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5 things to know about the Y2K trend

By Léana Esch



Blumarine SS22; Chanel SS22; A—Company SS22

If fashion needs another reminder that trends are circular, the current craze for Y2K style is case in point. From its background and how it started to the key items to invest in, FashionUnited has narrowed down the five things you should know about the trend that’s taking the industry by storm.

Gen Z originated it on TikTok

With TikTok’s booming popularity during the pandemic, many movements have emerged on the platform, too. One of the main fashion trends to pop up? Y2K style. Gen Z and Millennials have taken over this recognisable style, which nods to the noughties. From late 1990s crop tops to early 2000s low rise jeans, the wardrobe mainstays worn two decades ago are making a comeback with younger generations embracing their childhood references.

A—Company SS22

A trend fitting for uncertain times

The beginning of the millennium came with a bunch of uncertainties, from conspiracy theories stating that the world would end to a cautious take on technology. Today, we see ourselves in similar times with a future that seems all but certain. Gen Zers find comfort in what they already know and what feels familiar, hence a throwback to styles that they can actually remember. Nostalgia also takes part in the growing success of the trend - it’s emphasised by many TV reboots such as Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, Friends or Legally Blonde.

Balmain SS22

A mix of pop culture and technology

The Y2K trend blends elements of pop culture with tech details from the early 2000s, mixing futuristic details with retro inspirations. The Internet boom made chunky sneakers, basic T-shirts, double denim and loose tailoring come at the forefront of fashion while pop culture popularised baguette shoulder bags, cropped and tie-front tops, low-rise bottoms, bodycon dresses, velour tracksuits and bubblegum pink. Today, the trend draws inspiration from icons such as Carrie Bradshaw, the Bratz dolls and characters from Clueless, Gilmore Girls and Mean Girls.

Blumarine SS22

The key pieces are updated

Although some items of the 2000s stay true to their original style for the seasons ahead, many signature pieces have got an update, chief among them Dior’s Saddle Bag, Fendi’s Baguette bag and Chanel’s body and belly chains. We’re seeing new iterations of chunky platforms and metallic pieces while pleated skirts appear a bit longer, often in neutral, elegant hues that can easily be mixed and matched. Dua Lipa has been sporting hairpins that offer a renewed take on the trend and wide-leg jeans come in cropped, minimalistic styles.

Chanel SS22

2021’s styles are designed to last

But 2021’s take on the Y2K trend is also made of classics that can be worn years down the road. Jacquemus’ minimalism nods to ‘90s styles in a chic, understated way while A–Company presented a suit that can be worn time and again. At Balmain, low rise bottoms and tube tops were pared-back and only highlighted by gold details for a refined look. Although tinted sunglasses, bandanas and bucket hats are part of today’s attire, there’s no doubt designers have in mind staples we can hold on to for the next decade.

Ludovic de Saint Sernin SS22

All images: Catwalk Pictures