Where are they now? No, not your favorite childhood stars from the 2000s. Rather, what’s the latest with the most notorious and infamous fashion brands from the early aughts?
Within the fashion industry, history occupies a funny little place. Blink an eye and suddenly what is “in” is actually “out,” and what was deemed as “never again” somehow appears on Instagram as the latest trend. Yes whale tail; we’re talking about you here. As Y2K trends become more and more of an effervescent force in the fashion-sphere, it stands to reason that the most infamous 2000s brands are riding this wave and taking advantage of their newfound popularity – once again. From Betsy Johnson, Juicy Couture, Miss Sixty, and Baby Phat, these brands from the early aughts have a comeback story like no other.
The recession of 2008 proved to be a historical and frightening year for society, and Juicy Couture felt those effects in a deeply personal manner. That year, sales plummeted. Five years later, in 2013, Juicy Couture was sold to Authentic Brands for 5 million. Flash forward to 2017, the tracksuit titan made a grand entrance, or rather a grand re-entrance, in Paris Fashion Week.
Was that the moment when wearers were captivated to see the bedazzled five letter word “Juicy,” as the answer to the next fashion movement? Perhaps time kills all unpopular opinions that regarded the brand as gaudy or dated. Now, Juicy Couture holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of young people – particularly Gen Z. Their return has proved as a recent success story, which is why the brand has unveiled a second iteration of the Juicy Couture x Forever 21 collection. Items in the Summer collection will, of course, consist of fan favorites. With iconic tracksuits, crop tops, bike shorts, and more, consider yourself brought back to the heydays of the early aughts when the collection will be released on the Forever 21 app and in-stores nationwide on Aug. 12
Betsy Johnson has always been a fashion trailblazer. Whether or not wearers realized it, the brand most definitely contributed to some of the 2000s most important trends that have filtered into modern fashion trends.
Early aughts range in accessory, fit, and style, but one common theme among them all is that they feel ironically unfashionable in some way. Put differently, 2000s trends push the limit on what is stereotypically fashionable and they do so in a quintessentially fun manner. Who do we have to thank for making fashion playful and imaginative? Betsy Johnson, of course. No matter if it is a handbag in the shape of a pumpkin spice latte, or a lace trimmed ribbon detailed mini dress, Betsey Johnson undoubtedly created some of the most memorable Y2K trends.
While the brand went bankrupt in 2012, its second life is just picking up. Starting in 2020, the brand released a collection with plus sized retailer Torrid. Similar to the Juicy Couture x Forever 2021 collection, finding inspiration for the new collection was simple. Drawing from their archives, the brand looked back at the past to inform the present. While the first iteration of Betsey Johnson x Torrid was released during the holiday season of 2020, a second drop of this collection resurrected during spring 2021.
Once again wearers can snatch a puff-sleeve corset top, a tartan strapless dress or blazer, a hook and eye peplum jacket, or a silver metallic tulle dress. While the line is inspired by the 1988 and 1989 runway shows, with plaid and luscious leopard and cherry prints, its resemblance to the Y2K-era is hard to refute.
Known for low rise jeans, logo-coated prints, and statement belts, Miss Sixty is a prime example of the 2000s fashion darlings’ favorite fits. In the mid-2000s, the brand was cast to the shadows, and ’90s trends were at the forefront of what was deemed as popular.
However, the brand has come back into the forefront of fashion-fueled minds when it selected Hadid to bring some freshness to the brand in its new era. Conceivably, Miss Sixty sees Hadid as the answer for making their brand feel fresh again; and they would not be wrong. Whether it is the whale tail or itty bitty baby tees, Hadid has crafted a clear niche for herself as the one to make controversial, or even dated, Y2K trends feel fresh and recreatable.
Just last week, Miss Sixty unveiled its Fall 2021 collection. Hadid sported a long-sleeve black and white striped T-shirt emblazoned with the brand’s name on the bottom paired with form-hugging black pants, a silver chain belt, white chunky shoes, and over the top costume jewelry.
Miss Sixty’s new-age is just setting sail. Any guesses what Y2K accessory they might include in their next collection? Could they even bring back the pink Motorola Razr and fit it nicely in the back pocket of form hugging, low-rise pants?
Two years ago, Baby Phat brought back their iconic velour tracksuit with their relaunch in 2019. Revitalized with the intention of refreshing street wear that Kimora Lee Simmons played a key role in inventing, Aoki Lee and Ming Lee starred in their mom’s 2019 campaign. Success of Baby Phat’s relaunch was evident in June 2020 when their comeback capsule collection sold out within 24-hours on Forever 21. Keeping the success alive, along with early aughts jewelry trends, Baby Phat’s has also released a jewelry collection. Logo heavy and oversized, the pieces are sure to add a little glam to WFH Zoom calls.
Peak the jewelry collection now on the brand’s website.
These brands have a valuable lesson to teach self declared fashionistas of all kinds; looking back on the past is incredibly valuable in order to imagine fashion’s future. While Juicy Couture or Baby Phat could have designed entirely new collections for their revamp, they are smart enough to know that if tracksuits and emblazoned tees worked in the early 2000s, they are sure to please now – especially when our nostalgia for Y2K trends has never been higher. Perhaps, these brands should thank Depop for making their items uniquely search worthy among Gen Z, the largest generation in the US, who now occupy 0 billion spending power alongside with millennial consumers. Catering to a cooler, younger market is now not just an added bonus, it’s a necessity to ensure a brand’s success.
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