‘Hypebeast’ culture lets consumers create their own market


Infographic from Nikeshoebot.com shows the drastic price tag markup when re-selling Yeezy Shoes. The black bar represents the original market price, and in contrasting to it the grey bar represents how high many distributors increase their resale price. Yeezy, a clothing line by Kanye West, has been known to have limited supply, and the new prices make it even harder to obtain. Photo from Nikeshoebot.com

Alli Heckert, Reporter


  Designer clothing is not a new trend. Brands like Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton have been producing garments, accessories, and shoes for centuries. These brands have always been considered the top of their metaphorical food chain. However, new brands like Off-White, Supreme, and BAPE, have combined forces with many of the traditional designer labels to create the ultimate culture and aesthetic.

   The term used to describe those who subscribe to this trend is “Hypebeast”, and it has been taking over the modern fashion market.

   Senior Josh Cornelius has made his own business venture by becoming a Supreme distributor for the greater Wausau area.

   Cornelius defines hypebeast as “The hype clothing subculture that was formed from early skate brands collaborating with designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton for their skate clothes.”

  From reputable brands collaborations, items found in designer collections can be upwards of thousands of dollars, but soon these brands made a name for themselves without the prop-up of larger labels. Off-White’s clothing is a prime example, their Men’s Leather Biker Jacket is priced at $2,720.00 on Neiman Marcus. These prices rise due to the limited resources each release has and the dramatic reselling of those who are fortunate enough to get their hands on the merchandise.

  Prices are extremely astronomical and when comparing the average income of their marketed consumers, teenagers, the difference is glaring.  

   Despite the high cost for highly demanded products, some consumers have found a way to combat the market, and make a profit of their own.  Distributors, like Cornelius, use online programs to acquire the merchandise from the brands who release the original profit. Through only marketplaces, these distributors then resell their items.

  Because the clothing is well sought after, companies create extreme “drops” that debut their new collection. Supreme, for example, unleashes their new fashion line, sells out almost instantly, and then afterwards, the website locks out customers once all articles are sold out.

  “I personally am attracted to the clothes for the fact of how desired it is combined with how unobtainable it is.” said Cornelius

  Stories of people camping out, causing stampedes, and even going without basic necessities to afford these designer duds are not uncommon.

   “They camp out overnight to await the next sneaker release by Yeezy or Drake, turn their nose away from brands that haven’t been hyped up online, and constantly show off their sneaker and snapback collections,” Sam Beltran writes for Esquire Middle East.

  The motive behind purchasing Hypebeast clothing caries from person to person. What is obvious is that when this impressionable group of consumers sees their favorite celebrities supporting and even releasing lines, it makes for a market boom. Kanye West is a prime example. Constant and limited releases of Yeezy shoes leave shoppers eagerly awaiting behind their virtual shopping carts.

  “People will buy their clothes to make them feel more confident. People see famous celebrities wearing them which is a large influence. The Hypebeasts love their collections and resellers love the occupations,” said Cornelius.

    The hasty change that encompasses the culture is unpredictable. From season to brand, the evolution of the Hypebeast is constantly being redefined.  Even the consumers and sellers themselves have no idea how the fashion will unfold.

  “Every week when Supreme has a drop, I watch it sell out within seconds, so I don’t foresee it having trouble selling and continuing to grow,” said Cornelius.