If I were to describe Vancouver’s community of streetwear enthusiasts in one word… dense.
Vancouver’s streetwear scene is still relatively small but definitely growing within this upcoming generation. The majority of these individuals can be accurately dubbed as hypebeasts. For those unfamiliar with the term, a “hypebeast” is one who is obsessed with purchasing attire from popular or “hyped-up” brands. Typically, very limited quantities of these pieces are sold. This, along with the addition of high demand, results in re-sell prices sky-rocketing. At this point, people are simply paying for the hype behind the brand.
In no way am I trying to downplay the hypebeast culture, as I am proudly a part of it. However, some may perceive us as immature and insecure kids who spend loads of cash on clothing items, with the sole purpose of attempting to be “hype”. Another existing stereotype states that all these hypebeasts have no original sense of style, but are simply sheep following trends. Though some truth exists behind these opinions, there is so much more that makes this culture so appealing to us. I don’t want to get too deep into that discussion right now, but that should be an adequate little explanation for now. I could come up with an entirely separate argument to defend and advertise the “hype” but that is simply not the point of this piece.
Vancouver’s population is nowhere near the likes of cities like Montreal and Toronto. There are virtually no local boutiques or shops carrying these desired products at a reasonable price. Consequently, the majority of local transactions are done using buy and sell groups, usually via Facebook. Everyone tends to use the same few groups. For almost all my streetwear needs, I look to Vancouver Streetwear Community. With an extremely friendly admin team and many willingly helpful members, VSC is really a community. With the frequent use of this compact page, people begin to recognize one another and even develop connections due to their shared interest in fashion.
Another reason for individuals to “link-up” is to take part in “shoots”. A big part of Vancouver streetwear has to do with photographing what a person is wearing in a way that displays the clothing items as the subject over the actual person in frame. Personally, I love doing this. Guilty of strictly shooting people for what they are wearing, I do this due to the fact that I am exceptionally materialistic. The harsh reality is that people do not pay attention to the person in the picture unless they are some sort of public figure or very attractive. At least with a nice outfit, attention is diverted somewhere. The point is that fashion photography brings Vancouverites together.
As an active member of Vancouver's smaller but very active streetwear society, it is a fair assumption to call us dense. But not dense meaning stupid or unintelligent: but rather, closely-packed.
Photos and writing by @wy.an