The Spokesman

The Bizarre World of Streetwear

Servite+Seniors+Jacob+Villanueva+and+Alex+Rodriguez+pose+in+front+of+a+mural.+
Servite Seniors Jacob Villanueva and Alex Rodriguez pose in front of a mural.

Servite Seniors Jacob Villanueva and Alex Rodriguez pose in front of a mural.

Servite Seniors Jacob Villanueva and Alex Rodriguez pose in front of a mural.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It was the morning of February 22nd. Bright and early at six in the morning, Servite Senior Alex Rodriguez woke up and rolled out of bed. He quickly crossed to his desk and opened his laptop. Rodriguez didn’t wake up at that ungodly hour to finish a school project though. He woke up to buy clothes from the streetwear company Supreme.

Streetwear is a subset of West Coast skating culture. The style often involves loose clothing, bright colors, and prominently displayed logos. The clothes are wildly popular among Servite students, which is predictable as streetwear companies like Supreme, A Bathing Ape (BAPE), Off-White, and Balenciaga get the majority of their profits from their target audience of young men.

Rodriguez is what some might call a “hypebeast,” a popular slang term for the fashion forward. Rodriguez first got involved in the streetwear scene during the summer of 2016, when he went on a trip to China with some of his Mandarin classmates. While there, some people in his group went to the BAPE store in Beijing. “it was all too expensive,” said Rodriguez, “but I said ‘why not’ so I bought something and then I got hooked.” Since then, Rodriguez has started to make a considerable profit off of buying streetwear clothes and reselling them for profit, often at prices double or even triple the retail price.

The reselling system is simple. Streetwear companies ensure they maintain their exclusivity by producing relatively small amounts of product, which often sell out within minutes of their release. This is because of buyers like Rodriguez, who use bots to buy streetwear products en masse. These bots can bypass all of the human error that comes with slowly typing out an address to checkout within a few seconds.

These buyers can then resell the products they purchased at much higher numbers on apps like Poshmark, Mercari, or Grailed. So far, Rodriguez has made around $600 dollars from re-selling the products he buys.

Rodriguez spent seventy dollars to purchase his bot, which he got from an online retailer. The bots are site-specific, so his only works for Supreme. The bots are also very finicky, which is why Rodriguez woke up early on February 22nd. “(On) the day of the drop, you enter what you want into the keyword search onto the bot so that it knows what to get for you,” said Rodriguez. “Then, you select the size you want, color, and put in all your credit card info and address.”

That’s not all it takes, though. You still have to start the bot before other users. “Once it is 8:00 am, you click the ‘Start” button on the bot, and the bot spams the supreme website faster than a human can so that you are guaranteed what you wanted,” Rodriguez continued. According to Rodriguez, the process only takes 5-10 seconds from the time you click the start button.

Some might argue that what buyers like Rodriguez do is unethical. It’s a logical argument to say that bot users are using extraordinary means to beat regular customers for profit, which could be construed as a form of stealing. But some could also look at Rodriguez as some sort of Robin Hood, as Supreme is renowned for unreliable deliveries, ridiculous prices, and obscure products. A recent drop of products featured a set of Supreme teacups and a set of Supreme Tennis balls, both of which quickly sold out.

It begs the question that Supreme is in on the joke, that they enjoy the demand for relatively common goods. It would be impossible to forget the time in August of 2016 that Supreme sold a regular brick with the Supreme logo for thirty dollars (which eventually went on to be sold for a thousand dollars on eBay) or the branded Supreme crowbar. The most ridiculous item Rodriguez has seen sold was a Supreme Pinball machine, an item that retailed for ten thousand dollars and will probably resell for triple that number.

 

Alex Rodriguez smiles as another offer rolls in.

The popularity of streetwear brands casts a concerning light upon Generation Z, a light that shows just how far people are willing to go to obtain the hottest brands. Supreme is hardly blind to the methods that some buyers use to cheat the system, but their efforts to stop them have been minimal, and seem to favor profit over honesty. One of Supreme’s security measures has been to include a Captcha at the end of all purchases- a distorted sequence of numbers and letters that computer programs have issues solving. But this effort was easily circumvented by a quick addition to most bot programs according to an article published by Wired magazine.

 

For tech-savvy young adults like Alex, streetwear is more than a fashion statement or even a way of life. It’s a veritable profit machine, a way to fuel teenage material wants and an exploration of young entrepreneurship.

 

 

Rodriguez shows off his sales.

One of the more bizarre Supreme products: a stack of teacups

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

All comments are reviewed by editorial staff prior to posting. Comments must be in line with standards and values set forth by Servite High School.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    What did you miss at the Oscars? Well, a lot.

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    Music and Mania: One Wild Night at The Imperial Ball

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    Lights, Camera, Action!

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    Buzz Over Black Panther is Brewing

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    Taylor Swift Rules Over The Summer Music Industry

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    The Enduring Magic of Disneyland

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    The Appeal of Car Shows

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Opinions

    Yes, your thoughts and prayers are meaningful. But as Christians, you’re called to do more.

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Culture

    What did you miss at the Oscars? Well, a lot.

  • The Bizarre World of Streetwear

    Servite News

    The Excellence in Leadership Dinner: A Night of Legends

Servite High School's Online Newspaper
The Bizarre World of Streetwear