10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma, the founder of Hypebeast, has become synonymous with fashion, street culture, and a unique blend of style. There’s more to him than first meets the eye, however. Here are 10 things you might be surprised to know about Kevin Ma.

1. He Started Hypebeast As a Hobby

When Ma launched Hypebeast in 2005, it was merely a hobby for him. Created out of a Hong Kong apartment, it began as a personal blog where he would share his interests in music, fashion, and culture. Ma had no expectations, yet his personal project quickly resonated with a wider audience.

In the beginning, the blog brought to light various sneaker models and fashion trends. The audience started to grow and it turned into a full-fledged career when, within a year, it was pulling in a viewership of over half a million unique users per month.

2. His Background is in Finance

Kevin Ma wasn’t always in the world of fashion. He comes from a finance background, having studied finance and worked in a finance position at an investment firm. Even after Hypebeast took off, Ma continued to contribute to the finance industry by providing thought-provoking content around the high-end fashion industry and its economic implications.

His degree and knowledge within finance contributed to his understanding of the market and his ability to balance the books when it came to the often volatile world of fashion. He can manage and understand the business side of Hypebeast, ensuring it continues to grow and remain profitable.

3. He’s a Private Person

Despite being a key figure in the fashion industry, little is known about Ma’s personal life. He doesn’t overshare on social media and there are relatively few public appearances or interviews that reveal too much about his personal life. A rare trait in a world where oversharing is often standard.

His focus on keeping his personal life private underscores his humble nature and the fact that he prefers his work to speak for him. Despite the lack of limelight, Ma’s vision and leadership continue to shape Hypebeast and its influence on the fashion world.

4. His Philosophy is About Quality Over Quantity

For Ma, fashion is not about the number of clothes one owns, but about the quality. He believes in purchasing items that will last a lifetime, or at least a long time, rather than buying for the sake of trends. This philosophy has translated into the curation at Hypebeast, which is more focused on durable, stylish, and timeless pieces.

Kevin Ma’s philosophy of prioritizing quality over quantity is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is saturated with fast fashion. It sets Hypebeast apart as an influencer that promotes sustainability and mindfulness in consumption.

5. He’s an Avid Art Collector

Ma expresses his fashion sense not just through his clothing but also art. He’s an avid art collector and often draws inspiration from contemporary artists like Banksy, KAWS, and Takashi Murakami. Their subversive themes and bold styles have shaped Hypebeast’s overall aesthetic.

His art collection has grown over the years and includes some of the most sought-after pieces globally. It gives insight into his appreciation for a wider range of creative fields outside fashion and showcases another facet of his personality.

6. He Had No Prior Experience in the Fashion Industry

When Ma started Hypebeast, he had no prior experience in the fashion industry. He learned everything about running a fashion blog, e-commerce website, and trend forecasting on the job. His combination of passion, dedication, and an eye for what the market wanted compensated for any lack of formal training.

Ma’s story is a testament to the fact that passion coupled with hard work can indeed translate into success, regardless of experience. His organic growth in the fashion industry shows that sometimes, instinct and personal commitment can be a stronger driving force than professional training.

7. He’s a Sneakerhead

One of the reasons Ma started Hypebeast was because of his fondness for sneakers. He’s a self-proclaimed sneakerhead with a collection running into several hundreds, if not thousands. The entire journey of Hypebeast started with him trying to find a place to discuss his love for sneakers.

Sneakers still hold a special place in Ma’s heart and Hypebeast, often featuring prominently in the site’s content, from coverage of new releases to discussions on sneaker culture and design.

8. He’s a Fan of Minimalism

Despite being a key figure in a world often characterized by excess, Ma appreciates minimalism. He prefers clean and simple designs over flashy appearances. His fashion choices are typically subtle, with focus on material quality, fitting, and craftsmanship.

This minimalistic aesthetic is echoed in the visual design of Hypebeast. The website, while bustling with content, sports a sleek, clean design that prioritizes easy navigation and readability over anything flashy or distracting.

9. The Website’s Name Wasn’t His First Choice

When it came to naming his blog, Ma’s original choice was “Beast”, reflecting his love for sneakers as the term was often used in sneaker communities. However, upon registering the domain, he found out that the name was already taken. He then decided to prefix it with “Hype” and thus, the iconic “Hypebeast” was born.

The name Hypebeast perfectly encapsulates Ma’s aim with the website. It reveals his regard for ‘hyped’ or trending items and creating an online ‘beast’ that could provide an up-to-date insight into the world of high-end fashion.

10. He Helped Normalize Streetwear in Luxury Fashion

Ma has been a prominent figure when it comes to normalizing Streetwear within the luxury fashion scene. Through his platform, streetwear was often presented alongside high-end fashion brands, giving it the same level of importance and relevance.

He’s helped to shape a culture where streetwear has gone from being a niche industry into one where brands like Supreme can collaborate with established luxury houses like Louis Vuitton. He’s provided a platform for the dialogue around streetwear as a legitimate part of luxury fashion to happen.

To learn more about Kevin Ma and his contributions to the world of fashion and beyond, check out these articles and interviews:

Forbes Profile: Kevin Ma

New York Times: Kevin Ma’s Low Key Style