‘Hypebeasts’ pay hefty price for clothes
Jessica Wang | Staff Writer
Most people are hesitant to spend 60 bucks on a hoodie, but Hypebeasts easily drop over a thousand.
Junior Vatsal Agarwal embodies the definition of Hypebeast. Originally from Singapore, he is influenced by the infatuation with designer brands in his native country. In turn, he is driven to chase some of the most famous names.
“Some of the brands I wear are Bape, Supreme, Off-White, and Gucci,” Agarwal said. “One of my favorite purchases was this Louis Vuitton belt I have. It was about 600 dollars, and also this Gucci Hoodie — it was 1,200 dollars.”
Needless to say, wearing Balenciagas (the ones that look like socks), and other similar brands comes at a significant cost. For Agarwal, to fund his lavish tastes, the stock market was the answer.
“I first got into stocks because of my dad; he does a bit of investing,” Agarwal said. “I take some of his money, invest it, and then I split the profits 50-50. Then, I either save [the profits] or use it to buy some stuff.”
Rather than investing in stocks, Junior Sameer Khan can afford anything from Pantone 11’s to Gucci by reselling shoes. His first experience with reselling was through Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO).
“I started off on a game called CSGO,” Khan said. “Ever since I was a sixth-grader, I would play that game a bunch. I would resell [character] skins online, and I made a good amount of money from there.”
However, the designer industry is not always an honest one. According to the International Trademark Association, counterfeit businesses generate an estimated 460 billion dollars a year. In turn, Hypebeasts must be mindful when making purchases to ensure that their hard-earned money isn’t scammed away. For Khan, this is no exception.
“Fakes are huge trouble; anyone who knows about Hypebeasts, anyone who resells knows,” Khan said. “A lot of apps I use to resell items, like StockX, have problems with fakes. Nowadays, fakes are even expanding to outside of the Hypebeast market, like Airpods. Even me personally, one time I was planning to get these pairs of Travis Scotts on StockX, but a lot of people were having trouble, saying that it’s super hard to tell the difference between real pairs and fake pairs. I didn’t end up getting it because it’s such an expensive item that I didn’t want to risk it.”
An immense amount of hard work and meticulous research goes into saving up and purchasing designer. Still, Agarwal believes the perks of designer brands make everything worth it.
“I like some of the designs, they’re really nice,” Agarwal said. “For example, Off-White has some really interesting designs. It’s comfy stuff, high-quality stuff. And it always has resale value so even after you use it, you can sell it for a good amount.”
While Agarwal values the material and value, Khan admits that his reason for pursuing these brands is often more about aesthetics. He prefers using brand names to enhance his style.
“As far as Hypebeast goes, I’m not a radical Hypebeast,” Khan said. “But if I’m honest, most Hypebeasts get that kind of stuff to show off. The main reason is to express yourself with more expensive items.”
The motivations of most Hypebeast are seemingly surface-level. However, Khan believes that the value of being one is much deeper than it may appear.
“Some Hypebeasts have a bad rap, but there are actually a lot of positives to being one,” Khan said. “Even though a lot of Hypebeast look like spoiled, rich kids, you can build communities off of being one, and learn the importance of supply and demand, and economics.”
Graphic by Aadrija Biswas.