Every decade has its iconic fashion trends. The 70s had its bell-bottom pants and tie-dye. The 80s saw the vast popularity of shoulder pads and neon colors, not to mention the crazy hairstyles. In the 90s, fashion trends mainly revolved around grunge due to the prominence of grunge music and bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Grunge was comfortable and quite easy to achieve. A typical teen in the 90s would have sported an oversized band tee (the rattier the better), distressed straight-cut jeans, and combat boots. If you lived through the 90s, you probably looked like a Soundgarden fangirl at some point.
Not everyone appreciated the grunge look; the preps of the era set other fashion trends such as bedazzled Juicy Couture outfits and Clueless-inspired checkered skirts. In some aspects, fashion trends were basically hangovers from the 80s.
The fashion world is taking advantage of the Gen Zers’ fascination with “vintage” trends from the not-so-distant past, as well as the millennials’ and Gen Xers’ nostalgia from the 90s. Fashion trends that were declared obsolete long ago are being revived by the youth, inspiring fashion brands to reinvent their old catalogs.
Here are some of those brands that are making bank on this nostalgic 90s throwback.
Champion was so popular in the 90s that it became a household name. Other athletic apparel brands today, like Nike or Adidas, probably haven’t achieved the level of popularity that Champion had back in the 90s. If you lived through the 90s, you would know that everyone wore the iconic Champion sweats. Jocks, preps, punks, skaters, and hip-hop fans–regardless of their clique, Champion was everyone’s fashion staple.
In 2019, the Champion brand is turning a hundred years old. The brand is focusing their creative efforts into creating modern pieces but still with their original design principles. Needless to say, it’s hard to see Champion fizzing out of the apparel scene anytime soon.
The Kardashians’ influence is unparalleled when it comes to setting fashion trends in 2019. Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner posted a picture on Instagram sporting the classic 90s Juicy Couture pants with a bedazzled bottom. Apparently, more and more celebrities and influencers are picking the trend back up. So don’t be surprised when you see racks of 90s throwback jumpsuits back in stores.
Your dad is probably still sporting Birkenstock sandals during barbecues. If not, then your mom is probably wearing them to her weekly supermarket trips. Even if your parents don’t own a pair, you’ve probably grown up seeing uncles, aunts, grandparents, and neighbors wearing them. The cause of its popularity? They’re super comfortable!
Birkenstock sandals are made out of durable cork-latex, which you secure on your feet with iconic belt straps. Birkenstock saw a rise in sales in the 1990s after being introduced to the US in the 60s. Despite having dipped for a while, Birkenstock is making good sales without having to advertise continually.
Another apparel giant making headway into the 90s throwback trend is Reebok. Along with other athletic brands enjoying the 90s renaissance, Reebok is receiving positive feedback for its new but classic designs. Thanks to celebrity and influencer support, runway collabs, and perfectly placed nostalgia, Rebook is staying in the mainstream for 2019 and beyond.
PONY is a streetwear brand that made noise in the 90s thanks to its appeal to the skater crowd. PONY is stylized as such because it stands for “Product of New York,” and the New York vibe reflects in their casual, laid-back designs. In the present day, PONY is inching into the mainstream again thanks to celebrity co-signs. Perhaps we will see a major rebirth this year? In any case, PONY’s growth seems to be stable enough for them to stay.
Diadora is an Italian brand founded in 1948 by Marcello Danieli known for its stylish, chic footwear designs. Although Diadora is not as big as the other brands making a comeback from the 1990s era, the company is still world-renowned for its most desired pieces–both in the playing field and on the catwalks.
You can’t be a true grunge kid in the 90s until you had a pair of Dr. Martens. It’s the ultimate grunge apparel! However, the appeal for these chunky boots weaned in the early 2000s and so did other types of chunky sneakers like Buffalo Boots. A little less than two decades after, Doc Martens are regaining their appeal with a more modern spin on their designs.
Tommy Hilfiger’s resurgence is due to their continuous collaboration campaigns with stars like Gigi Hadid and prominent influencers. With a fresh design, Tommy Hilfiger apparel still sports the iconic logo in all of their pieces. Nothing says chic better than red, blue, and white. If you didn’t buy yourself a Tommy Hilfiger shirt two decades ago, it’s high time that you do so while it’s in style.
Crocs are the subject for various memes nowadays, but there’s no denying that Crocs are some of the most comfortable things you can put your feet in. In the 90s, people sporting Crocs were probably perceived as uncool. You definitely wouldn’t wear them if you’re trying to impress with your outfit. Who could have predicted that two decades later, it would be a 2019 fashion trend?
The recent rise of Crocs popularity is due to their creative collaboration with designer Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Who would have guessed that a pair of Crocs would cost $850 today?
What 90s brands are staying in the past?
On the other hand, some brands have failed to ride the nostalgia wave. Here are some of the 90s brands that are staying in the past (maybe for good, maybe not).
Casio Baby G
Baby G watches were the hottest accessory a teenage girl in the 90s could have. They were practically “bling” for the youth. However, despite new designs coming out, Baby G watches are unfortunately not going back into trend anytime soon.
Some fashion trends seemed hot in their high time, but a few years later, they’ve become cringe-worthy. One example of this fashion phenomenon is the FUBU brand. “For Us By Us” is a brand that made skater-type apparel that all your favorite boy bands sported at some point. Unfortunately, the brand hasn’t made any modern adjustments to their brand that can appeal to today’s audience.
Hip-hop in the 90s was iconic, and so was hip-hop fashion. Baby Phat was one of those brands that every girl coveted. It was cool, stylish (at the time), and high-end. But all good things must come to an end. Sad to say, Baby Phat’s apparel isn’t coming out of our closets for another decade or so.
Bongo Jeans is another iconic 90s brand that everyone eventually forgot about. However, back in the day, nothing screamed 90s more than a pair of Bongo jeans. You probably saw an ad or two with Liv Tyler in it. However, when the Bongo brand was sold to Candies in 1998, their popularity has not picked up since then.