New York Magazine asks, What Was the Hipster?

Above all, the post-2004 hipster could be identified by one stylistic marker that transcended fashion to be something as fundamental as a cultural password: jeans that were tight to the calves and ankles. As much as I’ve investigated this, I can’t say I understand the origin of the skinny jean. Why, of many candidates for fashion statements, did it become ubiquitous?


The most confounding element of the hipster is that, because of the geography of the gentrified city and the demography of youth, this “rebel consumer” hipster culture shares space and frequently steals motifs from truly anti-authoritarian youth countercultures. Thus, baby-boomers and preteens tend to look at everyone between them and say: Isn’t this hipsterism just youth culture? To which folks age 19 to 29 protest, No, these people are worse. But there is something in this confusion that suggests a window into the hipster’s possible mortality.

The main thing I take from the author is this: hipsters have progressed from awful to not-as-awful, with potential to do something. A bit of a hollow core right now, though.

4 comments left


Dan McKeown

I always secretly hope that they are going to fall off of their stupid 2-story bikes. Seriously, those things just don’t make any sense.

Alexander Micek

Yeah, I don’t know if those bikes even qualify as hipster—more like “dumbster”. Dumpster?

Dan McKeown


Alexander Micek

Also: who is this friend of yours who is going to live at McMurdo in Antarctica for 5 months?

Luke Van Hulle? Anyhow, his posts about working there are really interesting:

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