Before we start off. I feel that I should put a disclaimer here. This is not one of my typical posts on the history of Jordans, Yeezys or any shoe for that matter. This is a completely different series I’m writing, which is more focused on opinion rather than facts. If this is not your cup of tea and you would rather just read another “history of -Insert shoe name here-” then you can go and read one of my other posts, there should be plenty to choose from. But for this particular post and for others i have planned for in the future this is going to be about something different. This will solely be my opinion and nothing else.
Now with that out-of-the-way i would like to dig down into the discussion of a phenomenon wich have plagued the sneaker and fashion community alike. The being of a “Hypebeast”.
To those who do not know the term. A hypebeast is the definition of a person who buys shoes or just clothing in particular which has a lot of hype surrounding it. It could be a collaboration between two fashion icons, who social media might say is going to be THE drop of the year, or someone famous dropping a famous shoe, Kanye is the perfect example of this. And while people should have the freedom to choose what to wear and from what brand. These type of people take that freedom and throws it in your face.
A hypebeast in the sneaker community would typically be the ones to makes sure they have every kind of yeezy in their collection or who are willing to buy GR Ultraboosts to way over retail just because that’s what people seem to be rocking, and that’s what seems to be popular. In a way you can compare these people to those who strictly follows the latest fashions, and keeps an eye out for when some piece of clothing, who seems to be a hot topic on social media is about to drop in retail store. And “retail stores” is the key word here.
Most of these people don’t have the money to buy real designer clothing. I’ve been to some sites and the prices they ask for, just because it has a specific name on it blows my mind. Now im not saying that making money of your business and brand is a bad idea, Capitalism is a wonderful thing and money makes the world go around. To some degree I may well be a slave to some brands. But the difference between me and hypebeasts is that I have a strong will, a high amount of self-worth and i can control myself.
while some of these hypebeasts go out and buy designer clothes with their money. Many of them don’t and that’s because they are children and can’t afford it. but what they can afford is the reselling price and the retail price on clothing that a lot of people seems to be talking about. The very definition of hype.
For now I will keep on the topic of sneakers because
- I do not have the knowledge about big fashion brands like, Luis Vuitton, Versache, Gucci etc.
- I do not have a lot of knowledge of all these brands, wich I’ve never heard of but for some reason seems to be able to charge 800£ for some pants
- I do not care for these brands and names, I care for sneakers.
Not all hypebeast bait is inhumanly expensive. Some of it is actually affordable, if you look at the retail price. Yeeyzs, Ultraboosts, supreme, palace, and hyped Jordans are all affordable if you can get them at retail. Granted most of the shoes may cost between 200-220$ and I personally don’t think any shoe should cost over 160$ but they are expensive things that most people can afford. Now the market for hyped Adidas shoes, especially Yeezys are becoming ridiculous. With pricing being the double or more for retail. But if we don’t look at the resellers but more at the people who actually wears the shoes instead of reselling them, why would they spend so much on a shoe?
Now while I may not have any degree in psychology or sociology. I think it all comes down to the simple fact that these kids wants what every kid in their teens and preteens wants. To fit in
When I look at the people who are asking for Yeezys on sneaker groups. It’s rarely I see them being over the age of 14-16, most of these people come from economically stable backgrounds living in good neighborhoods and are about that age where they are entering high school.
I think most of these people come from a place, that has been pretty stable and easy-going, and are now entering a stage where things begin to change and they don’t know what to do. They don’t want to be left out of the groups, they want to get friends and need something that will make them instantly likable. Hence popular shoes
The sneaker community in my country has never been this popular. I’ve met so many people who had an opinion on shoes, and that is it actually pretty nice. It is so cool to know that I can go over to almost anyone and instantly get that connection going because we both have a passion or at least an opinion on sneakers. But by having this knowledge we also know which sneakers are more hot than others, and that’s why i think these young people are doing what they can to get a hold of a pair of Yeezys.
Even if you got them for retail you can convince anyone that you bought them for reseller prices, no one is going to feud you on that, as long as you can prove they are real. And that’s because everyone knows what they are going for. You can easily get at big boost of self-worth knowing that you are wearing shoes that everyone wants and that are so hard to get, and that’s what it all comes down to. Exclusivity.
I read a comment the other day on a sneaker youtubers video. The video itself is pretty irrelevant, but there was one comment that got me thinking and ultimately got me writing this.
The comment said and I quote “being a hypebeast is all about being exclusive” Exclusivity. Knowing that you have something that others don’t. Knowing that you have something others want. That is what being a hypebeast is about, to feel special. and that’s what I think is wrong about this whole thing.
There will always be trends, those will never die for sure. but I know that there are kids out there who honestly think that they need a pair of Yezzys, Ultraboosts or even Jordans to fit in, it’s a sad thought, but unfortunately true
No kid should feel the need to spend upwards to a 1000$ on a pair of shoes just because some people on the internet say they look cool. One of the worst things is that the money they spend isn’t even theirs. its money they have gotten through their parents who think it’s a good idea to support the notion, that my kid NEEDS a pair of shoes worth 1000$. Some parents might not think this, but that the message you are teaching them when you give them the money and permission to make such a purchase, instead of teaching them they are wrong, or at the very least telling them to go earn that money themselves.
I think the saddest thing is that in your quest to be a hypebeast. And to buy things that are exclusive to make yourself seem more special. You end up looking like everyone else. So the whole purpose of the spending is irrelevant, because your end goal is not meet. You just end up looking like a copy of everyone else on the street and in your circle. But if they give you the gratification you are looking for then more power to you, I just hope it doesn’t stop when you or your parents run out of money.
But in the end I can’t really be to hard on these kids, because in the end they are just that. Kids. most of them don’t even know what the model on the god damn shoe is called. All they know is that it’s a Yeezy, its popular, and it cost more money than anyone with their age should be spending on shoes. These kids need to find a better way to get some self-worth and acceptance among their peers for being themselves, so that i doesn’t solely comes down to the things they have. But I guess this is the old tale of money can’t buy you happiness that has been going on forever.
These kids just want to have an identity of their own. A desire that I think we all strive for. I’ve been in their shoes and I remember what it’s like, i think we all do. And because of that, i can’t blame them for what they’re doing. While i still think that what they are doing is stupid and should stop, at least i know why they are doing it.