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Hype culture never ended, it just changed

From Swatch x Omega to Burberry and Supreme, the hype never went away

Hype culture never ended, it just changed From Swatch x Omega to Burberry and Supreme, the hype never went away

From the kilometre-long queues for a trainer drop to the fights over a Supreme collab, over the years hype culture has taken on different forms and contours, often crazy and questionable. In the end, the very concept of "hype" can be translated as crazy and senseless waiting for something, a shoe, a box logo or maybe a watch. Because in the last few days this term, which is often given up for dead, has come back into our social feeds with the launch of the Swatch and Omega partnership, whose queues of hundreds of people brought to mind the days of camp-outs and lists outside stores. Thanks to an extremely low retail price and the news of a very limited stock, the Swatch X Omega drop rekindled that fuse that had never really gone out, but had simply adapted to modern times, those in which a hoodie is not enough to create the excitement of the past.

Hype culture has never ended, it has only changed along with our tastes, which are more demanding but still ready to go crazy to get the release of the moment. More demanding, in some ways, thanks to a generational and value evolution that has accompanied the formation of street culture and the birth of what is called "new luxury". Even before the collaboration between Swatch and Omega, something similar was seen with the one between Supreme and Burberry, in which the intervention of the police in front of the brand's New York store brought to mind scenes from several years ago, when in 2014 the police stopped the in-store release of the Supreme x Nike Air. There has been a change of generation, as well as of market, in which if on the one hand brands such as Palace or the aforementioned Supreme have lost the charm of the past, to the other, those who before had the possibility to spend hours in front of their computers to "cup" have now lost the time and the desire, the polish of the old days, preferring to shift their attention to something else. It is not a coincidence that Supreme in its transition to VF Corp has decided to change its strategy, going from being a brand constantly sold-out to one that aims to never be, anticipating or perhaps dictating the transition from hype culture as we knew it to its version 2.0. In the same way, the values and tastes of the presumed members of hype culture have changed: a generation that grew up together with street culture and that, no longer satisfied by a mechanism that is impossible to protract over time, seeks its validation in other market segments as well as in a more intense cultural research.

Hype culture has never disappeared, therefore, but has simply changed together with the generation that was part of it and that, if before was willing to make sacrifices to take home a hoodie, is now ready to do the same for a watch. A simple change of market perhaps, but also proof of the mixing of different interests and fields, the one that has led sneaker fans to become watch fans. If the world of treetwear is now saturated and tired, no longer willing to stand in line for hours with the risk of remaining empty-handed, the task of the brands is to go and find in other niches that audience that once made the campouts and raffles, accustomed to that crazy and senseless mechanism called hype and for this reason ready to take in hand the bots of the past.