A description and critical review is given about the fashion blog Hypebeast, written by a student of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute: Gabriël Can.
The Internet is full of blogs nowadays with thousands of fashion bloggers who want to be followed. It’s hard to stand out of the crowd. However, Hypebeast is a blog that managed to gain more and more followers throughout the years. It’s one of the few blogs I’ve been following for a long time. That’s why it’s interesting to me to find answers to questions as who is writing the articles? How many people follow the blog? And how did it get successful?
When in 2005 Kevin Ma, a psychology student from Vancouver was surfing the Internet for some sneakers, he noticed that most blogs were very old fashioned and not interacting with readers. Kevin had an interest in streetstyle fashion, and was reading imported magazines from Japan and Europe. He found this very expensive and thought of an easier way.
When he saw that tech- and gadget blogs were updating their blogs on a daily basis, he thought that fashionblogs should be like that as well. Kevin started Hypebeast, using the blogging tools Blogger and WordPress. He named the blog Hypebeast, after the word that’s used on forums for people that buy sneakers because of the hype around the sneaker (source).
Almost 10 years later, Hypebeast has 989.000 followers on Instagram, 1,3 million fans on Facebook, 221.000 followers on Twitter and many followers on other social media such as Google+, Tumblr and YouTube. With a stream of over 3 million unique visitors on the website and 28 million monthly views, Hypebeast grew out as one of the biggest streetwear lifestyle blogs (source).
Hypebeast is divided into links: style, arts, design, music, entertainment, lifestyle, tech, editorial and videos. Hypebeast proofs herewith that it’s more than just a fashion blog. It also offers a forum where people can discuss relevant subjects. Hypebeast keeps the readers interested by posting frequently and being accurate (source). Every hour there’s a new blog online.
There’s also an online shop where readers can buy clothing that is blogged about. I think that is also a very good strategic step, because you can ‘hype’ a product and then sell it. Hypebeast sells more than 200 brands, including 3.1 Phillip Lim, HUF and Surface to air. Hypebeast also writes about brands they don’t sell. They inform, inspire and share their opinion in their blogs.
Hypebeast contains content about fashion and lifestyle and is written for young men who are interested in streetwear (lifestyle). This group of people is excited about the blog and find it very interesting. People on social media are sharing the blogs on their own pages and also Hypebeasts posts are shared a lot. From the amount of shares, you can say that it’s clear that readers have a positive attitude towards the blog. The shares and tweets about Hypebeast on social media are most of the time posted by the target group. The likes on their Facebook pages and their other tweets and posts show this fact.
Not only followers refer to the blog on (social) media, but also other websites and blogs do. Although most of them refer to the webshop, Hypebeast is mentioned a lot in newspapers and magazines. For instance, the online newspaper ‘Business of fashion’ and the very popular magazine ‘GQ’ repeatedly talked about the blog.
The blog started with Kevin, but now has a whole team of editors and writers working fulltime on the blog (source). There are no ads for any brands on the website. All mentions of brands and companies are relevant to the blog that is written.
The blog is considered an online style bible for young men who are interested in the streetwear scene. The amount of followers show that. Similar blogs such as SneakHype have fewer followers (source). Also an interview with Kevin in Business of Fashionshows that many guys see his blog as a very complete blog where people not only come to find inspiration, but also to buy clothes. On Hypebeast, visitors can buy not only the mainstream brands, but also get inspired by new and more exclusive brands such as 40oz NYC, EOTOTO and Yuketan.
As it goes for all blogs, the lay-out is very important. Hypebeast has a basic and clean design. The main colours used are black and white. The pictures with good quality are a big part of the lay-out as the text does not consists out of more than 4 sentences per blog, which makes 4/5 of the page look blank. The whole blog represents quality, which suits the brands that are being sold but also the content of the blog. The basic and clean design is shown on these printscreens:
When Kevin Ma started Hypebeast he wanted to create a platform where people with a certain lifestyle could find many information and inspiration on an easy accessible website. He wanted people also to be able to interact and discuss. I think he succeeded quite well. Hypebeast grew out to be one of the most popular fashion blogs and is innovative in a way where he combined a blog and a shop. That’s the main reason why I think the blog is very useful. Not only that, also in my opinion it’s the best streetwear blog because it gives me inspiration and it’s not just another fashionblog. This blog stands out of the crowd by sharing broad content. I think it does have to fit your lifestyle, to like the blog. But I don’t know, maybe I’m just a hypebeast myself?