#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Streetwear is often considered a boy's club, but that stereotype is rapidly dissipating. In a phenomenon which parallels guys' newfound interest in fashion, style and grooming, women of all ages are proving that sneaker collecting and street clothing aren't strictly reserved for the fellas. (In fact, some of the greatest feats in menswear have been achieved by designers of the fairer sex.)
Of course, the streetwear industry doesn't have the best track record when it comes to non-objective treatment of women, but nowadays, instead of falling victim to hype culture and its many paradoxes, some ladies are taking full ownership of it.
Such is the case for 20-year-old Beijing native, Feifei. At over 25K Instagram followers, the self-proclaimed "hypebae" has acquired a wardrobe filled with some of the most sought-after streetwear grails the cyber-realm has ever had the pleasure of scrolling upon.
We caught up with Feifei to find out more about how she affords her insane spending habits, if she's treated differently in the streetwear community because of her gender and how she dodges the haters.
How old are you?
I'm 20, but will be turning 21 in June.
Where are you from and where do you live currently?
I’m Chinese and originally from Beijing, but I now live in London.
What is your occupation?
I'm still in uni.
How long have you been collecting streetwear?
Quite a long time tbh. I can't really remember...maybe since 2010?
What are your favorite brands at the moment?
I like all different brands, so it depends. I love different pieces from different brands. I like Palace, Gosha, Raf Simons and so on...Supreme is probably my favorite though.
How would you describe your style?
It's hard to say what my style is; I wear what I like and what makes me look nice and cool. It doesn’t mean I only wear hyped pieces; I actually do wear loads of unknown brands, too. And if I don’t like something, I don’t wear them even if it's super hyped or expensive.
How much do you spend on clothes a month?
It is hard to keep track, but at least 10k per month.
What's the most you've ever spent on a piece of clothing?
I can’t remember. Maybe the 2010 Supreme TNF Leopard Nuptse jacket that I paid 1.4k for.
How do you afford everything you buy?
I get paid by my parents, and I think I know how to manage my money. I’m not in a rush to sell my clothes, but sometimes when I find grails that I'm looking for for ages, I need to sell the ones that I'm bored of to buy new things. I can't afford all of them.
Do you prefer quality over quantity or quantity over quality?
Umm...this question is a bit hard. I think quality over quantity. For clothing, it doesn’t mean how many pieces you own because I would like to save my money to afford something I really want rather than buying loads of clothes that I would not wear as often.
Do you get a lot of private messages on Instagram? How do you respond to the haters and weirdos?
A few, yes. To be honest, I’m actually not a very confident person. At first I cared about those comments very much, so when people talked shit to me, I always shared it with my friends. Some weirdo would DM me every day and all he wanted was just a “read” because I replied to him once.
Now I've started to ignore those haters, and they are just jealous of me. When someone sees my fit pic where I am wearing a piece they want, they'll say things like “fucking whack” or “such an ugly bitch.” I would never say that to people that I don’t really know. And I won’t hate people that I haven’t seen in a real life.
I’m tiny and like those brands but they don’t have my size, but I really like them and I like to wear baggy cloths, so I just buy them. Some people are saying like “all for the hype, so peak.” They don’t know my style, I wear oversized cloths since I've been following streetwear.
Do you think that people in the streetwear collecting community treat you differently because you are a girl?
Yeah, I think they do. Due to it being a male-dominated scene, mainly guys thinking it should only be for guys, and some people dislike me just because I am a girl, and they think a girl can’t be a hypebeast. I used to think some of those guys were cool, but they turned out to be super narrow-minded and outdated. Or they are just salty. But some guys love to see girls really pulling off the look.
Are there any women in the industry who you look up to?
There are not many women in streetwear tbh. I really respect Rei Kawakubo; not only did she create COMME des GARÇONS, she also built Dover Street Market which has loads of young and cool brands. No one can replace what she did for the industry.
And Christina Paik is such an inspiring woman. I first saw on her Instagram in some street style shots. She was wearing all BAPE at Paris Fashion Week. It impressed me a lot and I followed her. She’s also a great photographer and she works with Virgil Abloh and OFF-WHITE a lot. I really admire her style and the way she takes photographs. Now she is doing her “MEUFS” Singapore exhibition, I hope one day we could link up, LOL.
What do you see yourself doing in a few years? What career ambitions do you have?
Maybe stylist or something. I don’t know, I don’t think about the future. But I think my career must relate to streetwear in some way.
What do you love and hate the most about fashion right now?
Basically, I don’t dislike any brands. Well, I don’t like Anti Social Social Club anymore. I used to like them, and I wanted their caps and hoodie so badly, so I paid resale. But it's boring now; same print and just different colorways and shit quality as usual. I saw people commenting on Neek Lurk’s page and it seems like it take ages to get them if you cop from their online website.
I used to love BAPE much more than Supreme. I bought so many shark hoodies and tees and I love those accessories. Since NIGO left, BAPE was taken over by I.T, they made another brand called AAPE and now it seems like they are doing crazy collaborations.
Unlike most Asians, I am not super into Rick Owens. I don’t think it's not cool, it's really cool and sick, but it's just not my style, and I don’t know how to wear it nicely.
Well, recently I got the VLONE Nike AF1 sneakers. I like A$AP Bari and A$AP Rocky! I wear them so much.
For more on Instagram stars and their insane spending habits, check out our interview with Leo Mandella, aka @gullyguyleo.