Update: The Washington Post does a deeper dive on the science of hipster fashion, because they too have nothing better to do.
Submitted for publication by Dr. Jonathan Touboul:
Synchronization may depend on the precise shape of the distribution of the delays: for synchronization to emerge, one needs both sufficiently long delays and sufficient coherence (small standard deviation of the delays). This yielded the unexpected phenomenon that synchronization among hipsters depends on the distribution, in space, of each individuals, when the delays are function of the distance between two individuals.
I see this as symptomatic of a more serious problem: Now that demand for quantitative traders on Wall Street has fallen, Math PhDs have nothing better to do than to study what hipsters are wearing.
Wait, are people still getting PhDs in mathematics? What is this, 1950?
Touboul, J. The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same. Oct 2014.