Hypebeast Founder Kevin Ma on Launching Hypefest in the Era of the Drop
The weekend featured exclusive sneaker drops, a money-wrapped Lambourghini, Jaden Smith, and Gucci Mane.
There aren’t many places you can go where you’ll dance next to Jaden Smith (and his freshly bleached eyebrows), lounge on the bow of an MCM-branded yacht, and make your own custom adidas, all the while grazing shoulders with the likes of Travis Scott, Fujiwara Hiroshi, Matthew Williams from Alyx, Puma’s Yassine Saidi, artist Futura, and Brocky Marciano all in one locale. Yet that was the scene at this past weekend’s Hypefest event put on by Hypebeast.
As we entered the grounds at the Brooklyn Navy Yard early Saturday afternoon, we immediately found ourselves in a sea of Off-White Nikes and Yeezys (turns out everyone owns the Yeezy Wave Runners). Hypebeast’s founder, Kevin Ma, met up with us to show us around the massive warehouses decked in streetwear and high-fashion branded activations such as a Marc Jacobs’ dental-inspired experience, an Off-White x Rimowa luggage carousel, Futura and André Saraiva live paintings, and a G-Star Raw tent complete with mannequins suspended in mid-air.
We wouldn’t make it too far before running into a Coveteur alum (hi, Tremaine Emory, Olivia Perez, and Chase B), or a designer or creative director trying to snag a moment with Ma. The festival was like one major hangout—panels lined with industry leaders, DJs like DJ Amrit and Kerwin Frost spinning some tracks, and so many food trucks it could have been a festival of its own. Click through the below to check out some of our favorite booths, see who we ran into, and hear about why Ma made Hypefest free and why it was so important to him, especially in the era of the drop.