Gen Z has been credited with accelerating the cyclical nature of fashion due to their embrace of all trends for a moment and then dismissal of them just as quickly. Born between 1996 and 2012, this generation came of age with cell phones, new technology, and social media. They are the generation associated with selfies, short video trends, and consuming all entertainment information with just one click. It’s no wonder they have such a quickly changing relationship with fashion. However, there is one trend from the early 2000s that Gen Z is especially excited about returning to Y2K fashion. Whether it’s because of nostalgia or a desire to escape from the fluctuating reality they grew up i. Gen Z is helping to bring back this unique style. So, if you’re looking for fashion inspiration for 2022. Be sure to keep an eye on what this trend-setting generation is doing.
Now, the Y2K fashion trend from the early 2000s is on the rise thanks to Gen Z. Nostalgic fashion isn’t a new phenomenon, but this generation’s fascination with 2000s fashion isn’t simply a thing the rotation of the old trend.
According to L’Officiel, many fashion houses such as Marine Serre, Balenciaga, and Gucci see fashion as a means of nostalgia and an escape from tumultuous reality, in the same way that Gen Z combines pieces of Y2K style in contemporary clothing.
Nostalgia for the past
According to Byrdie magazine, when it comes to the driving force behind Y2K fashion, experts agree that it’s a mix of nostalgia, social media, and technological advancement.
While millennials are catching up with the trends of the 1990s, Gen Z has found an interest in Y2K fashion.
The acronym Y2K (Year 2000) was created by programmer David Eddy in 1995. It was originally the name of the Y2K computer disaster (or more commonly known as the “Y2K crash”), which occurred at the very beginning. The first step into the year 2000 was when the global computer system was supposed to collapse.
At that time, for many, the year 2000 began a new era, but for others, it was the end of the world. So, the Y2K fashion culture, which spanned from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, is associated with the idea of pursuing the future through clothing.
Y2K fashion returned from around 2019, and exploded strongly 2 years later, right at the time when many fluctuations occurred because of the pandemic.
It contains a yearning to return to a time when the threat of the “last era” turned out to be nothing.
“In turbulent times, consumers often turn to the past in search of comfort,” says Clare Varga, head of beauty at trend forecasting company WGSN.
Because this mentality applies to the apparel industry, fashion historians have called this sense of nostalgia the “20-year cycle.”
According to L’Officiel magazine, both millennials and Gen Z tend to look back to the past, further proving the rotation of fashion.
Millennials, who grew up during the 2008 economic crisis, want to turn to an old trend they experienced instead of creating something completely new.
This is also considered the dominant decade of minimalist, familiar design.
Meanwhile, Gen Z wants something more colorful and sparkling.
Colorful butterfly clips felt jackets and tinted sunglasses – which were trendy more than 20 years ago – now permeate social media.
Singer Dua Lipa, born a few years earlier to be recognized as a Gen Z. But now the idol of this generation, has recreated the legendary bleached hairstyle reminiscent of Christina Aguilera.
Confident e-boys and e-girls with glossy nails, knitted sweaters, and crop-tops, so much so that fashion house Celine has named its latest collection “The Dancing Kid”, with designs bold designs “the year 2000”.
Escape from fluctuating reality
The turmoil of global events over the past two years, especially the Covid-19 pandemic, has shifted consumer demand to “escapism” and fashion products that remind them of the times. better, more carefree.
“Considering the world we live in, I believe people want a form of escapism,” says Joyce Sseguya-Lwanga, a content creator who has researched the Y2K style.
Each generation struggles with new problems. But the explosion of social media, smartphones, and video games has fueled the Gen Z experience with unprecedented speed and fear.
While millennials returned to 1990s fashion for personal nostalgia, Gen Z also came to Y2K style for aesthetic reasons.
Today, Gen Z is known as a generation with a high awareness of sustainability and social change. This led to the growth of the second-hand market, helping the online vintage stores to boom.
Depop, an application that sells second-hand clothes online, has more than 90% under the age of 26 and up to a quarter of its users are between 16-24 years old. “Y2K” has become the most popular hashtag on Depop, demonstrating the potential of the clothing market of this period, with Juicy Couture tracksuits, low-rise leggings and sparkly accessories that once dominated the past years 2000.
Mina Le, a Gen Z person who studies fashion history, notes that social media has fueled this trend to spread faster. The ability to connect and spread information has helped the Y2K trend explode.
“Young people are exposed to new trends easier and faster than ever. Moreover, with the storage capacity of the Internet, we have more resources. I can easily find photos of Paris Hilton from 2001 or Lindsey Lohan in 2005. There are also countless blogs and Instagram accounts documenting their fashion choices and runway shows at the time.”
However, in the digital age, it is unlikely that nostalgic fashion will last long. Both Sseguya-Lwanga and Le agree that maintaining this trend will also lead to its demise.
“Social media has led to a saturation of trends. People are getting tired of seeing the same clothes, over and over, across platforms. Social media also creates the illusion that this trend is everywhere, when really only fashion influencers post about it,” Le said.