The internet had democratized fashion, which is fantastic. You can participate almost from anywhere now. The downside though is that discovery is so easy now. You don’t have to go to your local shoe store, clothing store, skate shop or whatever to find out what’s out there. You can wake up, scroll Instagram for a few minutes, go to Hypebeast and Highsnobiety, watch the newest Full Size Run/Richie Le/Jaques Slade video or whatever and see basically all of the items that people are talking about. There are so few surprises nowadays.
It’s created a culture of too much uniformity, IMO. It’s also given us a lot of those fits where a person isn’t rocking a style, they’re just wearing labels. We’ve all seen them - those fits that might cost $500 but look more like $50. Mans out here just being clothes hangers. No swag, no point of view. Might as well just wear the price tags, some of these cats.
I believe in exclusivity. Everyone shouldn’t be able to have the exact same shit. That’s how you end up getting the predictable, uniform fits that we see on a lot of hypebeasts. But there’s different ways to view exclusivity.
I saw a quote once. I can’t remember from who or where so I’ll paraphrase - basically it was saying the end user completes the character of the garment. When we’re just clothes hangers for our clothes, you aren’t giving it that last, 5%, 10% or whatever of character. You can definitely get things that are perfect for you off the rack, but TBH I think that’s pretty rare, if you’re really meticulous about your fits.
So what’s the solution? I think people need to own their items more. If you’re a hypebeast and have a closet full of stuff you just plan to sell on, you’re pretty much fucked. Nobody’s gonna buy your box logo tee with the sleeves cut off for $350 on Grailed. For the rest of us, when you see that item that you really like but isn’t quite perfect, why not make it perfect yourself, and exclusive at the same time?
Lately I’m really on dyeing and bleaching. Even with our own Cogs stuff. Here’s what my HQ bucket hat looks like now:
A quick bleach ting and now it fits my personal style at the moment much better than before. I wear it way more now. And none of y’all have one like it.
I think the culture is better when people are trying to show their personalities more, instead of just trying to look like whatever post they see got the most likes on the hypebeast hashtag that morning. Showing your personal style is how we move the culture forward.
Oh oh, let me just say before some mans catch feelings - I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a hypebeast. I think it’s a good way to start getting into fashion in general. It’s just not very personal. I think at some point you have to move from 100% hype to building an aesthetic around the colours, cuts etc that work for you.