|Abercrombie & Fitch||Baby Phat||Ed Hardy||Juicy Couture||Lacoste||Le Tigre||Miss Me||Naked Wolfe||True Religion||Von Dutch|
For Y2K fashion at its finest, look no further than the mini skirts, velour tracksuits and baguette bags sported by Regina George in “Mean Girls” or Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.”
These iconic early 2000s films are windows back into the Y2K aesthetic, a candy-colored, playful logomania-led style that reigned from the late ’90s to the mid-2000s. Two decades after its birth, the Y2K style trend — in all its bedazzled glory — is making a comeback.
What Is Y2K Fashion?
Born in an era of extravagance and pop culture worship, Y2K — or year 2000 — fashion is loud and over-the-top. Led by style icons like Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, the trend is characterized by baby doll tees, cardigans, front-tie shirts, low-rise pants, wide-leg denim, and hot pink everything.
Now that we’ve answered the burning question, “What is Y2K fashion?” let’s discuss its decline and triumphant modern-day return. Y2K fashion was essentially dispelled in the early 2010s when the industry embraced a more minimalist aesthetic in a pushback against consumer culture and excessive advertising.
But around 2020 or so, the Y2K trend began to resurface as millennials started revisiting the nostalgic styles of their youth and younger generations began looking for opportunities to repurpose vintage pieces from the era.
Happily, the nostalgia-driven comeback has a few modern updates, ditching the fixation on skinniness and consumerism while embracing inclusivity, individuality and more sustainable manufacturing practices. The movement is getting a fresh spin from celebs like Rico Nasty, Saweetie and BTS and on TV shows like “Euphoria.”
The return of 2000s fashion has brought back some familiar faces — as well as plenty of new Y2K-inspired players, although some brands like Tommy Girl have yet to be resurrected. Here are the Y2K clothing stores leading the 2023 revival:
If there is one outfit that epitomizes Y2K style, it’s the Juicy Couture’s velour tracksuit. Originally championed by celebs like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, these cozy-but-sexy Y2K outfits are reemerging among Gen Zers who weren’t old enough to remember its heyday.
Following a decline in sales after the 2008 recession, Juicy Couture — now owned by Authentic Brands Group — is getting a second life through collaborations with brands like Ganni and on vintage sites like Depop and Poshmark.
The brand has tapped into the heritage of the beloved velour tracksuit, recreating the two-piece ensemble with a sustainable twist. This time around, the timeless Y2K outfits are made from certified organic and pre-consumer recycled cotton and polyester. Plus, juicycouture.com has a preloved collection called Rejuiced, where you can shop and sell your beloved JC merch.
In the early 2000s, True Religion was arguably one of the hippest denim brands. Fergie even immortalized the Y2K jeans in the Black Eyed Peas song “My Humps.”
“Whether I ain’t askin’ / They say they love mah ass in/ Seven jeans/ True Religion.”
As rapidly as True Religion rose to fame, however, it fell. In 2013, the brand was purchased by TowerBrook Capital, and by 2017, the brand had filed for bankruptcy. But in 2020, True Religion made an impressive bounceback, largely thanks to a collaboration with streetwear brand Supreme.
True Religion’s new Y2K jeans feature recognizable features like contrast stitching, horseshoe pockets and logos, but with Supreme updates like pink mineral washes and camo prints. In addition to Supreme, True Religion partnered with a number of smaller names — like designer Madeline Kraemer and choreographer Kida the Great. The brand has also drafted supermodel Bella Hadid as the face of the brand and debuted a collaboration with the UK football team Manchester United.
Like Juicy Couture, True Religion is minimizing its environmental impact, drafting criteria for factory partners in Mexico, China, Vietnam and India to ensure fair labor and sustainable practices.
Ed Hardy, a brand known for its trucker hats and graphic tees, is another one of the Y2K clothing stores enjoying a revival. Drawing old and new fans alike, the fashion label is emblazoning new products with the original tattoo-inspired artwork from the late Don Ed Hardy.
