NEW YORK, United States — Streetwear may be taking over luxury, but hypeparents are still a rare breed.
Last week, Hypebeast shut down Hypekids.com, the site it launched last summer to cater to a streetwear-obsessed generation that is beginning to have kids. The vertical will live on through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where it has 95,800 followers.
The Hong Kong-based media company also laid off about five editors in New York, including two who were dedicated to the children’s site, according to sources familiar with the matter. A spokesperson for Hypebeast confirmed the change and layoffs.
Hypekids launched in July 2017 with a sponsorship from Kids Foot Locker and covered kids sneaker launches, young influencers, lookbooks and other aspects of the trendier side of the $160 billion global childrenswear market, according to Euromonitor.
The site was part of a vertical expansion strategy the company has pursued after going public in Hong Kong in 2016, including Hypebae, a site targeting women, launched that year.
“As the hypekids brand evolves, the team remains committed to better servicing this audience through the lens of social media,” said a spokesperson for Hypebeast. “As Hypebeast LTD., continues to expand and evolve globally, there are difficult decisions to be made in order to support our long-term business strategies. We value the contributions of all our employees and appreciate their commitment to the growth of the brand.”
And just as streetwear has become a dominant force in ready-to-wear, so too has it become a trend for kids — something that has been made clear on Instagram where a fashion-loving 7-year-old from Tokyo named Coco has 579,000 followers and has been featured by Elle, Vice and others. Other brands are getting in on the action: Givenchy and Balenciaga have introduced new kids’ lines and this week, online subscription company Stitch Fix launched a children’s service.
Hypebeast struggled to transfer that interest to its website. According to data from analytics firm SimilarWeb, Hypekids.com never garnered more than 150,000 global monthly unique visitors. Hypekids.com now directs visitors to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where the account has 95,800 followers. (Hypebeast has 6.2 million followers there, and Hypebae has 794,000.)
As of June 2018, Hypebeast’s total traffic has also taken a hit. Its websites together garnered 12 million unique visitors in June 2018, according to the company, down from approximately 13 million in March 2018, according to the company’s most recent annual report.
In the year ending March 31, Hypebeast reported that annual revenue increased 77 percent to HK$385.1 million (about $49 million).
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 12 July 2018. An earlier version of this article misstated Hypebeast’s total monthly unique traffic as of June 2018 was 10.8 million. This is incorrect. The traffic was 12 million.
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