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'Hypebeast' teens making a fortune from fashion

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Unless you have a spare £810 for an asymmetric cardigan by Stella McCartney, a flick through the Sunday style supplements has the potential to enrage most of us.

High fashion is often overpriced and impractical – and few of us can afford it.
As a result, over the past decade, brands like Givenchy and Louis Vuitton have been keen to try and tap into new audiences, and the “hypebeast” scene is a designer label’s dream.
For those unfamiliar with what a “hypebeast” is, the hype part refers to wearing the most exclusive clothes that everyone’s talking about.
The beast part is meant to indicate an obsession.
The term was originally meant as an insult among teenagers for those who looked faintly ridiculous dressed top-to-toe in expensive designer gear.

Image: Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion range
Supreme, Palace, BAPE, Kanye West’s brand Yeezy and Off-White are the key names to be seen in; all street-wear brands that produce limited-edition runs which are hard to get your hands on.
For those who do not understand this world, spending hundreds on a white T-shirt with a small logo on it might sound like a vain waste of money, but it is the hypebeasts that might be having the last laugh.
Many savvy young teenagers are making fortune online, often queuing in the rain for hours to buy items on the day they’re released in store, showing their “garms” off by posing in them that day on Instagram, then immediately selling them on at a profit on eBay.
Ari Petrou has made a career out of it. He has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram and calls himself the UK’s biggest hypebeast.

He said: “Basically I take pictures, promote clothes and buy and sell clothes for a living.
“I started doing it because I wasn’t making enough money out of my job and someone told me I could make money by buying shoes.
“I ended up making more doing that once or twice a week then working my job – so I quit.
“I have multiple sponsors from companies in Hong Kong now and massive companies in the States who pay me thousands to post pictures in their clothes and say ‘this is what I’m wearing today’.
“It’s got to the point where now I can just pay a kid to queue to get me the latest stuff, maybe £10, while I stay at home in my bed.
“The younger generation, they are just all doing it because it’s like a hobby and you make money from it.
“Now I see so many groups of school kids that will go to shops like Supreme all together, it’s like their day out, and they’ve all made like £100 or £200, and they are 13-year-old kids.
“There are people that are like from bad backgrounds that have gone from selling drugs to selling clothes. It is a legitimate business.”

Image: Ari Petrou has made a career out of being a ‘hypebeast’
In truth, those who can be bothered with the effort often earn their money.
In order to buy Supreme’s latest collection on the day it is released, you first need to understand where to queue and when.
On Monday, those in the know will be emailed about a secret location where they will go to be given a number which determines their position in the queue for the “drop” on Thursday.
It is a complicated system but the only fair way the shop has found to stop kids from camping out overnight to be first in line.
Supreme, in particular, enjoys making fun of how obsessed people are buying its limited runs.
A basic clay brick – which went on to sell for £1,000 on eBay – is one of the more ridiculous items it has sold.
As Ari explains, it is fun but also an investment.
“I have Supreme toothbrushes, torches, shovels even, which obviously I don’t care but I know I am pretty much one of the only people to have it,” he says.
“Stuff like that, it is worth way more than I paid for it. Maybe I pay £1,000 for my collection and in two years’ time it is worth three, four, five thousand.”

Image: Trainers are among the lucrative products
The roots of this scene started out with trainers. Influencer Vivian Frank has made a career out of buying and selling them.
He is the man behind two of the biggest Facebook groups in the UK for buying and selling sneakers: Sneaker Myth, which has more than 60,000 members, and Yeezy Talk, which has 150,000.
“I was into trainers and social media, I started buying a few shoes and eventually ended up creating my own platform,” Vivian says.
“Reselling is like a culture, there is a community around it. There are sneaker events, Facebook groups, I made most of my friends through sneakers, it’s like a family sort of thing.”
Vivian says the key to making money is understanding which brands to invest in.
“For example, when I was in high school, I got a pair of shoes for £220 and they are like £7,000 now,” he adds.

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“I don’t come from a rich background, now I can buy a nice car and whatnot. I even help my parents out when they need money.”
For an insight into the hypebeast and sneaker scene – look for @aripetrou and @vivianfrank on Instagram.

Source: SKY