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The best of 2023 Awards

This year had it all: Oakley's re-emergence, $9,000 backgammon boards, fire 711 merch, Tube Girl, and more.

Best of 2023 Awards

How do we sum up the year?

A lot of stuff happened; too much for even the strongest curators to keep up with. But the the end is near, so we thought it would be fun to look back on what was a chaotic, wild, fun, wildly-fun, mid, depressing, exhilarating, exhausting 2023, and pick some of what stood out to us personally.

Welcome to the first installment of the Best of 2023, where we highlight everything we enjoyed in the consumer world.

Here we go.

Best campaigns

Look. Anything from Jacquemus.

It’s no secret they’ve become mine and Oren’s creative muse as of late, and it has to do with how they creatively reimagine the ordinary.

Doing a runway show with a red carpet in Versaille?

Shooting a campaign on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro?

Hell, even their Jacquemus Kids launch was fire.

Ultimately, they’re an example of how an up-and-coming luxury brand can aspire to be in the top echelon of luxury while having fun and being playful with their brand aesthetic.

Adobe Generative Fill

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to Adobe’s Generative Fill campaign. They went so far-reaching that they not only got the word out on their feature but changed the cultural artistic perception of visual AI.

A once-in-a-generation influencer campaign.

Rimowa’s Recrafted program

Rimowa is one of the few travel companies out there that creates a sense of ennui for its customers, a yearning “for more.”

And the funny thing about their product is, the more beaten up your suitcase gets, the more we all feel.

A dinged-up Rimowa—with stickers tattooed all over it—is a sign of wealth. A nod to the onlooker that you have good taste.

Honorable mentions

Best collabs

Oakley x Satisfy Running

This partnership absolutely slapped.

Nothing like a $200 ripped-up t-shirt to break the bank. But honestly, it’s been a delight to watch our beloved Oakley enter into the zeitgeist, partnering with the likes of Satisfy and Palance along the way.

This desert-themed partnership with the Parisian running brand was perfectly executed. Both brands brought creative juice, and the ever-iconic Oakley shades had their moment to flex in the shoot.

More of this.

While everyone was dropping faux out-of-home videos, Flamingo Estate & Beni simply unrolled an absolutely massive rug to debut a beautiful collab that was a perfect pairing for both brands. Homey.

Erewhon x Cactus Plant Flea Market

Honorable mentions

Best retail experience

Aries flagship store Soho, London

The Brinkworth and Wilson Brothers design team—the duo behind Supreme’s Hollywood shop—crushed it on this one too, and it’s a brilliant example of what creating a multi-use space looks like.

There’s a café inside, where Parisian sandwich shop Paperboy is serving up egg sandos and espresso. Beyond that, the spaciousness inside allows the brand to host galleries, exhibitions, DJ sets, and wtf else they want!

Madhappy’s flagship in West Hollywood

This one came in at the buzzer, and my oh my, what a wonderfully groovy space this is. You can feel the cool, ambient, calming tones of the space, and while it leans more minimalist, you can’t deny it’s a perfect reflection of Madhappy’s ethos.

APL in Soho, NYC

APL put together an Instagram-friendly, luxurious retail display that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Felt a bit like what putting a store in the red rocks of Sedona would look like.

I believe Ghia technically opened this space last year. And while it’s not a store for you to shop, oh my god, is it lovely.

The nonalcoholic beverage brand uses it as a multi-use space. It’s a showroom, where they host dinner parties, events, product releases, meetings, etc.

And it’s absolutely wonderful.

It’s giving expensive and tasetful, but not high-brow, and I like that.

Honorable Mentions

Best community play

If you don’t know about Thingtesting, they started as a website reviewing DTC products, and they’ve evolved a lot over the years.

This year, they launched Thingtester, a gamified way for their readers and users to participate in the review process and be rewarded for creating content on the brand’s behalf.

You get free stuff by earning points, and you earn points by reviewing things. The more products you review for Thingtesting and talk about it, the more points you get.

Win, win for both sides.

UMBRO invited creators to reinvent their garments, and then showcasing the amazing results. This is a perfect way to activate community. Big fan.

Best products

ESPRIT x Ruby Hibiscus Water

If Jean-Michel Basquiat designed a can in 2023, this would be it.

Look, I don’t really know how ESPRIT and Ruby make sense as a collab, and I don’t really care. Because the can design on this bitch is so good-looking, it makes up for everything else.

That District Vision bicycle

Well, that escalated quickly. We knew DV wasn’t cheap. But we also didn’t expect them to make jump from “we sell $250 sherpas” to “oh, and $30,000 bikes, too.”

