Hype sells and it usually begins with an “influencer” influencing others about something, and it’s not just with shoes. For an application in coffee, few people cared about the Clever Dripper before. It was a solid starter dripper, relatively affordable, but demand wasn’t that big – until James Hoffmann made a video about it. You get my drift?
Hype is normal. However, what’s weird about hype is that there are a certain group of people who seem to just get lost in it. I remember when I had a conversation with an officemate who also liked shoes (he was the hypebeast kind). At that time Yeezy’s were still in Nike and Boost has not yet been rolled out to the public and I just opened up that for a basketball performance standpoint I preferred Adidas. His statement, non-verbatim, was that he will not ever wear Adidas because Adidas are just ugly. And that was the view that hypebeasts had about Adidas at the time: they hated it with some even saying they were ugly. But was it really?
Everyone knows this, Kanye moved to Adidas and the Yeezy Boosts were started – and hype for a lot of Adidas silhouettes also exploded because of the Hype effect. The Adidas superstar, which I never liked, was one of those “ugly” Adidas shoes that hypebeasts made fun off in Vine (remember that?) and then at one point were so in-demand that knock-offs of it were made – knock offs for shoes that aren’t that expensive to begin with. The Stan Smith, a shoe I wore in College one year and no one cared about, also the same treatment.
Don’t get me wrong, hype is part of what makes the sneaker culture good. It drives companies to come up with good design and new tech as well as makes them re-release (retro) popular silhouettes from back in the day that you thought you will never see again. It’s just fascinating how we all follow hype and then try to rationalize around it to show that you’re not simply driven there by the Hype. As for coffee, with Hoffmann’s influence it allows people to explore coffee brewing further.
One negative about hype is that it inflates prices. Like a pair of Travis Scott Jordan 1 Retro High are now selling for ~$1,500 when the original retail price was $175. Low Supply with High Demand equal to High Prices, that’s normal. It’s how high that price is and how many agree to it because of Hype that’s really hard to swallow. To some, they’re willing to pay that much for their “grails”, but it gets dangerous when someone gets lost in hype and overpays for something they can’t really afford just some clout for owning something so hyped. This isn’t just true for sneakers but rather for everything, including coffee equipment. You don’t really need that expensive kettle just because you keep seeing it
Speaking of hypebeasts, I am planning on copping a pair of one of the following: Jordan 6 “Carmine” (probably the first retro of this with the Nike Air on the back); Yeezy Boost 700 v2 “Cream”; and Nike Cosmic Unity “Space Hippie”. However, with the hype around these I will be competing against bots and resellers that double up. If I can’t get any of these at retail prices then I won’t buy them at all. Keep tabs on my IG stories to find out if I luck out on any of these 3!
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Categories: thoughts with kape