Hipsters are more than just latte drinking, messenger bag wearing, electro listening, tapas munching wastrels, they are retailers ticket out of the slump according to Forbes (The New Counter Culture’s Buying Power). The magazine bases this on the results of companies such as Urban Outfitters, Mini and Marc Jacobs which are turning over healthy profits despite the economic gloom.
I hadn’t quite viewed hipsters as a demographic or movement of their own, but thinking about it they really are the noughties equivalent of punks, hippies and beatniks. The only difference is instead of strumming guitars naked in fields, gobbing at each other, or writing crazy street poetry, hipsters are hunting down a new pair of Brazilian trainers or Bathing Ape t-shirt in some boutique some where.
Hipsters are actually closers to yuppies than maybe any of the other movements i just mentioned. Instead of power suits and filofaxes they’re toting R3000 jeans and iphones. In other words my generation takes the whole counter culture thing very literally (i.e. culture is something you buy over a counter): it’s a movement largely based on consumption and talking about consumption (design, fashion, music, technology etc).
Another observation about hipsters is that no one will ever actually admit to being a hipster. In fact they we will talk in a slightly sneering way about “the hipsters” despite the fact they’re we’re at a design exhibition, wearing imported trainers and clutching a copy of One Small Seed under their our arm. Let’s all come out of the closet now and just admit it: “I’m here, i’m hip, get used to it!”
Ok so here is a quick test just in case you’re still in denial. A yes to more than two questions and you’re a hipster (embrace it):
1: Do you buy your coffee from Vida? (despite the fact there is a cheaper coffee store within several metres)?
2: Have you recently read Chew, One Small Seed or Dossier magazine?
3: Do you prefere a trip to the Neighbourhood Goods Market to Checkers?
4: Have you bought something from A Store in Cape Town?
5: Do you have any of the following in your CD collection: M.I.A, LCD Sound System, Santogold, Vampire Weekend, The Knife, Hot Chip, Dubstep, or anything electronic from Berlin or Brazil?
6: Do you own a David LaChappelle photography book?
7: Do you own a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses?
8: Are you Facebook friends or a group member of What If The World or Doktor & Misses?
9: Do you read regularly a trendspotting blog of any kind? (i’m tempted to say just by reading this blog the chances are you’re a hipster)
10: Have you paid more than R250 for a t shirt?