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Hipsters - Where Did They Come From?


image: hipstercrite

It seems like it's impossible to walk along the street these days without encountering somebody wearing a pair of round black glasses that weren't prescribed to them.
This sub-culture of trendy urban youths, the hipsters, do everything in their power to dress differently and stand out from the crowd. Is blue in fashion this month, we'll wear red. Everybody else going to the cinema Friday night, we'll stay home and drink tequila while playing chess.

But where did the Hipsters come from, and how did their rise to prominence happen so fast?

Hipster culture is a contemporary subculture. While society has always known its fair share of subcultures; the mods, the Goths, the biker gangs; rarely has it seen one whose members hold such an influence on modern pop culture.

While the term 'hipster' has been used as far back as the 1940's to describe those seeking revolution, the term as we know it today originated in the 1990's, with 2010 being the point in which it's most identifiable.

The culture is the culmination of migration, liberalism, rebellion and indie living mutated into one. The average hipster is of affluent persuasion, mostly sub-urban, though with a tendency to move into more urban locations.

Locations like London's Soho and Los Angeles' Venice Beach have been behind the hipster movement. Individuals with a taste for the unique, and a self-assured nature, have inspired the movement undeniably.

image: theatlantic

Due to the assumed self-assurance of the movement, and the favorable economic situations of many of its members, it has been embraced by many, including the media who deem it a valuable sub-culture. The selective nature of hipsters has created a cult-like desire to join, in many outsiders. The imitation of hipster culture in youths across America, Europe, Asia and Australia has caused it to grow in size and popularity. Their desire to be welcomed into this group has lead to its inclusion in pop music, cinema, art and fashion.


The media and the fashion industry, who are forever looking for the next big trend, have been quick to jump on to the hipster bandwagon themselves, embracing the trend, and promoting the lifestyle through advertisements and endorsements.

image: pressplaypro

Even fashion companies unassociated with modern living have seen their products changed by this movement. Sporting goods giants Nike and Adidas have moved away from traditional sneakers seen in 2008, in favor of promoting 80's style high-tops popular with those involved in the hipster movement.

Because of their economic power, many other businesses have also followed suit, and become 'hipster-friendly.' Juice bars, tattoo parlors, yoga classes, organic food, gluten-free products and ethically made fashion have all found their way into gyms, grocery stores and shopping malls.

Hipsters have set a standard, which happened to be agreed upon by businesses, the media and the general public. Retro is cool again. Different is fitting in. Caring is the 21st century version of not caring.

image: huffingtonpost

Many ask how long the hipster movement will stay at the forefront of modern culture for. The answer to that question is unknown, however a saturation point will surely be reached within the next several years.

The movement set out to be different, to be iconic, and that's exactly what it's achieved. However, once too many people embrace hipster culture, it won't be different anymore. The very thing followers set out to achieve will have been destroyed, leaving them to find another way to express themselves.

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