Saturday, December 29, 2018

Dear Berlin, It's Okay If You Want To Send The Hipsters Home

Over the years we've chronicled Berlin's toleration of the hipsters:
October 2013
How Hipsters Ruined Berlin
June 2015
Mathematical Model Explains Why All Hipsters Look the Same
Jan. 2017
Brexit: "Berlin to Send Back Thousands of British Hipsters"
July 2018
"Peak Hipster: Nordic miniature shaving axe"
We've passed the peak haven't we?
Please tell me we've passed the peak, seeing faux lumberjacks in the city is still jarring even after a half-decade....
But the Wall Street Journal declared the hipster's last claim to fame is passé.
From Vice, Apr 13 2016:

Beards Aren’t Cool Anymore
If you thought beards were good you are hopelessly behind the times, says a "Wall Street Journal" trendpiece.
... Here is the paper's indisputable proof: According to a 24-year-old—the hippest age—who works in sales—the hippest field—at Ralph Lauren—the hippest brand—beards are bad: "You go to a bar, and all you see are bearded dudes. I don't like it," he told the Journal....
Like some great herd on the African plain, the migration has already begun:

Whoa: Hold The Doom-n-Gloom On The Chinese Economy, The Hipsters Are Thriving

Older Chinese people are among the greatest "Don't give a damn what you think" sartorialists in the world and, I think, led the Chinese millennials into developing the fashion sensibility.
It's not just in China either, the insouciance is visible in Chinese communities around the world.
Via the Accidental Chinese Hipsters tumblr:
and many more.

Back to the younger crowd, here's FT Alphaville on reasons to think the Chinese economy may be doing better than the traditional analysis suggests:

China’s hipster indicator
In general this would be deserving of a ‘This is nuts. When’s the crash?‘ headline, but Bernstein don’t seem to be going quite that way:
Chinese pop idol Lu Han this week launched a venture capital firm focusing on lifestyle trends among Chinese millennials. Han is joining a cohort of celebrity investors like Angelababy (who managed to beat us to the name AB Capital) and Zhao Wei, who co-invested in Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures. These kinds of things don’t happen when consumer sentiment is negative and a “get me out” investor psychology has taken hold. They happen at the exact opposite end of the business cycle. So, is China imploding… or overheating?
We think the questions they’re asking here are: Can the Chinese economy really be in trouble when its hipsters are thriving? Can a serious drive to get capital out of the country co-exist with demand for fancy cars and nice meals at fancy restaurants that are growing apace?
Or, what does it matter that reserves dropped below $3tn for the first time in five years — according to IMF estimates and UBS, China needs between $1.75tn (with capital controls) and $2.82tn (with no capital controls) to withstand a currency attack — if consumers are feeling perky?
From Bernstein’s Michael Parker by way of an answer:
We may be making a meal of the restaurant data but it is simply impossible for us to reconcile the two competing narratives about China at present....
Unfortunately, that's a wrap for the Climateer Investing Culture and Fashion section.
Due to budget constraints we will be combining C&F with the still trendy cat videos.

Previously on the tats-and-beards channel:
January 2013
"The Hipster Techie Mental Map"
February 2013
Sir Mick Jagger: David Bowie is 'kind of weird' (how 'bout Bowie as a Weimar Gigolo?) 
November 2013 
"Too lazy to start a real startup? Play 'Hipster CEO' instead"