Hypebeast founder and CEO Kevin Ma has turned his blog into a billion-dollar brand


Where there are gaps in markets, there are entrepreneurs, and Ma is one of the best. Unable to find a space to share his interests—sneakers in his case—he created a website to fulfil that need. Ma started Hypebeast.com in 2005 on his own; ten years later, it went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. These days, he gets 50 million pageviews per month from 15 million readers globally, proof that the demand to know what’s cool is constant.

Although his intentions weren’t to turn it into a billion-dollar brand right off the bat, he sensed there was potential for more when readers started considering his then-blog as a legitimate source, and expanded to fashion, culture and lifestyle.

Hypebeast isn’t just a male-focused media company anymore—over the years it has expanded to “drive the culture forward” for women (through its platforms Hypebae and Popbee), children (Hypekids) and e-commerce (HBX)—and the entrepreneur is known for exploring offline projects, too.

Ma recently collaborated with luxury brand Louis Vuitton to design a trunk, worked with Pokémon in a nod to his childhood memories to create playing cards, and even got on the “cool coffee shop” wave to open Hypebeans in Quarry Bay. He’s just opened a second location in Korea, so he clearly knows how to make a good product.

What all these ventures have in common is exclusivity; much like sneakers, limited availability is key to creating “hype”, something Ma is now very adept at doing.

“Trust your instinct and gut. There's a lot of noise in this world and if you're listening to everyone, you won't know what you actually want to do yourself.”

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Did you know?

Kevin Ma didn’t have experience in media or fashion when he started blogging; he was working in finance then. Queuing for a new shoe drop, he overheard people referencing Hypebeast opinions and knew it was possible to do it full-time. 

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