The term “Hyphenate” in its literal definition, means “two compounds of a word divided with a hyphen”. Words like spray-paint, hip-hop, and break-dance are examples of hyphenated words. However, the noun form of “hyphenate” is defined as “a person who plays two or more roles." It can be any form of “This” and whatever else of “That”, like student-teacher, writer-producer, artist-philosopher, etc.
Other than separating two compound words, “hyphenate” has a third lesser-known meaning that was used as an epithet in the USA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Hyphenate" was used to single out or often stigmatize immigrants who were foreign birth or origin, such as Irish-American, German-American, or Polish-American. Though the word is no longer commonly used, the sentiment still exists today, especially in places where there's national or cultural tensions such as Indian-Chinese, Mexican-American, Japanese-Korean, or Israeli-Palestinian.
At Hyphenate, we’d like to propose a fourth definition: a term for how a person identifies themselves ethnically or culturally. There are 8 major identities that help us understand where we come from, who we are, and where we're headed: Age, Ability, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Socioeconomic Status, and Religion. We'd like to focus the conversation around Race and Ethnicity. With this fourth definition, we hope to provide more granularity and context for hyphenated individuals. Being from multiple ethnic backgrounds and identifying with multiple cultures should not be misrepresented as complicated, messy, or muddled, rather it should be celebrated for the pure diversity that it really is... that is if you identify as such.
At the end of the day, Hyphenate is a travel brand that believes that everyone should have the opportunity to travel to their roots and experience their ancestral home. We’re a streetwear brand because bold and fearless self-expression goes hand-in-hand with culture. As you travel locally or internationally and explore each part of your cultural identity we hope that you discover as much of yourself as you do of the world around you.
At Hyphenate, we believe that all cultures are constantly evolving and being redefined by each individual's unique personal experience. Hyphenate’s mission is to entice, encourage, and equip people to travel to their motherland. Our vision is for everyone to explore and radically accept their own cultural, ethnic, or national hyphenated identity.