WTF Is a Crypto Hypebeast?

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I recently found out that there is something called a crypto hypebeast. And no, it's not a Supreme bricklayer who gets paid through the blockchain. Nor, disappointingly, is it someone who shops on Grailed with Ethereum. It's an entirely new subset of menswear obsessive. But this is not your regular guy who lines up outside of Supreme like it's a club or a Balenciaga Triple S-sniffing fuccboi. Wearing Supreme, Balenciaga and their ilk is too on-the-nose. Rather, it's a label for a new breed of menswear fan who prefers a more subtle flex.

So what exactly is a crypto hypebeast? According to the popular Facebook group High Fashion Talk, it's someone similar to a more 'mainstream hypebeast,' the main difference being a crypto hypebeast has a flavor for more luxury designers, yet still buys them more for the label rather than because it's quality. The term was apparently coined by Alex Rajah and is really anyone who posts on Style Forum. Similar to a Jay-Z fan after the release of "Empire State of Mind," a crypto hypebeast is a Raf Simons fan who has never heard of The Fourth Sex, a Balenciaga disciple who cannot recall the sad, marble-cracked years of Alexander Wang's tenure.

These guys roll their eyes at Virgil Abloh's Off-White zip ties and turn their nose up at Gucci logo belts, instead opening their wallets for brands like Bulgarian up-and-comer Kiko Kostadinov, Samuel Ross's A-COLD-WALL* and Poem jeans. Frequently, when someone posts an outfit on High Fashion Talk with one of the aforementioned brands tagged, comments will inevitably go, "Did you buy this because you liked it or did you buy it because it's Kiko?" or "DUDE YOU DON'T GET THAT TAILORED?!"

A crypto hypebeast is essentially Veblen's theory of conspicuous consumption transposed onto the Instagram influencer. I'm updating and paraphrasing, but Veblen basically said something along the lines of "People who buy a lot of shit gives them a false sense of satisfaction that they are therefore holier than thou." While it is not true—you can wear whatever you like and feel good in—it definitely abets the entire Instagram fit-post cycle of tagging expensive clothing brands as a flex.

This probably all sounds foreign to the layman who shops at Footlocker and thinks A-COLD-WALL* is… exactly that. However, it's 2019 and we need to keep track of all these people.

So if you want to be a crypto hypebeast, this is the hot or not list:


- Ader Error

- Kiko Kostadinov (known only as "Kiko")

- Craig Green

- Any shoe with a heel hump

- Flowy cream pants

- Beanies that don't cover your ears

- This South Korean brand with complicated shipping

- Never paying retail

- Eytys Angels


- Balenciaga

- Off-White/Virgil Abloh

- Supreme

- Cav Empt

- Yeezy

- Palace

- Fear of God

- Chains on your jeans

- Cross body bags

- Excessive rings

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