportunity of wearing streetwear clothing but exclusives, and thanks to it they can also gain money. However, the Hypebeast stimulates consuming and it is not always the same as dressing good because, as said, you can wear hyped items, but not match them well.