Do you ever lament those carefree days of youth, when all you had to worry about was studying for an algebra test? Well lament no more, because if you were a teenager today you’d need the bank account of a Saudi prince.
If you’ve been anywhere Instagram lately you’ve maybe noticed some teenagers on there decked out in some seriously expensive streetwear. Vice magazine recently did a deep dive on that trend, and it’s basically like a 365 days-a-year Fashion Week, except instead of store buyers and magazine editors it’s kids who can’t even legally drive yet.
If you’re walking around Soho and you’ve got something on other people don’t have, you feel so good,” one London-based 13-year old told the magazine. “People just look at you like…rah. It’s next level.” Which is all well and good, except that the “something other people don’t have” is most likely a $470 Supreme tracksuit.
So where are these kids getting the money to pay for high-end clothing? While some get it from their parents, and others from traditional after-school jobs, a lot of them make their money buying and selling clothes like fashion stock traders. They’ll buy something from a Supreme drop, wear it for a bit, and then sell it on sites like Grailed or eBay for well more than they originally paid, thus funding more high-end fashion purchases.
From the article:
“This micro-economy is ubiquitous, and most kids are at it. Whacking up your old, ultra rare box logo tee onto Grailed (a high-end eBay) doesn’t make you a “reseller”–people who buy hype items purely to sell them on for maximum profit–it simply means you can go on funding your obsession without having to rely on the bank of mum and dad.”
Much of this trend has been propelled by Instagram, where kids post photos of themselves in brands like Palace, Gucci, Gosha Rubchinskiy, and Supreme to basically brag that they have them. And they’re using that to become popular not just among other kids at school, but among thousands of Instagram followers. Basically it’s the world of Mean Girls on meth.
Maybe these kids will grow up to become true adult fashion-philes, or maybe all of the sartorial stunting will fade with their acne. But either way, next time you’re proud of yourself for nabbing a hard-to-come-by pair of NMDs or a Supreme box hoodie, just know that there’s a 14-year-old out there who has a closet full of them.