The world of fashion is captivating for a number of reasons. Whether it be the thought process and creativity behind the art form or watching how clothes can transform a person’s mood, fashion and personal style will always leave an impact. One aspect that people tend to glaze over, is the impact of trends. Trends will always come and go but when they come back, it’s with a vengeance. In today’s age, it’s hard to miss out on what’s trending due to the existence of social media. And if you think that statement is a bit of a reach, well let’s just explore how Y2K fashion has had a comeback like no other.
Tik Tok – is this your doing?
Let’s just reflect a little. In 2020, a lot of us were searching for ways to escape reality due to the pandemic. For a lot of us that escapism was social media. Though Tik Tok is popping now, the amount of users went up drastically during that time. Tik Tok has been around for quite a while now, but the way we use it has definitely changed. Instead of videos focusing on dance trends and comedy, a lot of the content today is centered around promotional categories such as fashion, music, and makeup. Its algorithm has gotten so big that even Youtube and Instagram created Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts. With that being said, many people have found different ways of showing who they are and what they do on social media.
Over the past two years, Y2K fashion has literally blown up. Could this trend have come back on its own? Maybe. But based on the timeline, chances are this comeback was not a coincidence. For those who love fashion and dressing up, the ‘get ready with me’ trend on TikTok has been a great way to showcase your look. It also has become a great way for people to be exposed to different styling techniques and clothing that they have never heard of before.
For instance, you see a girl on the timeline doing a video titled “Get Dressed with Me Y2K edition”, and it goes viral. Chances are, after it goes viral you will see another person on the app replicate the same thing. Afterward, it becomes a cycle. People slowly begin to see it transition onto other platforms and it gets a lot of traction. Do you see where this is heading?
The Influence on Brands and Pop Culture
Though Y2K fashion has always been around, seeing it being recycled on social media, gave it a new light. This isn’t to say that social media made Y2K but, it definitely played a role in making it popular among the masses. We aren’t the only ones to notice its impact; a lot of brands and celebrities have been profiting off of it as well.
I.AM.GIA, Jaded London, Dolls Kill, Cider, and even Amazon have all found ways to completely rebrand and put their focus into making their brands go-to’s for Y2K Fashion. At first, it was only these brands. But as time went on, more y2k-themed Instagram boutiques started to emerge. Besides being stylish, why was everyone so determined to follow this aesthetic? If we’re being honest, the Y2K fashion now is not as cute as the Y2K fashion of the past. Could this have been the right moment for a revamp?
Artists like Saweetie, Normani, SZA, Summer Walker, and many more have all created their music branding around Y2K aesthetics. Even TV shows and movies have been centered around it. It’s spread literally everywhere. This isn’t to say that once we see something on social media, we automatically do it. On the other hand, we do tend to get caught up in trends, especially when they are constantly recycled.
From Social Media to the Runway
Yes, social media plays a big role in how we are influenced, but it’s not the only influence. A lot of times people get inspiration for these trends from the runway and at other times it is vice versa. In this climate, runway fashion is doing a bit of both. You have one side of fashion that seems to be going back to the drawing board and creating original designs. Then there’s the other, which sees how quickly people try to mimic what they find on the internet. It’s not a bad move but a great way to keep up with what consumers want. Yet, at what point does being trendy come with a cost for big fashion houses?
For brands like Miu Miu, Versace, and Blumarine, it’s been pretty successful. Consumers ate up the low-rise mini skirts, bootcut jeans, bedazzled belts, and butterfly everything. However, this trend may not be positive for everyone. With brands like I.AM.GIA who started out as a kind of edgy upscale brand now becoming Y2K havens, it turns the original fans off. Brands seem to get stuck where there are no major changes in their designs. Then you have the fast-fashion retailers like Forever21 who try to hop in. At first, Forever21 had their limited collab with Baby Phat. Once that ended, they implemented their own version of Y2K apparel, and at that point, consumers felt that it was becoming oversaturated.
Back to the Drawing Board
Nevertheless, if there are any brands that capitalize off of the Y2K resurgence, it should be the originals. News dropped last year that Juicy Couture and Baby Phat were relaunching. Paul Frank and Ed Hardy are having a major comeback. Even Nigo, artistic director of Kenzo and Human Made is returning to music.
These are just a few names among many that could and probably will have a great revival. From a business standpoint, this is a smart move and a great time to do a relaunch, but it also could be a way to lose out on money. Already the Y2K aesthetic is starting to die out, and the Avant Apocalypse trend is slowly stepping in to take its place. Could the two possibly co-exist? Who knows? It’s fashion, anything can happen.
It will be compelling to see how long the Y2K reign will even last. Besides the Avant Apocalypse look, logomania is huge right now. Hollywood Glamor/Luxury looks seem to be creeping their way back in based on the glove and dress looks that we have seen. Even in the months to come, the space-age look that was so popular in the ’70s may have its time to shine with the oversize moon boots and creative silhouettes. It’ll definitely be interesting to see the future of fashion in 2022.