He’s standing on a street corner with an Americano in one hand and his phone in the other, checking the address of an art gallery he’ll be visiting that evening. His Burberry trench is unbuttoned, revealing a Supreme T-shirt and tailored denim beneath. A Gucci backpack hangs from his shoulder as he tightens the laces on his Yeezys, ready to call a car and head to the exhibition’s opening reception. For Mandy Rivas, our Men’s Merchandising Manager, this mystery man’s aesthetic is instantly recognizable — hype luxe. But what, you might ask, is hype luxe?
“Hype luxe style bridges the gap between heritage and street,” says Rivas. “Whether it’s high-low or vintage-new, hype luxe style enables you to mix it all up.” Think established, craftsmanship-conscious designers such as Louis Vuitton and Goyard rubbing tags with coveted streetwear brands like Nike, Off-White and Fear of God and crossover labels like Vetements and Gucci. Hype luxe doesn’t stop at what you’ve got in your wardrobe, however; it’s much more than that. “Really, it’s when fashion, art, music and culture come together,” explains Rivas. “It’s a lifestyle.”
It all seems straightforward enough, but how do you avoid looking like a mere mishmash of logo-rific luxury and the latest trends? Read on for a step-by-step guide to pulling off the hype luxe look.
Step One: Invest In A Heritage Classic
Goyard Goyardine Ghypre Deux Soufflets Briefcase, $3,400; Burberry Prorsum Trench Coat, $1,295; Hermès Reversible Constance Belt Kit, $895
Whether you’re starting from scratch or adding to your collection of classics, choose a coat, accessory or wear-everywhere bag for your foundation. “Begin with an investment piece from a heritage designer like Hermès, Goyard or Burberry,” says Rivas. “These brands are not only iconic, but they’ll last a lifetime and will always retain their resale value.”
A heritage essential should be versatile enough to accompany both loud and subtle statement pieces; if it can’t be paired with an array of sneakers, loafers and boots, for example, it likely won’t serve you well as a foundation pick. “The hype luxe man is a trendsetter, but he also appreciates tradition and the fine craftsmanship of storied designers,” notes Rivas. “A heritage piece will be luxe enough to elevate your outfit, but understated enough so that you can wear it every day and maintain the freedom to change up your look.”
Step Two: Collect A Covetable Piece
Off-White x Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Jordan 1 Sneakers, $2,000; Supreme 2016 Morrissey T-Shirt, $575; Louis Vuitton Masters Collection KeepAll, $3,800
After you’ve established the sartorial staple that will ground your aesthetic, it’s time to start hunting for that coveted piece that will set you apart from the crowd. “Hype luxe style does not exist without those ‘hard-to-cop,’ limited edition pieces that some wait hours in line to snag,” says Rivas. “The hype luxe man is very in tune with the latest collaborations and streetwear releases, so if you’ve picked up Virgil Abloh’s Off-White for Nike sneakers or a Jeff Koons for Louis Vuitton duffle, you’re on the right track.” In essence, the rarer, the better. And considering the avid “flip” culture of reselling the latest drop for much, much more than you paid, holding on to exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces for the future is always a smart move.
When it comes to mixing high and low, pairing your heritage pieces and exclusive finds with contemporary brands like Gosha Rubchinskiy, Stone Island and Palace are key to perfecting the hype luxe look. And the most important thing to remember is to only choose items that represent your style, opinions and perspective.
Step Three: Make It Your Own
Vintage Trunk, $295; Obey With Caution by Shepard Fairey, $3,500; On The Road Limited Edition Book, $7,500
Once you’ve started to build out your wardrobe, you can begin to take stock of your surroundings and translate your aesthetic preferences and interests into your daily life.
“Hype luxe style is about curating the best of what fashion and culture offer, and tailoring all of these different influences to your personal taste,” says Rivas. “The hype luxe man is informed, influential and creative, and he lets both his fashion and decor choices reflect his personality.”
Find art that captures the zeitgeist, literature that makes you think and furniture that tells a story. “Works by artists like David Hockney, Shepard Fairey and Alexander Calder are not only good investments, but they’re also a great way to start a conversation about what you’re interested in,” states Rivas. To master hype luxe style is to embrace the new, the old and, most importantly, to embrace what speaks to you.
Start perfecting your own style with our hype luxe edit.