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Recently, French industrial designer Kacimi Latamene made hypebeasts go crazy over a pair Asics. Who would’ve thought?
Well maybe because they resemble quite a bit to the Yeezy Foam Runners, which have exploded amongst hypebeasts due their futuristic design.
The sneaker that Latamene created was an oversized, perforated shell and lined with a form-fitting sock. As expected, questions about the release date etc came flooding in, but since the project isn't backed by Asics, it will stay a concept and has no known plans for production and distribution.
But what got us thinking here at TNC, is that even though Asics might be not be the most appreciated brand amongst hypebeasts, it still received a huge amount of attention and hype. Asics mostly focuses on performance and not exclusivity in contrast to Nike or Adidas. But thanks to Latamene's ‘revamp’ of the brand, Asics reached demographics that the brand hadn't reached before. Why is that?
Is it really a certain type of design, or is it solely exclusivity that drives hypebeasts? And is this hype culture getting out of hand?
In this case, the overwhelming response to the sneaker might be a result of the rise of all things digital, in combination with its futuristic, Yeezy inspired design. As Latamene noted in an Instagram comment, the sneaker isn’t even wearable, as they aren’t tangible. They are a 3D rendering of the sneaker.
Latamene is not the first to produce a digital sneaker, companies like Gucci and RTFTK Studios have created virtual-only sneakers and have been very successful in doing so. The rise of NFT’s are a huge opportunity for Asics now, as they could possibly take advantage of Latamene’s design ideas.
There are definitely some things being hyped up that really do not deserve getting hyped up, but other things definitely do! Here at TNC support all kinds of creatives, and one of those is Nicole Mclaughlin.
Nicole is known for her viral projects, which see everyday items transformed into wearable pieces of design. Nicole has transformed old volleyballs into slippers, camera bags into bralettes, and crafted board shorts from packets of Haribo gummies. This unexpected translation of materials allows her to uniquely highlight the message of sustainability — a key element to her success in changing the perception around waste and sustainable design.
But now to answer the question whether or not the hype culture is getting out of hand, there’s no clear answer to it. But what can be said is that if anyone has become a ‘loser’ in the culture, it is the consumers. Things have been so ridiculously hard to get your hands on that only a small percentage of people can afford those exorbitant pieces.
What do you think? Has it gotten out of hand?