NEW YORK — Given its name and the audience it targets, Hypefest, the first shopping event and festival put on by Hypebeast, was unexpectedly somber.
The two-day event, which took place this past weekend in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, was spread between two buildings, which were filled with about 50 brand booths. The marketplace was complemented by talks, food and live performances from a stage outside.
It’s a formula that’s been proven successful for Complex’s ComplexCon, which started in 2016 and generated $20 million to $25 million in sales last year, and other shopping events including Yo’Hood in Shanghai, which was founded in 2013, and Sole DXB in Dubai, which started in 2010.
In its first iteration, Hypefest was a smaller version of those festivals — last year’s ComplexCon drew 50,000 visitors while Hypefest brought in around 10,000 — and was devoid of the running, onsite reselling and frenzy turned into safety hazards that spurred criticism of ComplexCon. In an Instagram caption that’s now deleted, Bobby Hundreds, founder of The Hundreds, was upset by the insatiable desire for product at ComplexCon, and grown men toppling over younger ones to get it. “You could smell the oils of commerce in the air,” he wrote.