Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Science Behind Streetwear

The Science Behind Streetwear
Nathan Warner

Streetwear clothing brands are very popular in modern day culture. You can see it all around you. It has taken over a lot of modern day fashion and those that are interested in this type of thing sometimes develop a cult-like obsession and following for these companies.
Streetwear is a type of clothing that is really appreciated for it’s often times risky approach to fashion that a lot of people may not understand. And this is part of the appeal. Because of the exclusiveness of brands such as Supreme, Gucci, Palace, Off White and many others there is a certain pride that owners of clothing from these brands have. Many of the products sold by these companies are in very little supply in comparison to the amount of fans that wish to buy them.
Some brands such as Supreme have been known for raising their prices to nearly unthinkable prices for what is estimated for cost of production. Supreme is now a billion dollar company while still collaborating with low end companies such as Hanes. But because Supreme has their name on it they can mark it upwards of 300%. And now a very similar pair of underwear that you can get at Walmart in a pack of 3 for $10 or $15 now costs nearly twice the price.
The ultimate question is “Is it worth it”. This is the only thing that really ultimately matters when determining if you are going to buy that $200 jacket or just stop at Walmart and pick one up for a quarter of the price. As I mentioned before there is somewhat of a cult following for
brands like this. And these brands could probably never charge too much that their adoring fans wouldn’t help them sell out. But as far as the general population goes, there is no real benefit in overspending on brands like these. Unless you want to spend your entire paycheck so that your shirt can match your pizza, I would stick to spending elsewhere.



2017, Hanan Haddad 26 July. "Why Are People So Hyped Over Streetwear Brand, Supreme?" Harper's Bazaar Singapore. July 26, 2017. Accessed March 13, 2018. http://www.harpersbazaar.com.sg/fashion/fashion-news-trends/what-is-up-with-the-supreme-hype

Wolf, Cam. "Supreme Is Now a Billion-Dollar Streetwear Brand." GQ. October 09, 2017. Accessed March 13, 2018. https://www.gq.com/story/supreme-billion-dollar-valuation.




30 comments:

  1. I think that buying SUPREME and Bape are pretty much a waste of money if you don't have that much money to spend. I could go to goodwill and find more fashionable items or even make my own that I could and do get more comments on. You could slap supreme on anything and it could triple in price. I give people props on re-selling the popular brands because you can make a great profit off of it. Especially to hype beasts.

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    1. I am a bit confused on how you slash Supreme a the start but then give credit to people who pay the price and resell for profit. I think that the brand itself was not looking to make their brand as strong as it is at the start but over time they have turned into an empire. Given the fact that they can't even release dates for items to drop on a bit collaboration is one example of how they have tried to control the hype. I do not think that buying Supreme, Bape, or Off White is a waste of money because you can make some good money reselling and look good doing it.

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    2. While I see where your argument, I kindly and respectfully disagree with the statements made in this blog comment. Supreme started off as a skate shop; as such, lots of their clothing items and accessories are rooted in skate culture. Although Supreme is such a colossal brand that a lot of their fanbase don't appreciate the full roots of the store, the company continues to make products that are specifically designed for their core audience. Supreme originally found success by selling niche items in order to create a dedicated fanbase, and even though their fanbase is swelling, they haven't changed their business model.

      This is likely the reason that you misunderstand Supreme. You may not associate some Supreme accessories with skating, such as the brick, the hatchet, the lighter, the kayak, the pinball machine, the crowbar the dog bowl or the motorbike. However, in reality all of these products are deeply symbolic and of great moral significance to people that are a part of the Supreme culture, and it's the reason their prices are so high.

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  2. I agree that the prices of certain brands are unfathomably high, but for some companies those high prices are necessary because of the quality of the materials and craftsmanship. Clothes from a well known company are most likely made more carefully and more durable, so they will last much longer than a t-shirt from a store like Walmart. However, I do think that it's ridiculous to charge an extensive amount just because the brand name is on the product.

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  3. It is very interesting that such brands can charge over 300% more for the same article of clothing. A lot has to do with brand loyalty, and the exclusiveness. The real question is though, if they were to increase supply, would the demand still be as high? And would people pay way more if it wasn’t so limited?

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  4. It's admirable that a company can claim exclusivity with not exactly typical designs and fashion and make a killing on profits. Props to them for figuring out how to create a culture to get people to buy $300 hoodies or a $90 white tshirt with a box on it. Not many companies in the world can say they do that daily. Getting people to converge on every single drop you ave really shows the great marketing behind supreme and a key to their success.