But here we are. Have they sold any yet? Unlikely. But that doesn’t make it any less dope of a product for this year’s roundup!

Honorable mentions

Brand on the come-up


Find me another brand that’s having more fun than Corteiz right now. I’ll wait.

The Nike commercial they ran for the Air Max 95 release has to be one of the best ever I’ve seen.

It was one of those moments that made the internet feel fun again. Gave me Virgil energy. This playful, unforgiving, creative approach to brands and products.

That’s what makes Corteiz so great.

They follow no playbooks. There are no rules. They’re not just another streetwear brand that does “drops” any old way.

Need we recount some of the most iconic ones?

  • BOLO exchange — when they hosted a coat exchange where customers traded their luxury puffer coats for a Corteiz BOLO one

  • Design your own kit — when Clint turned a salty comment from a hater online into an impromptu design competition where he awarded £1,000 to the best designer.

  • 99p cargos — when they sold cargo pants for 99 pence, and the only way you could buy them was if you had exactly 99 individual coins. No change accepted.

  • Crossbar challenge — when he had people enter to win a pair of AM95s by playing the crossbar challenge to promote his Nike partnership.

  • Flash mob drops — he’ll drop coordinates for a secret location; whoever gets there first has early access to the product.

Honorable mentions

Creators on the come-up

Tube Girl

Yes, we all got sick of Tube Girl after 24 hours. But what we found most interesting is how Tube Girl’s rise to virality is a reflection that we actually prefer to preserve our online persona > our in real life persona.

Tube Girl couldn’t give less of a shit about the fact that she looked like a lunatic on the tube–in real life.

But how she looks to strangers online? That’s the collective shift.

Nothing like a 20y/o schooling you on the nuances, backstories, and the educational side of fashion, eh?

Wesley Breed is an NYU student who has quickly grown a loyal following for being an educator on all things clothing, and he’s just getting started.

The London-based meme account absolutely blew up this year, rising through the internet ranks in meme culture, poking fun at all young millennials and Gen Z who participate in the zeitgeist.

RHOC is essentially the London version of New York’s Nolita Dirtbag, who has equally blown up the last few years, using NYC’s Dimes Square neighborhood as the foundation for his satire.

Honorable mentions

Most absurd product

A $9,000 backgammon board

Mr. Porter has done it again.

And it’s leaving us to look both embarrassed and broke as fuck for buying our own board on Amazon for a cool $40. I know the exact type of person who would buy this and equally have no idea who would buy this.

Either way, it’s dope. 9 racks kind of dope? We’ll let you decide that…

The Nepo Naby fridge

Yes, that’s what we’re calling it. And we love this fridge.

And out of all the products that have been millennial(ized) at this point in late-stage capitalism, I have to say that a fridge was low on the list.

Two interesting thoughts to consider:

  1. This ad plays into our consumerist desire to “vibe out” every aspect of our lives. We can’t just have any normal (let alone broke-ass-looking) fridge. It has to slap.

  2. The dichotomy of taste in this ad also speaks to our desire to be undefinable. Modelos sitting next to Ghia in the fridge? That’s ironic and, well, dope. Right?

Best brand use of social media

Esquisito - A small tequila brand makes a bigger social splash than every major liquor house with street interviews and viral content, a truly impressive display.

Meller - for their continuously good conceptual content in a saturated niche.

Highly Liquid - for their NYC it-girl existential guides that were in everyone’s inboxes this fall.

Best merch

Food and beverage brands had a field day with the merch this year, extending their brands into fashion in ways both fun and serious.

Merchandise has become a marketing pillar for consumer packaged goods, and the quality is incredible.

Inject this childhood nostalgia into our veins. Absolutely delightful.

Honorable Mentions

Video of the year

When we finally learned who’s been buying all that ALD. This one had rolling for weeks.

Best OOH displays

The OOH displays have been fun this year. From IKEA’s iconic blue back in New York to Burberry’s floating handbags along the Thames (which is controversial, along with their Burberry Street launch during fashion week, to be fair).

HYPER reports

Check out our market reports. We spend many, many hours researching markets, categories, and brands & products within the consumer space–all so that you don’t have to.

How to Source Blanks 101 — HERE​ 
A guide to finding and producing your own merch

Market reports on Running, Golf and Tennis — HERE
A guide to each sport, the market opportunities, and how to launch your own brand

Looking for brand strategy, research, or merchandise support?

Shoot us a note here: [email protected]

We’d love to chat!

Oren ​& Clayton ❤️ you