When I brought up the term hypebeast in a general conversation with my coworkers, they had no idea what the heck I was talking about. I let out a skeptical laugh because I could have sworn everyone in Toronto knew what a hypebeast was, since the city is crawling with them. And then it hit me - did I even know what a hypebeast really was?
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I think Urban Dictionary hit the nail on the head with their definition (or at least, it's the definition I've grown up with):
A kid that collects clothing, shoes, and accessories for the sole purpose of impressing others. Although the individual may not have a dime to their name they like to front like they are making far more then everybody else. Equipped with mommy's credit card the Hype Beast will try his hardest to make sure he has every pair of Nike’s he saw Jay-Z wearing on 106 & Park.
An alternative definition goes on to say that hypebeasts are essentially "sneakerheads who only rock hyped up stuff to get props because they have no self-worth or sense of style."
Athough the second definition does bear some truth, in reality they're more than just kids with a hardcore sneaker and popular brand obsession. You're not automatically a hypebeast just because you like a particular brand or luxury products. Let me put it this way - anyone can be into shoes and high-end brands, but not everyone is into those things for the same reasons.
I mean, some people find happiness in the hypebeast life, so to each their own. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that there are several negative undertones that accompany the hypebeast classification. Everybody has their own definitions of what a hypebeast is; however, I think there are certain things we can all agree on. Here are 10 signs you may be a full-fledged (or partial) hypebeast:
1. Your idea of being fashionable is essentially wearing any and all high-end brands together simultaneously.
If you're a true hypebeast, you're probably heavily branded from head to toe. Your outfit might not even match, but as long as each individual piece is ultra high-end, you're good to go. Some hypebeasts colour-coordinate, while others have no concept of colour coordination whatsoever.
You're the type to pair a Bape puffer with an oversized Givenchy shirt, Pyrex shorts, Westbrook glasses and a Supreme snapback. The decision to wear the Pyrex shorts is strategic, since you intend to show off your black Nike Elites. And, to top it all off, you complete your outfit with a crisp pair of Yeezy Red Octobers you somehow managed to cop off of someone from KanyeToThe.com.
Photo cred - Tumblr
2. You focus your spending on all the latest gear rather than on basic necessities.
If you're a true hypebeast, you typically don't consider price to be an important factor in purchasing decisions. Money is also never an issue. You'll get the funds for your cop somehow, whether it means hustling overtime at your job(s) or getting on your knees and begging your parents for extra allowance.
Saving money for important things is not an option - if you have to starve yourself just so you can afford that studded Balmain jacket Kanye wore to the Met Gala, you might just do it. That is the sheer dedication of a hypebeast. The value of a dollar? Straight out the window.
Photo cred - dontquestionkings.com
3. You take pride in your extensive sneaker/snapback collection.
If you're a true hypebeast, you've definitely got some area of your room or house that's dedicated to displaying your kicks. You're bound to have a pair of Olive 9s, Olympic 7s, or Concords (you don't refer to them as Jordan 11s) somewhere in your mix. When people come over, you can't wait for them to notice your sneaker shrine so you can talk all about how getting those sneakers was "no big deal" for you at all.
Your snapbacks are also perfectly lined up on display. Your mix is littered with Stussy, Supreme, Huf, and Crooks and Castles - basically all the brands they have at Zumies. Yet, you refused to buy them there. Instead, you went to the boutique that sells them for double the price 'cause that place is cooler.
Photo cred - hypebeast.com
4. You think a brand is whack if you've never heard of it before.
If you're a true hypebeast, you wouldn't dare buy or wear anything that wasn't hyped up online. You're only interested in things that are gaining traction and popularity among the general public, and dismiss anything that isn't featured on Hypebeast.com. The more overexposed a brand is, the more you're dying to get your hands on it.
You don't care about being the first guy to discover the next big label. You want whats already in style because you think that's a surefire way to get you immediate cred.
Photo cred - hypebeast.com
5. You buy clothes just because they're brand-name, even though you personally don't know if you even like them or not.
If you're a true hypebeast, you will buy that Boy London backpack even though it's the most obnoxious thing you've ever seen. It's all about branding to you. The logo could be microscopic but as long as you can prove it's an authentic piece of luxury wear, you're into it.
Forget the story behind a piece of clothing - that doesn't matter to you a single bit. In your eyes, fashion isn't art, it's just something to put on your back to get compliments.
Photo cred - upscalehype.com
6. You are more heavily influenced by celebrity street wear than the average consumer.
If you're a true hypebeast, you are easily persuaded by what celebrities wear. Kimye may be your biggest inspos yet - anything they have, you want. You don't care if Kanye's clothing line looks like it's been sent through a meat processor; if he's wearing it, you're getting it.
Because it's so important for you to stay informed of your celebrity inspos, you follow them and their grandmas on all forms of social media. Your Tumblr is dedicated to fashion reblogs of them and everything on your page represents your ultimate cop goals.
Photo cred - jmalesevac
7. You will camp out for hours on end just to cop a limited-edition item.
If you're a true hypebeast, you'll set up camp in line just so you can get your hands on the next sneaker release by Drake. Unlike other people who are in the line because they're genuine sneaker enthusiasts, you're in line just because everyone else is. You're more dedicated to the hype than to the sentiment.
The minute you get into the store, you spam your social media accounts with photos just so you can show everyone you were actually there. On Instagram, you make sure to load your posts with as many hashtags as possible.
Photo cred - hypebeast.com
8. You believe self-worth is measured in Instagram likes (particularly on your #OOTD posts).
If you're a true hypebeast, likes on Instagram fuel your fire. You want to be Instafamous; to be heralded as a fashion icon in your area. Right after every post, you monitor your account meticulously and watch the counter go up. This constitutes one of the most important parts of your day.
9. You gear up every time you go out.
If you're a true hypebeast, it doesn't matter where you're going or what you're going out for. You will floss up to the maximum degree because appearances are everything to you. You could just be going to the laundry mat and still be fleshed out in a Rick Owens bomber, Climacools and white Huaraches.
Your worst enemy is precipitation. It's hard to focus on looking fresh when you've got to worry about getting your gear wet. But you won't bail, no; you'll still go out because you'll take every opportunity for exposure that you can get.
Based on what I just wrote, I might just be part hypebeast... #ERKS
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