Is William Nylander a Hypebeast?


William Nylander is going to be a special hockey player. He’s crushed just about every level of hockey at the youth level, managed a 90 point pace with the Marlies even when a World Junior concussion and appendicitis slowed him down. He scored at a 50 point pace in his stint with the Leafs. He just turned 20, already looks like a soon-to-be star game breaker, and still might not be as good as two younger guys in the system. It’s a great time to be alive.

Not to mention, as Meg pointed out this week, he has hall-of-fame hair. But while we’re in summer mode and focusing on his dashing appearance, let’s get something out of the way; William Nylander might just be a hypebeast.

What the **** is a Hypebeast?

I’m trying to sound as smart as possible while nitpicking a 20-year-old’s outfit, so this is an introductory sentence that leads to a cited definition, which I got from

There seem to be some conflicting definitions about the nuances of “hypebeast.” Most people agree that a hypebeast is particularly interested in doing what’s in vogue in order to impress other people, like buying cool, new shoes, snapbacks, or sweatshirts. Some people argue that a hypebeast usually uses other people’s money, typically belonging to their parents, older siblings, and so on; otherwise, meanwhile, claim that a hypebeast has an abundance of cash flow of their own that allows them to purchase such luxuries. It seems that poplar brands worn by hypebeasts include Stussy, Crooks and Castles, Supreme, Huf, Vans, and Alife.

That’s more or less correct; to dumb it down, we’ll consider a hypebeast a more recent term for somebody who chases urban fashion trends, and worries more about in-demand brands than they do about actually expressing themselves in a unique way with their clothing.

The Evidence

You don’t have to look much further than Willie’s Instagram profile in the past four months to see where we’re headed. 


If I was lazy, I could walk in and out of this with these three pictures of his feet and call it a day. Sneaker culture is huge these days, and Kanye West reigns supreme on the hype-meter in this regard. His Nike releases resell for as much as $7-8000, but it’s his collaborations with Adidas that have taken the streets by storm.

A kid who’s prior footwear was dominated by Converse, Common Projects (or similar) and dress shoes posted photos with not one, not two, but three pairs of Yeezy Boost 350s. He showed off the Turtle Doves with Viktor Loov and Kasperi Kapanen fifteen weeks ago, rocked the Pirate Blacks six weeks ago, and rolled Oxford Tans into the rotation four weeks ago. The only model he’s missing of the summer’s biggest shoe is the Moonrock colourway, a grey/green which might be the best of the bunch. 

What he’s invested into this, I don’t know. If he was really lucky at winning raffles or cashing out on the Adidas website, those shoes are about $250 each retail. If he hit up a Flight Club location and spent some of his Leafs money, you’re looking at about $7000 total. Maybe he has a connection. Maybe he’s wearing knockoffs, which range from $20-250 depending on how close you want them to be to the real deal. Whatever the case, he’s really intent on being on that wave. Let’s zero in on two of these outfits for a second:

mamma don’t like you #jordotaco

A photo posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on

Dark coloured bomber jacket? Check, and one that he apparently has to share with Alex (you’ll often notice that they’re wearing each others clothes, as you’d expect out of brothers I guess). Pirate Black Yeezys? The most hyped of the four colours, check. Ripped jeans? You bet. This outfit totally screams “I want to be Kanye” more than anyone I’ve seen other than Justin Bieber. Hey, wait a second…


I guess that explains the captain of the post too. Whatever, it’s still a pretty good fit, even if it’s got a bit of an identity crisis to it. At least it’s not this:


A photo posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on

Let’s review again. Same model of Yeezys, but Oxford Tans instead of Pirate Black. Exact same pair of jeans. The real eyebrow raisers are at the torso, though:


First off, Fur (even if fake) in August? Dude, I know you’re all trying to have NHL summers, but that seems like an odd way to melt off the body fat. Secondly, with a jersey? That’s just tacky. But it’s the fact that it’s a Michael Jordan jersey, paired with those shoes? That would be the real crime against humanity here. Somebody put The Life of Pablo on his Apple Music library and make him listen to Facts on repeat for an hour. Yeezy can’t jump over Jumpman if your fit has them both on the same body. 

Does It Matter?

Look, this might seem like I’m talking shit about the clothes William Nylander likes, but I can’t really say I’m much better. I spent eight hours on the Nike website yesterday hitting “add to cart” on a pair of Air Jordan 1s. I get my casual-day clothing inspiration from places like tumblr, /r/streetwear, /fa/, and the clothing section of kanyetothe. I once bought an XFL jersey for the sake of layering in an outfit. And truthfully, minus the Jordan jersey fit, most of his choices are pretty great. Part of me is actually just jealous.

