Being the eldest of five kids, and a little bit of a black sheep, there have been many times when my family and I have not seen eye-to-eye when it comes to fashion. When I wore creepers and collared shirts buttoned to the neck with my hair in those little Miley Cyrus buns four years ago, a lot of laughs were had at my expense. But, before I knew it, my sisters were begging me to take them thrifting and let them borrow clothes they had teased me mercilessly for owning. This stemmed from figures in the public eye dressing the same “alternative” way I was, and these clothes thus becoming marketable and a way to link your image with your idols. When my sisters started asking to borrow my stuff around the same time my style evolved, I don’t think it was a simple coincidence.
Everyone has their own taste when it comes to what looks good. From this, you can cultivate what I’ll call a “personal aesthetic” – effectively your own style. For example, I refer to my own personal aesthetic as “based goth bitch” (#TYBG) or “ghetto goth” in the same vein as VENUS X. All black ensembles with a hood twist. A key point here is that there is a difference between developing your own style and following fads. Looking at the collective fashion choices our generation is making I have to ask the question: has hype replaced fashion? Rap artists like A$AP Rocky and Kanye West have carved a niche as fashion icons of a sort, and people are dropping ridiculous stacks on a bunch of hyped-up merchandise. I’m going to take you on a journey through the main ways I hate what hype is doing to style (suffocating it with one of Kanye’s Maison Martin Margiela masks).
HOOD BY AIR: I cringe a little bit every time I see someone sporting a “Been Trill” HBA tee, knowing that they come with a $100USD price tag on hypebeast.com. Maybe every person I’ve seen wearing one at a concert in the last year truly believed it was a reflection of their inner soul, or maybe they have contacts at the Glenfield night markets (holla at a replica), but when I look at it I don’t see $100. I see someone who’s just learned how to use MS paint and found dafont.com. Bonus points if you pair it with faux-leather low-hanging pants.
HYPEBEAST AS A WHOLE: The word “hypebeast” pretty much makes my skin crawl, and when I open the ‘Store’ tab on their website I don’t feel much better. I have a “That’s So Raven” moment where I have a vision of a bunch of fuccbois fighting to the death over who the coolest member of Odd Future is while they all simultaneously compete to have the quirkiest socks. Garish prints, pristine sneakers, and some thugged-out Alexander McQueen (RIP).
KANYE COLLABORATIONS: This is really a prime example of how H.A.M hype comes at ya in the fashion world. Yeezus collaborated with A.P.C on a plain white Egyptian cotton t-shirt which set customers back a mere $120. Although I saw a fair bit of backlash about the price tag online, considering you can get the same thing at The Warehouse for < $5, it sold out almost instantly. Scenarios like this highlight how much hype sells. Are we so desperate to feel like Ye that we’ll pay $120 to have his name silk screened on the back of our necks? Apparently. Now y’all can’t afford a car so ya better name ya daughter Alexis (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).
SUPREME: I’ll admit that I paid a ridiculous price for a velvet supreme five-panel a few years ago. I too, have been personally victimised by the entity known as ‘hype’. I don’t know why I bought it. Maybe Tyler, The Creator was leaving subliminal messages in his songs? My little sister begged me to give it to her the other day, so it passes down the line to a new hypebeast and leaves my closet once and for all. But on a serious note, Supreme epitomises hype > fashion in my opinion. The clothing you’re buying isn’t necessarily ugly or unflattering, but the price tags attached to the pieces are ridiculous. Take for example this $90 bucket hat that looks like something your grandma would give you for Christmas when you were five.
All of these things are just sore points for me when I look at social media or the people who surround me on a daily basis. How do you not feel like an absolute twat paying for shit everyone else wears so you can all look stupid together while mobbin’ at ScHoolboy Q? We’ve stopped paying for high fashion, one-offs, good materials and manufacturing. Instead we’re paying for social status and Instagram likes. Fashion is all about free will, and it’s a possibility that maybe thousands of people truly do believe a fuccboi is what they are on the inside and they want to express it with their brethren… Call me a cynic, but I think everyone is getting played.
Jayden wrote this crying in bed wearing a bucket hat with face tatts drawn on while she missed the ScHoolboy Q concert.
Title Image Cred: Os Gemeos for Viva La Revolucion 'Don't Believe The Hype'