I’m no hype beast but wearing clothes that no one else has makes me feel good.
In 2015, Anti-social Social Club(ASSC) was created in the essence of edgy self-loathing Instagram culture. The brand started as a joke and grew into the most popular hype streetwear brand in the world. I bought six ASSC pieces in the span of two years for way too much money.
And to what avail?
I am embarrassed to wear them now.
The irony is that there is an over-saturation of a supposed exclusive product. This is hype culture.
Hype beast culture consists of collecting limited-release clothing or sneakers for the sole purpose of impressing others. Most often, hype beasts do not appreciate fashion, the brand name and exclusivity of what they’re wearing being of utmost importance. These people spend no time thinking about their outfit because they are too busy spamming “add to cart” on release day.
For those who were late to the expensive low-quality clothing party, there is an alternative: fakes. And believe you me, there are a lot of late-comers.
The fake market has gotten so good that 1:1s (virtually perfect replicas) are more common than ever. You can buy $400 worth of clothing for less than $100 and fit right in. The problem for hype beasts is that by someone wearing fakes, their real pieces become subject to reality checks. And with no way to prove authenticity, you’ll find yourself convinced that you wasted your money and time like I have.
Yeezy 350s are a great example. Yeezy 350s can be recognized by everyone. The shoe saw its first release in 2015 and has grown in popularity ever since. The only thing that has changed is who is wearing them. I’ve seen more Yeezy 350s on campus this year matched with wide-legged jeans, plaid shirts and snapbacks than anyone should ever have to bear witness to.
Since 2015 production numbers have risen each successive release, allowing for more people to own a pair. This is good for Yeezy Supply and Adidas but bad for hype beasts. The sought-after exclusivity factor is ripped away and Yeezy 350s become run of the mill, retail-priced shoes. Kanye West claims the potential resell money and hype beasts lose interest altogether.
According to StockX –a sneaker-reselling website– reselling margins are at an all-time low for Yeezy 350s. So even if you’re buying with intention to resell, there’s no point. Buying from retail is so easy that anyone can do it. There’s no pride or sense of achievement buying and wearing these products anymore.
The current streetwear landscape yields one very important lesson: just because it’s popular it doesn’t mean it’s good, nor should you think it’s good just because it’s popular.
Save your money.