Plus, really, Nylander is a 20-year-old kid in a suddenly-culturally-relevant metropolis with a ton of disposable income from both his parents and now himself. There’s nothing really wrong with being a hypebeast and this is the exact right time for him to experiment with his personal style; I just find it funny that a guy who can rock an outfit like this:


A photo posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on

…is seemingly stuck somewhere between Kanye West and Justin Bieber right now. Either way, I’d rather him blatantly swipe style from people more famous than him than be one of the other thousands of hockey players wearing Reebok t-shirts and boat shoes. Besides, once he starts putting up points at, uhh, will for the Leafs, nobody is going to care what his outfits look like.

    • In the 87 days since the NHL season officially ended, our staff have combined to post 312 free articles on on That’s 3.6 posts per day, or a new piece every 7-8 hours this entire offseason.

      Four (or 1.2%) have involved clothing or fashion in any way, shape or form. Two were from Heather; one about cool stuff you can buy for yourself, and one about what players wore at the NHL awards, which doubled as our first look at Frederik Andersen as a Leaf.

      Your “TMZ garbage” consists of my post and Meg’s post. Meg contributes analytics content to NHLNumbers and wanted to do something a little different. I obviously write about a ton of stuff (I’ve averaged a post every 14 hours this summer, not accounting for sleep and a 10-day break) and wanted to do something a little different. Between our two posts that have clearly ruined TLN, there were 18 hockey articles in 6 days. In the middle of the offseason.

      You might not like this post. That’s fine. We don’t expect every reader we have to like every piece that we put out. But at the same time, we encourage our writers to explore every avenue of thought they have about the team, even if it’s something casual like this. It’s not like we’re scrapping “hockey” pieces in favour of these type of posts; we’re just allowing both.

      If anything, the fact that I’m wasting time on this comment is probably more of a detriment to you getting more hockey stuff to read than writing something that was on my mind anyway.

      Basically what I’m saying is that I’m sorry that we’re wasting your precious time by writing more free content than we ‘have to’ and that we’ll just write fewer posts until all of the topics interest you.

  • Hockey Hoser

    Jeffer let me come to your defence buddy. Now even when I just walk down the steps of my Vancouver home to greet the mail man to get my old age pension cheque my wife points out to me that I’m styling and profiling and strutting like a jet flying, limousine riding, wheeling and dealing son of a gun, whooooooo.

    Now young William dresses like well most 19 year olds including my tag team partner my 19 year grand son when we work out at Steve Nash fitness center.

    Now what really caught my eye was that very, very, very cool looking hat he had on.

    My 50th high school reunion is coming up just after the Stanley cup finals in 2017, and I’ll remind these old farts who attend the function that when we were in high school my leafs won 4 freaking Stanley Cups.

    Needless to say I have to quote Huey Lewis in stating that it is hip to be square. Thus I will be in touch with Mr. Nylander soon to have him help me pick out a ward robe that will indeed impress the summer of love crowd of 1967. Yes boys and girls the earth did exist in 1967 and THE LEAFS WON THE FREAKING CUP that year. For collaboration ask my buddy Gary Empey.

    • Gary Empey

      I have to admit that fedora with matching scarf looks a lot better on Nylander than the ones Punch Imlach, used to wear.

      Now don’t go out and waste your pension cheque money buying a new outfit to look like Nylander.

      Just wear that same old Rhinestone Cowboy outfit you always wear when you step out.

      PS. – Unfortunately our 50th high school reunion was canceled as nobody was able to get day passes to attend.

      • Capt.Jay

        I’m well aware of what it said at the end. I also never said it was the end of the world. Those are your words. Just because you think it’s cute and tongue and cheek doesn’t mean everyone else does. You have your opinion, I have mine.

        Don’t get upset if someone doesn’t like every single one of your articles. I will say this though on your behalf. You do write some good stuff.

    • Gary Empey

      Ya Capt. No one seems all that interested in assessing which 23 players will make the leaf lineup this year or who they will play with.

      I am not sure if anybody cares, are interested, or just don’t have a clue. We will likely have to wait for Babcock to announce his opening night lineup in four weeks.

      CM Puck did say he likes our top six but unfortunately he didn’t say who they were.

      Capt…. Do you think we will have a top six this year or will the Leafs go with a top nine?

      I am leaning towards a very speedy, hard driving, two way, top nine concept myself.

      • Capt.Jay

        If we play the vets we have a top 6 bottom 6. If we play the kids we have top 9 bottom 3 as the kids we have we want to groom to be top 6 so playing them as bottom 6’s won’t help their development. IMHO.

        You do think they’ll do?

        • Gary Empey

          I will answer you in a newer article in case any one else wants to comment.

          I am going out on a limb and stating my top nine line up. Bottom five as well.

          I will say this. It is impossible to fit everyone in who deserves to be in the lineup.