office had the chance to sit down with Ma at the event to talk about his plans for Hypebeast and the future of Hypefest.
Read our interview below, and peep the rest of our photos from Hypefest here.
With one day of Hypefest down, what’s been your favorite part so far?
Just seeing everybody gather from across the world. Literally, people from Asia, people from Europe, I even met some people from Mexico and South America and was like, ‘Oh, you took a plane just to come here?!’ That’s pretty amazing. All of these people gathered here because they love creativity, the brands we’re presenting, the artists, the musicians. It’s a good way for people to connect. We want to make it a platform for kids to meet their favorite designers and artists, where they have a more intimate environment to connect. And hopefully, with this kind of platform, these kids will be inspired to become a fashion designer, or get into a creative field, or become a photographer or the next great ‘whoever.’
I know you’ve said that you wanted Hypefest to be more of an immersive experience and place to learn, rather than just shopping booths. Can you tell me a few ways you’ve done that?
It was more like, ‘Hey, let’s bring all these people together in one place,’ and then organically things happen. You meet up with friends here, reconnect or meet new people, friends refer other friends. These interactions are hard to come by these days, you know, face-to-face ones. I mean, you could go on social media and kind of interact, but that’s very surface-level. To make deeper, more meaningful connections, it’s nice to sit down and have a chat.
I think there’s a certain connotation with hype being flashy, clearly notable trends and logos, but it seems like your personal style is more about quality meeting trends.
When I first started I was a typical hypebeast—I was buying into the hype, honestly. These are limited edition shoes, yes, they look sick and are colorful, but this event is a gateway to this massive world behind it. Here, I think there are ‘hyped’ products, but behind it there’s design or a collaboration with an artist, and suddenly you’re learning about that artist. I think if you use products as a medium of communication, it can be a really great educational tool.
What are you wearing today?
A pair of adidas [white Yung-1’s] and an Undercover x Sacai shirt.