The Globalisation of Hip

August 15, 2008

“Hip” now moves faster and has more “sameness” thanks to globalisation

We can trot out cliches about globalisation like “the world is a global village” all day long, but in my opinion this current trend can be described as the “great leveler”. Globalisation has seen money move to places where the quickest profits can be made only to see it abandon those places once they found a more profitable location elsewhere. In the meantime, the world is becoming more similar from location to location as people consume the same products, are wearing the same clothes, and are exposed to the same culture.

Globalisation is also affecting Hipster culture as trends now move more quickly and with more force than they once did. Previously what was cool in New York wasn’t necessarily cool in Helsinki….but now what’s cool in Paris can be what’s cool in Buenos Aires in a matter of weeks. Tim Walker explores the globalisation of hip in: Meet the Global Scenster. Here’s an excerpt:

“Trends aren’t transmitted hierarchically, as they used to be,” explains Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, a trend forecasting company. “They’re now transmitted laterally and collaboratively via the internet. You once had a series of gatekeepers in the adoption of a trend: the innovator, the early adopter, the late adopter, the early mainstream, the late mainstream, and finally the conservative. But now it goes straight from the innovator to the mainstream.”

The global scenester stays on top of what’s cool worldwide by reading such urban culture despatches as The Cool Hunter, a blog begun in Sydney four years ago by Bill Tikos, which reports on the hippest fashion, furniture, and design culture. The Cool Hunter has more than 600,000 unique visitors per month, who pore over the contents of its licensed offshoots in the US, UK, Turkey, Italy, China, and Japan. Its global audience allows Tikos to homogenise cool worldwide.

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