Kevin Ma founded Hypebeast in 2005, the site now has a monthly audience of well over 2 million visitors. The lifestyle, digital and streetwear focused site has entered the retail sphere in 2012, selling fashion editor favourites 3.1 Philip Lim, A.P.C, Agi & Sam, Band of Outsiders, Carven and Hentsch Man , among many more streetwear focused brands. As well as monetizing the site, Ma launched a print magazine in the same year.
Hypebeast was originally founded as a sneaker centred passion project, Ma told Kitsuné, “The content has definitely changed from being sneaker centric to more fashion geared. A lot of our news is still based around sneakers, but we’re more choosy now on which sneakers we post up. I guess it’s because the more you see, the more you learn. Hypebeast started out talking about all the “hyped” products on the market. Now, it’s more about what actually looks good.”
Ma did not come from a fashion background; he launched the site whilst working in finance. “I studied business and psychology. After I graduated, I worked in the finance industry but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. While working at the bank, I was really into fashion, music and street culture. So, as a side project I decided to create Hypebeast to gather all the fashion, culture, and music news into one place. Slowly, it became my full time job and now my business.”