Urban Outfitters was one of the first stores to restock the nostalgic brand. Influencers followed suit, with the likes of Bella Hadid, Addison Rae and Niki DeMar sporting new and vintage Ed Hardy threads.
Von Dutch trucker hats were on all the cool kids in the early 2000s but disappeared circa 2003. Fast-forward to 2022, and the Y2K headgear is back. Trucker hats have been sighted all over TikTok and on stars like — you guessed it — Bella Hadid, as well as Rihanna and Gwen Stefani.
Capitalizing on the resurgence, Von Dutch has reissued many of its Y2K original styles. In addition to its emblematic trucker hats, the brand is offering its signature bowling bags and tees.
Launching in the spring of 2001, the Miss Me brand is famous for its bold, bedazzled, rhinestone jean pockets with contrast stitching similar to the True Religion style. The high-quality denim and comfortable fit of retro Miss Me jeans continue to trend into 2023, though now the brand makes skinny, boot cut and flare-leg styles for men and women.
Miss Me jeans are like Axl Rose meets Willie Nelson — a rocker vibe with a Western silhouette. They’re made for every body type and can make your butt look good from virtually any angle.
The Kimora Lee Simmons fashion brand Baby Phat marked its spot at the 2000 New York Fashion Week and continued to grow into the next decade. The line became easily recognizable with its rhinestone-curved cat logo and its trendy streetwear targeting everyone, but especially women of color.
Today, Simmons is sharing the Baby Phat spotlight with her daughters, launching special collections through collaborations with other brands. You can shop past collabs like Forever 21 x Baby Phat and Puma x Baby Phat, which launched in August 2022. The brand was also available at Macy’s in 2021 with a special holiday capsule.
You can also sign up for notifications at babyphat.com so you can be one of the first to know when a new collection is coming. Baby Phat is continuing to re-imagine the Y2K style with updated versions of its former self. The Fall ’23 drop is coming Sept. 26 at babyphat.com.
Le Tigre has been around since 1977, known then for polo shirts featuring their leaping tiger logo worn by countless celebrities at the time. If that sounds familiar, that’s because they were competing against another company with an equally cute logo on their polo shirts, Lacoste. Although Le Tigre was a formidable competitor, Lacoste won out in the end.
Abercrombie & Fitch
In the 2000s, Abercrombie was known for their stores filled with copious amounts of cologne, blaring music in a dark atmosphere and good-looking salespeople who would never make eye contact with you dressed head-to-toe in the outfit you would likely be buying.
Combine the snobbery with the exclusive sizes that ranged from super-duper skinny to very skinny, and, of course, the sexy ads of pre-pubescent-looking models slapped right on the shopping bags, and you might have left the store feeling deflated. And that’s exactly the image the brand wanted to portray — and in fact, it encouraged their employees to act aloof.
After shoppers were fed up with, quite possibly, the worst customer service of any retail store and its objectification and discrimination of young people, Abercrombie got the memo and overhauled its entire mindset. Today, the brand sits pretty high up as a favorite destination to shop. It caught up to the rest of the world and offers inclusive sizes worn by real people of all shapes, including maternity.
So, if you’re feeling nostalgic, give Abercrombie another try. We think you’ll adore them even more than you once did, and their styles will have you banging out your best Y2K vibe to the max.
Launched in 2017, Naked Wolfe isn’t an original Y2K clothing store — but their highly sought-after platform shoes have a distinctly Y2K Bratz Doll vibe. Their stacked platform shoes, boots and sneakers have been spotted on stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Granda and Bella Hadid. The bad news is that these A-list-approved Y2K shoes are pretty expensive.
The Lacoste brand predates the Y2K era but still had a big influence over the fashion trends of the time, with plenty of celebs sporting the iconic alligator logo in the 2000s. Synonymous with a preppy, sporty style, Lacoste fashion is easy to recognize by its clean and timeless aesthetics, incorporating simple lines and classic designs with a focus on high-quality materials.
The post 10 Y2K Fashion Brands That Are Cool All Over Again appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.