What are Current Hipster Trends?
November 26, 2012 10:25 AM   Subscribe

What are some current hipster trends that I should be paying attention to?

My understanding of hipster culture, whether accurate or completely naive, is that things the "mainstream" culture enjoys are all things that started out in the hipster culture--everything from wearing jeans with holes to buying organic foods were at one time strictly hipster things to do, but are now taken for granted (or at least eagerly accepted) by the mainstream culture without any thought of origination.

So, what are some things happening in hipster culture right now that my very mainstream friends will be taking for granted in a few years? (Please provide examples that aren't just fashion trends, although that is okay--I am mostly interested philosophies, music, sciences, social trends/acceptable behaviors, economic habits, etc.)

Also, how can I have more hipster influences? Blogs to keep up on? Online newspapers? Other resources?

For what it's worth, I do not consider myself mainstream at all, but I am not hipster either. I am somewhere in cultural purgatory, probably with most of society, but my friends tend to be mainstream to the extreme, and I don't have any other influences right now.
posted by TinWhistle to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Does Oh My Rockness cover your city? They're a good resource not just for shows, but for up-and-coming bands that the bigger bookers aren't really looking at. Also, find out the shitty, fly-by-night, we-have-no-phone-and-are-actually-a-warehouse venues in your locale and sign up to their mailing lists/friend them on Facebook/etc. They're how you get the finger on the pulse of your local music scene.
posted by griphus at 10:28 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Vice Magazine was sort of a ground zero for hipster culture in the US, though they have kind of lost relevance over the last decade in hipster-dom as they've shifted more toward travel/world documentaries. I'd still check it out though since they've always been THE hipster "newspaper" if there ever was one.
posted by windbox at 10:36 AM on November 26, 2012

Sometime in the last year, the idea of "Urban Agriculture" has gone from a hipster thing to more of a mainstream trend around my area. People are keeping backyard bees or chickens, making their own cheese and beer and yogurt... DIY is going back to the land and the kitchen. Home brewing in particular seems to have made it to the suburbs. I've got quite a few friends-from-the-distant-past on facebook who live in McMansion neighborhoods and brew their own beer.
posted by vytae at 10:51 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Aesthetically, about six months or a year ago everything became geometric. Whether that's Southwestern patterns, science-y New Wave lines and color-blocks, or gem-like facets.

If you're picking a pattern or designing a logo to appeal to Youth Culture, you want it to have geometric elements in the design.

Also, for some reason I'm seeing a lot of patterns and design inspiration that involves animals. This isn't exactly new, but it's gone completely overboard over the last year or so. It's gotten so bad that when I shop for things, I have to intentionally check to make sure I'm not "putting a bird on it." (BTW, this year it's owls and foxes. No idea why.)

Everything old is still new again -- that doesn't seem to be changing. Right now the "old" that is cool is specifically anything early 90's (especially that sorta trailer park-ish fringe and dreamcatcher and bad bleach jobs sort of look).

In addition to the same cycle of RETRO, I also feel like with my generation there's a sense that old, in general, is better than new. Rehabbing and retrofitting old stuff to be useful in the digital world. Making do and mending. Timeless objects like cast iron pans and mason jars. In addition to the 90's throwback stuff, there's a wave bubbling under the surface that calls back to the 30's and 40's. I've been thinking a lot about the extent to which the millennial generation is more small-c conservative, even to the point of being backward-looking. I don't know if this is a "New Hipster Movement" like what you're looking for, but I do think that elemental fact about us explains a lot of the trends, and can probably be used to suss out what the trends are going to be.
posted by Sara C. at 10:53 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

In New York, at least, there's still a very strong element of Occupy language and philosophy in young and hip circles. I've seen intentionally leaderless communities spring up outside the social justice sphere, more or less as a result of people participating in last fall's General Assembly meetings and liking the structure.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:54 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

True that. I never thought Roberts Rules would be trendy, but it now seems that they are.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

As mentioned above: Backyard chickens and eggs are becoming more popular. Also, I see a lot of trends toward bartering, reuse and cooperative ventures. Canning and urban farmer's markets are growing too.
posted by Doohickie at 11:25 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Micro distilling is on the big up and up with the hipsters but relatively nascent in the mainstream. This will change in the next couple years, and craft distillers, especially for liquors that aren't aged, will get big.

The french horn, the timpani, and the bassoon in rock and pop. We've seen the rise of three drum sets, saxophones, cellos, flutes, violins, ukes. The horn will be next.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:25 PM on November 26, 2012

I saw a button for sale about 6 months ago that said "Chickens are the new fixie."

(This was in Oakland,CA)
posted by small_ruminant at 1:30 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

This might be specific to bike kids, not hipsters, but lord knows there's a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram:

-almost no one owns cars
-no one ever, ever, ever used the word "fixie"
-a gorgeous (i.e. expensive) tasteful fixed gear bicycle is still an object of admiration, but not more than a sick road bike would be; a bike being fixed is not a indicator of "cool" anymore
-homeboys LOVE THEMSELVES SOME CYCLOCROSS BIKES (and the sport of cyclocross)
-utilitarian bikes (fat bikes, cargo bikes) are highly envied and admired
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:38 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's nothing particularly hipster about any of this; arguably, the modern idea of the "hipster" is at most 20 years old, and it's appealing to visual aspects of a world that the self-labeled cognoscenti weren't actively part of (80s/early 90s culture). Accordingly, being aware of what hipsters do or like should be distinguished from the idea that hipster adoption precedes "mainstream" adoption. Arguably, hipsters contribute little to culture, as the moniker generally deals with a sub-group that appropriates what was "cool" 10-20 years prior.

90s "hipsters" aped the 70s and 80s. Millennial hipsters seem to be aping the 90s now, so perhaps you can look to early 2000s popular culture for whatever is coming next.
posted by ellF at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2012

Generally a lot of former markers of adulthood (owning a home and car, marriage, children) have lessened in importance. Biking is already very big and will only become more mainstream with time.

In line with the rise of craft distilleries, there has been a huge revival of classic cocktails like Manhattans and a rediscovery of some truly historical ones. In a few years, I suspect that apéritifs and digestifs may be rediscovered as well.

For philosophy, Marxist and post-Marxist influences are pretty big in multiple disciplines. Authors like David Harvey, David Graeber, Walter Benjamin and Slavoj Žižek are widely read.

Publications to follow: Cabinet, n+1, The Believer
posted by susanvance at 1:43 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Vermouth, and especially the small batch, high quality stuff. Vermouth is the new gin, which was the new vodka.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2012

susanvance - that's very interesting. Do you have any examples of Harvey or the others specifically being adopted by specific groups - as opposed to their (understandable) 'renaissance' within academic circles post-2008/Occupy?
posted by cromagnon at 3:05 PM on November 26, 2012

cromagnon - Well, it would all be completely anecdotal, but yes, I'm not in academia and have noticed a fair number of folks around 25-35 picking up books by those authors, or who at least know who they are. Especially artists/creative folks and those involved in social justice, but one example would be that my local bookstore sponsored a book group on Harvey last year. Granted, these are clearly all people who are pretty highly educated so they do overlap with academic circles...but still, there seem to be a lot more laypeople picking up hefty economic/philosophical tomes for fun, in the same way they would read classic novels perhaps.
posted by susanvance at 4:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

My old, bifocal-needing eyes are grateful to hipsters for bringing back the giant glasses frames.
posted by Brody's chum at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2012

posted by Duffington at 8:03 PM on November 26, 2012

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