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  5. I feel like Supreme is always going to be in demand because it is one of those brands that every has to have. Because of this, they are able to jack up their prices to unthinkable levels and people still want to buy their products constantly. Demand for these products will never run out and the demand curve seems to always be increasing somewhat. This is good news for streetwear brands as their products will not go out of style for a very long time.

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  6. Being trendy is a big deal for lots of people in today’s society, so for brands like Supreme this is a great thing. They have a high demand, yet a very small supply, therefore allowing them to be able to increase their price. As they will continue to make money because of the extremely high demand. However in the event their supply grew, would they continue to have such a high demand? Or would more people move on to other brands?

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  7. I really like how you compared the prices of walmart to these names brands because it helps the reader visualize how expensive these clothes really are. The demand is extremely high to have name brand clothes which means companies know people are willing to pay top dollar to be one of few with the item. Having the best and most expensive clothing has become a trend which is why more and more companies are jumping to be something big like as you mentioned Supreme.

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  8. Buying from stores like Supreme and Gucci is more of an investment than just shopping for clothes at smaller and cheaper stores just like Pacsun and Hollister. Once you start to buy the really expensive and "fashionable" clothes from the very high end brands, it's hard to stop because the customers feel obligated to continue going back for the good quality clothes. The incredibly high prices seem completely crazy to me for how popular the brands are, buying a plain white t-shirt from Supreme is more expensive than buying two outfits from other stores like Pacsun and Hollister.

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  9. Having high end clothing is pretty much how high you are in the social pyramid. I think it's weird to buy clothing so expensive for a little logo, but since the demand is so high for them, it makes sense that the prices are so high. The companies can make top dollar since the buyers will still demand that product.

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  10. I agree with you that the price increases are astronomical and ridiculous, in comparison to other brands. However, the real reason why Supreme does so well and why they can get away with 300% price increases is simply because people will pay that amount without even thinking about it. Generally speaking, people want to fit in and follow the crowd, when it comes to clothing and streetwear trends. To do this effectively, they will spend loads of money. However, how does this impact monetary policy or any of the multipliers that we have discussed in class? That is crucial because maybe Supreme’s pricing or something along those lines can impact something larger than just consumer spending.

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  11. I agree with this article a ton and as someone who resells this regularly myself I tend to relate a lot to the drastic price changes. As a reseller, when I first got into the industry I was just as shocked as everyone else when it came to the prices of some of these items, and even to this day they still shock me. As a reseller though there has been one thing I have realized though, and that is that there is no way for the economy surrounding street wear to be as strong as it is without the hefty prices. The hefty prices and constants price variations are simply what makes the economy function and continually grow.

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    1. I agree with how the prices of some of these items can be really shocking. Supreme has been been gaining more and more popularity and even have people like supreme patty who go around wearing the products and getting the name out there. The amount of popularity this brand receives is incredible and like Ben said,the hefty prices help make the economy grow.

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  12. I agree with this article. I am a buyer and re-seller myself and it is crazy to see the dramatic price changes that happen within the business. the reason this business is still running is because of the high prices and price variations.

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  13. This is an interesting topic that has come into the lime light especially as off late. Personally I find Supreme's marketing approach interesting yet very effective. Instead of having there price be as low as possible, they boost up the price and offer a limited amount of their products to boost the hype and the demand for the product. They also rely heavily on celebrities to support all of their latest releases because once people see a celebrity wearing something, everyone wants it or thinks it is cool. This relates kind of relates to econ as a limited supply increases both price and demand. The whole topic is fascinating and crazy to think about.

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  14. Supreme is an example of high multiple companies can strangle the market due to the crazy amount f demand in a certain market. A huge component of their selling point revolves around the exclusiveness, and "uniqueness", of the product. Even though supreme's market has products that can be easily copied and produced by off-brand companies, it goes to show how much brand recognition goes into the advertising of a product and how indispensable it is to push an appealing name.

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  15. This trend is very popular here in the United States, but what I'm curious to see if that clothing of this fare is popular abroad in foreign markets. And do people abroad have the same mindsets as people here in the US, as that might affect a product's staying power across the world, rather than being just a niche market here.

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  16. This is a really interesting trend to write about, because you are absolutely right. Why wouldn't a person just go to Walmart and buy the exact same item for a quarter of the price. It all must just come down to the opportunity cost for that individual. Because of the advertisements, and the tastes of the consumers, the demand for this brand of items has gone up.

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  17. I agree with you that spending money on name brands like Supreme is definitely not worth it. I think it is just a way for people to try and look cool, but in reality I think that they only look cool to the other people who waste their money as well. It’s not hard to get a nice shirt from the mall or something for half the price and it will look just as good. But if they want to spend a lot of money just so their shirt says Supreme, all the power to them; that’s why Supreme is making so much money off of cheap clothes.

