Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
By Laura Hill

“Hip,” like reefer or weed, has always seemed to be a term from another era. I associated the word hip with the beat generation. It doesn’t just mean cool. Louboutin platforms or Back Forty West may be cool at any given moment, but they are not hip. But as anyone conscious and over the age of 35 knows, there is “nothing new under the sun” — trends recycle; a lot.  And it seems like what constitutes hip is just a certain brand of recycling.

With what passes for hip these days, it’s hard to predict what might trend next. Different instincts seem to move people toward “hipness.” There are entire industries devoted to tech and fashion forecasting; figuring out what the next trend in consumer food and beauty preferences will be. The companies themselves are the ones who generally create our desires, as humans are, for the most part, deeply entrenched lemmings. And we moderns are deeply entrenched consumers to boot. But forecasting is tricky business.

Over the last few years there has been a revolution here in NYC. The “Hipster” has become an equally praised or derided psychographic; the inhabitants of entire neighborhoods, the patrons of particular stores, certain types of music, even styles of parenting.

I’m not hip, but I am pretty good at spotting weird trends; like snapping instead of clapping, facial hair that extends as far as the outside of the nose, emaciated, muscle-less male bodies in skinny jeans, ironic red neck wear and faux animal trophies alongside real taxidermy. You know what I am talking about; its everywhere around us.

Based on what I’ve seen around the City over the last couple of years, I have some thoughts about what the future holds. Here are a few odd cultural artifacts that I predict will become undeniably hip in New York:

Santeria Candles

Once found exclusively in Botanica stores and the odd bodega in decidedly non-hip neighborhoods in and around the five boroughs (with their I know something dark and spiritual that you don’t-ness about them), Santeria Candles are sure to be available and artisan-crafted-in-Bushwick by year’s end.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Laura Hill

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Laura Hill

Baby Carriage Lanes

Officially, New York has abandoned its pedestrian-centric ways; from bike lanes to mini cars and Vespas, NYC is rolling. Since an infant is currently one of the hippest accessories available in the City, this one’s a no brainer. And for those of us routinely run down and smashed into by these rogue doublewides careening down the aisles of Trader Joe’s, baby carriage lanes may just be something hip that’s also kinda smart!

Tech Free Zones

With the spate of tech gadgetry that is sucking the humanity from many of us these days, tech-free holiday packages and adult “camps” have started to pop up, citing the benefits of taking a break from the onslaught. And however much we love our stuff, aren’t you a little bit tired of it all? I’d bet that within the next year or two, the hippest of locales will feature tech-free zones. Enter here, but check your tech at the door!

Large Old School Metal Braces

If old man blazers, lumber jack caps, fedoras, wife-beaters, and 1970’s vests (the uglier the better) can make a come back, then it stands to reason that big, thick old-school metal braces are in the pipeline. You’ve seen those cool kids with their glasses sans lenses and their cable knit coffee “cozies” …who cares if you need ‘em? They will be so on point next season!

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Laura Hill

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Laura Hill

Golf Pants and Shoes

There is no logical reason why, following some of the ugliness that passes as fashion, that pastel plaid golf pants and white patent leather golf shoes (with or without cleats; cleats would be VERY hip) shouldn’t be on the horizon. It seems that with every fashion statement comes a healthy dose of irony.

So, go on! Imagine a New York summer filled with golf shoe wearing, tech-free living, baby lane strolling, metal braces sporting, Santeria practitioners…the next generation of hipsters.

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