Why do the 90's sell?



Crop tops, tracksuits, fanny packs, and neon colors, the 90s have infused much of the latest ready-to-wear shows. But what does the decade have to offer our era? How and why do the 90s appeal to the consumer?

The joy of fashion out of the crisis

What defines the aesthetic of the 90s? Fun! That's what Fériel Karoui, a trend consultant with whom FashionUnited spoke by email, thinks. Although the decade also rhymes with grunge and minimalism, this season, it is in a sportswear/streetwear decomplexed and colorful that designers have drawn. An attitude that seduces a consumer whose desires for lightness and celebration have been curbed by successive confinements and fear of the virus.

Fériel cites in particular the very beginning of the 90s with the wardrobe of the series of the Prince of Bel-Air or Saved by the bell. She explains: "We find neon colors, inspired by sportswear but also rave parties (at Louis Vuitton, Dries van Noten, Lazoschmidl, Spyder), summer windbreakers, with outdoor influences here revisited with hyper-energetic colors (Isabel Marant, Boramy Viguier), volume basketball shorts (Children of the Discordance), colorful suit jackets at Mans, with crop top option at Fendi, tie and dye inspirations, psychedelic patterns and some ethnic reminiscences (Etro) from the '70s, themselves a quote from the '90s.

Man in Blue Denim Jeans and White Shirt Standing on SidewalkShantisha

A taste for the ugly to stand out

The trend expert draws attention to key pieces of the 90s: "the fanny pack, dad shoes, tracksuits, and crop tops are rarely mentioned as stylish, and that's what makes them so interesting. Fériel develops her thoughts with a quote from the book "Le goût du moche" by Alice Pfeiffer (ed. Flammarion): "to rave about a source of "ugly" is to distance oneself from the mass reception of the object - and to turn one's back on a beauty that has become too accessible. What, for Feriel, can apply to our trend: "as in all times, is played today with the return of the 90s a class struggle of good taste between the values of the old guard and those of the new.

The PE22 collection of the brand Andrea Crews is a striking example of this inspiration "bad taste". For the season, the Maroussia Rebecq, the founder and designer of the label, plays with this detail very 90's - and often considered vulgar - of the thong that goes up so high that it exceeds the pants. At Andrea Crews, underwear becomes an ornament and an act of rebellion in a collection where upcycled pieces express a rebellion against fast fashion and consumerism of the 90s.

IMAXtree Andrea Crews

The fantasy of a more spontaneous era

The craze for the 90s in 2021 is also explained by the natural cycle of trends. The consultant explains: "there is often a mirror effect in a fashion equivalent to a generation, that is to say, inspirations that will draw their sources between 20 and 30 years ago. This mirror effect is justified by a nostalgic effect of an era that young consumers have not known or little known, they can fantasize about.

We also notice that many designers at the head of fashion houses were children or teenagers in the 90s (Simon Porte Jacquemus, Christelle Kocher, Olivier Rousteing, etc.). "They also feel a certain nostalgia: first because they were younger, more carefree, that the time without smartphone seemed more spontaneous and free. Consciously or unconsciously, they tend to revive them through an attitude that is found in the culture, but also on the silhouettes," notes Feriel.


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