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  18. With this new hype over Supreme products, they are able to raise the prices to new highs. There really is no viable substitute for Supreme if you consider yourself a "hypebeast". Although, you are correct, you can get the same clothing at Walmart, it loses its credibility without being the Supreme brand. By keeping their supply of Supreme clothing very low and demand extremely high, they are able to almost guarantee sell outs at any price point they set the clothing at. Even though I would never take part in this trend, I can see how it is so popular and expensive. I bought a Coach purse, but I could have easily gotten a similar purse at Target for an eighth of the price. Yet, I don't think it would be the same quality without it being Coach. I see the two trends as similar in that sense.

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  19. Obviously Supreme gained a lot of popularity over the last year, and you are definitely right that these products are just the same as any Walmart item besides the fact that the “Supreme” logo is on it. This trend is a perfect example of “consumer taste”, because these people are willing to pay a lot of money for these products just because they are trendy. But, I think it would be interesting if you included how many people were buying Supreme before they raised their prices and afterwards. This would tell us how many people are still willing to spend a lot of money on this good.

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  20. The profit that big name brand companies like Supreme make is unreal. I think it is an interesting topic to write about seeing as it has become a relatively popular brand that not just ordinary people wear but rappers and pop singers glorify as they wear the brand most of the time. People see their favorite rapper or singer wearing high end brands and aspire to have the same style which means companies then profit off the free promotion from these rappers or singers. The appeal is to look like you have a lot of money because these companies and brands are charging so much for their products. It is important to think about all of the other better offers you could be getting on clothes and shoes rather than spending all your money on one thing.

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  21. This is a very interesting topic that has caught my eye. Having high end clothing is pretty much how high you are in the social pyramid. I think it's weird to buy clothing so expensive for a little logo, but since the demand is so high for them, it makes sense that the prices are so high. The companies can make top dollar since the buyers will still demand that product. This makes a person think why shouldn't I go buy a cheaper item that has the same effectiveness but just not the logo. Many people just buy it for the logo and if the opportunity cost is worth it for them, it is their choice.

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  22. When it comes down to people's tastes and liking in clothing supreme took a huge jump, not only are their products expensive the clothing looks good to. Supreme did pick a perfect time to sell their products because nowadays people are going to malls and stores and their buying whatever they want, and if teens have money they are going to want to show it off with the nicest looking cloths they have, and that's where Supreme comes in. They make nice top of the line cloths and they always make sure you see that price tag, and their not hiding it because they know people will buy their products so that is why supreme will always have a lot of money. I'm a little surprised though to when they first came out just to see a rectangle with text on it. I thought it would not sell but it did and because of that they made billions.

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  23. It would’ve been nice if you would’ve presented new information other than a price comparison about supreme, but it did help prove your point. However, I do think it’s interesting how many people around Pewaukee want Supreme clothing. It’s almost stealing with how high of prices Supreme and other similar brands choose to still, but I guess some people are willing to pay the price just for the status.

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  24. It is interesting to read this article because there are so many teens walking around in this brand. I agree that it is pricey and I’m surprised that teens are able to resell products of this brand when they are already expensive. Modern day now is different, most teens who take pride in their outfits shop at high end brands such as supreme. Walmart is not everyone's thing but it depends on what you are willing to pay for this product. Although Supreme is pricey, the business is doing well which is what makes it effective.

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  25. Supreme and other clothing brands alike profit off of making cheap clothes into something new. The comfort of hanes that people know and love with an interesting new twist on a regular tee shirt is something that people want. The customers want more because of the amount of popularity that it causes. They are willing to spend more because it looks cool to other people and makes them feel good. And if the shirt is taken care of it could last for a long time. To some people the price tag is worth it but others the price is just not reasonable.

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  26. I think it is pretty impressive that Supreme has a such a big following for their clothes. The demand for all Supreme clothing is very high allowing Supreme to charge a higher price. The demand is so high that people are will to pay any price for their product. Also the supply is limited driving up the price even higher. The $200 dollars for a jacket could be even higher if Supreme wanted because of the demand for it.

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  27. The craze behind “hypebeast” clothing has been at only increasing over the years. As this blog post shows that companies like Supreme charge very high prices for things that can possibly be bought for cheap if their name wasn’t attached to it. The comparison between Walmart brands and a company like Supreme is an interesting one seeing that Hanes is sold in Walmart and partnered with Supreme. Yet the prices of the product is extremely different because Supreme is attached to it.

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