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The Discourse Community of Hypebeasts

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Whenever you walk into a store and there’s a blowout sale, you always see the scraps of the least important or least expensive items left over from the sale. In the day of a life of a hypebeast, they would’ve already been at the store by five am, waiting in line for the store to open up to get the item that has the least amount in stock, and on top of that, the item is usually ridiculously expensive and/or priceless. This discourse community is a collective group of creative people from all over the globe. A discourse community is group of people who share a set of discourses, understood as basic values and assumptions, and ways of communicating about those goals. Linguist John Swales defined discourse communities as “groups that have goals or purposes, and use communication to achieve these goals.” Hypebeasts goals are to be on the hunt for buying the most exclusive product with limited access to it. “The exclusivity of that product prevents you from being ignorant to the hype,” a fellow member of the hypebeastcommunity, Christopher Ross, mentioned to me that it is not about what the item is, it is about how many there are in stock, and it’s price.

Since Adidas was created in 1924 and Nike created in 1964, you could surely say this culture of limited access of priceless items was born. The fascination of Nike recreating “retro” shoes and altering either the material or the colorway excites people of the community. Retro just just is when the item or in this case, shoe, is an old model made new and sold at a higher price than before. Once again, your average hypebeast is attracted to the fact that that will be the last time or it won’t be a while until a re-release.

From Polo Ralph Lauren, Kith, Stussy, 10.Deep, Supreme, Stampd, Biana Chandôn, Brain Dead, Anti Social Social Club, Richardson, Born x Raised, Concepts, Billionaire Boys Club, Deer Dana and Undefeated – in 2015, there are considered to be the top fifteen streetwear hybeast brands within this community. These brands can be considered to be subcultures mostly because they all are different and yet all the same in many different ways and the people of this community can be specific about the brands they were or be very open to wearing all hypebeast brands. The common goal these brands have is that they all provide to the customer a sense of individuality in a very simple way: “exclusive sick ass clothing” (Ross). These brands want to be identified by the people, by their labels and their name. You could wear an entire outfit with just name brands all over, it doesn’t even need to be considered stylish, but you would be considered to be a hypebeast.

A great thing about this community is that there is a high chance of you looking really cool and standing out is definitely a possibility. A lot of these brands actually just have their logo blasted on top of shoes or on a solid tee shirt so it’s not hard to recognize them. Christopher mentioned to the ups and downs of being a part of this community. There’s also a few downfalls to this community from someone looking from the outside in, “How can you let someone, society or social media dictate what’s “cool”?,” in other words, he supports the fashion behind it, but he also does not agree with the fact that endorsements or celebrities are influencing people to purchase these items. Another reason he stated was that people within the community lets the exclusivity and brand name be an excuse for the price tag.

On December 19th, 2015, Kanye West released a shoe in collaboration with Adidas, within seconds of its release. Online stores were crashing and local stores were selling out. The fact that Kanye West was creating this made such a buzz to his followers and fans from his music that it was just something so hyped it is now considered in the category of hypebeast. Due to the fact that his items were limited to the public, attracted the hypebeast clients even more. It is a competition to get these items, but when it comes to shoes, it becomes even more of a challenge to get the items. A lot of hypebeast like to resell shoes without even wearing them, either just to say they have them “deadstock,” which means hasn’t been removed from the box, or worn.

Receiving feedback and communicating in this community is very easy to access because it is truly at the tip of your thumbs. A standard outlet to use to reach out to this community is using Twitter or Disquis. Many websites such as Hypebeast.com, Complex.com, HighSnobiety.com all have features on the sites where you can share to twitter, facebook, tumblr disquis and other blogs to whatever is hype and popping at the time. A lot of self-proclaimed hypebeast bloggers would definitely be the ones you could consider to be at the top of the chain when it comes to knowing what is in with hypebeast fashion of the season. Instagram is a perfect way to receive feedback and also reach out to others that are interested in the name brands associated with the hypebeast community as well. Altogether, communicating, feedback and building rapport with others to build their collection of the exclusive items is easy to access within any reach.

Looking back at the interviews figure out how this lifestyle and community is like was just like watching the video of the little boy trying bacon for the first time in his life. An easy way to get access or to receive feedback and intercommunication to this community is at the palm of your hands. Being a part of a subculture within this discourse community is a lot easier to be, and you might even be a part of one for all you know. A lot of people within this community look at it as a way of life, and are very strict or anal with sticking to it. A reminder is that at the end of the day, if you have that exclusive item, whether if its shoes, or a sweater, or a hat, it is still going to have something of significance to you because you know you waited in line for that special item. In other words, these artifacts are considered to be priceless by the customers. Yet, always remember it’s not just about the price tag, it’s about what it is, and who made it.

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