From Yeezy to Supreme, Hypebeast Culture Explained | Suddenly Obsessed Marathon

Posted by Saif Cole on

Some people will spend stunning amounts of money on products like the Yeezy Red October and the Hermes Himalayan Birkin. Drop culture, social media and extremely limited production are creating a thriving resale market. The growing economy around reselling is opening doors for companies like Stock X, a billion-dollar online marketplace looking to change the way we buy and sell everything from streetwear to electronics. This marathon episode of Suddenly Obsessed takes an inside look at the some of the most exclusive brands in the world and the people who spend a fortune buying them.

In 2019, a diamond-encrusted Birkin handbag made of crocodile, from the French luxury brand Hermes, sold for half a million dollars. The Birkin consistently shatters sales records at auction, selling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But experts say the bag cost just $2,000 at its inception in 1984. Here’s what happened in between, elevating the Birkin from an expertly-crafted leather accessory to the ultimate status symbol and collector’s item.

Apparel brand Supreme started as a small and edgy New York City skateboard shop in 1994, and with word of mouth marketing and a product-scarcity strategy, it has grown into a global brand with a cult following and a billion-dollar valuation.

Kanye West grabbed the fashion world’s attention when he debuted sneakers designed in collaboration with Nike in 2009. Retailing at over $200, the shoes were released in extremely limited quantities and sold out instantaneously. They now resell in the thousands of dollars. The success of the shoes finally put West on the map in the fashion industry. For years his designs were met with ridicule. But recently, some of that excitement has turned to skepticism. Certain Yeezy models cost a lot less on the resale market than they used to. And resale prices are a tell-tale sign of a product’s clout, especially for Hypebeasts.

StockX is an online marketplace for luxury sneakers, handbags and apparel like Retro Jordans, a Hermes Birkin Himalayan crocodile bag in matte, or a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch. You can even find extremely rare Pokemon cards like a Charizard-Holo 1999 base set 1st edition. In November 2018, StockX sold its most expensive item ever: a 70,000-dollar Louis Vuitton x Supreme Malle Courier Trunk. By June of 2019, the Detroit-based company reportedly reached a $1 billion valuation. In half a decade, StockX went from a simple price guide for sneakers to a reselling empire and it has its sights on disrupting the retail market.

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