Before researching Hypebeast, I was unaware of the etymology of its name. A quick Google search reveals that a hypebeast is a person so obsessed with obtaining the latest designs from high-end labels (hype) that they become almost feral, or beastlike.
Other results for hypebeast include: What is the most hypebeast shoe? Is hypebeast derogatory? Why is supreme so expensive? And my favourite one – How do I stop being a hypebeast?
The word ‘hypebeast’ apparently was a derogatory way to describe these brand-fans, until Kevin Ma’s trainer blog of the same name reclaimed it from the fashion critics. Now the site is an enormously popular and multifaceted resource, reviewing much more than just fashion and footwear. There is even a radio channel and an art page, the most recent post alerting readers to the death of renowned performance artist Ulay.
The contents page assumes a knowledge of the names and brands featured
The eponymously titled magazine has an entire subsection of the website devoted to it, and surprisingly all the mag’s back issues are uploaded there in full, free for anyone to read. It makes sense in a way, as hypebeast logic would dictate that by the time the next issue is out, the last will be irrelevant – a fashion archive rather than a guide to the latest trends. It’s the materiality of the publication that is important – as the magazine is the physical extension of the blog, it is a desirable hype-collector’s item in its own right.
Issue 28 is the ‘Ignition’ issue, and while it began as a theme that hoped to celebrate ‘individuals who are doing more than just contributing to important social conversations, the people who are saying “f*ck it”, and not waiting for permission to act’, the theme that actually emerged was ‘sustainable living’.
Perhaps that is why flashes of green crop up so often in the pages of the mag, from its acidic and surreal set of three covers (above) – the subject of which is controversial Balenciaga-couch-designer Harry Nuriev – to an interview with tree-planting-search-engine ‘Ecosia’ creator Christian Kroll.
Men’s fashion magazines are more popular and interesting than ever, and that’s due in part to publications like Hypebeast. The mag has been born out of a new kind of fashion culture, one that has grown quickly and organically online. It’s both fascinating and encouraging to witness a magazine emerge from a website – an indication, I think, of what’s to come in the future of print.
Managing editor: Megan Wray Schertler
Creative director: Kevin Wong