2000s in fashion
2000s in fashion
2000s fashion is often described as being a global mash up, where trends saw the fusion of previous vintage styles, global and ethnic clothing (e.g. boho), as well as the fashions of numerous music-based subcultures. Hip-hop fashion generally was the most popular among young people of both sexes, followed by the retro inspired indie look later in the decade.
Those 25 years of age and older adopted a dressy casual style which was popular throughout the decade. Globalisation also influenced the decade's clothing trends, with the incorporation of Middle Eastern and Asian dress into mainstream European, American and Australasian fashion. Furthermore, eco-friendly and ethical clothing, such as recycled fashions and fake fur, were prominent in the decade.
In the early 2000s, many mid and late 1990s fashions remained fashionable around the globe, while simultaneously introducing newer trends. The later years of the decade saw a large-scale revival of clothing designs primarily from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
The leading fashion designers between 2000–09 included the late Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang, Christian Louboutin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, and Karl Lagerfeld. The top supermodels of the decade were Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, Carmen Kass, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Karolína Kurková, Miranda Kerr, Izabel Goulart, Selita Ebanks, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Marisa Miller, Doutzen Kroes, Agyness Deyn, Coco Rocha.
The rise of fast fashion
The early to mid-2000s saw a rise in the consumption of fast fashion: affordable off-the-peg high street clothing based on the latest high fashion designs. With its low cost appeal driven by trends straight off the runway, fast fashion was a significant factor in the fashion industry's growth. As affordable clothing became even more important in the entrance to the new age, brands had to find a way to keep up with their consumer's new spending habits.
During the year 1999, department stores such as Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and more had sales totalling $230 billion. In the years that followed, that number began to fall. By the early 2000s the rise of online retail and in-store fast fashion caused department store sales to dwindle in sales in the wake of new styles being offered quicker than ever before by retailers. Retail giants of the new millennium included H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. Notably, the retailer Target found major success in collaborating with various fashion designers for affordable designer pieces available for the average consumer.
This trend in fast fashion allowed shoppers to own designer items at lower prices, also allowing the acceptance and production of copycat styles. Designers noticed their designs were being knocked-off, and decided to do something about it. In 2004, the retail giant H&M, a master in rolling out fast fashion, collaborated with fashion designer Karl Lagerfield to introduce a one-time collection which proved to be a huge success, as women flocked to H&M stores to own a piece of the designer's 30 selections available in the collection.
Stores such as Wet Seal and American Apparel are said to be "American precursors to the fast fashion empire". As well as the retail stores Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch and possibly on a much smaller scale Limited Too, but in the end, stores like Forever 21 were better able to stay on top of the retail game.
The ethics of fast fashion has been the topic of numerous debates and questioning of business practices. Producing fashion at such fast rates involves less than secure worker conditions, and non-liveable wages for the labourers. It also involves a lot of waste. Americans throw out 14 million tons of clothing a year, with the help of fast fashion. Retailers like Forever 21 and H&M have come under fire, not only for their wasteful fast fashion practices that have grown steadily since the beginning of 2000, but for the involvement of cheap labor. The appeal of fast fashion lies in the copying of higher end brands; however, after something is no longer trendy it is on to the next, leaving clothes to go to waste, and workers to continue to live on unliveable wages.
Socio-economics and the logo purse
The 2000s saw social classes broken down and restructured so specifically that they became meaningless, and anyone could transcend the typical stereotypes of class with what they owned. In high fashion, there was less of a top-down approach to fashion, and designers were becoming increasingly inspired by pop culture and street style. These two factors combined led to the popularity of the designer logo that was seen boldly printed on all types of clothing, but specifically purses. A logo purse was a unifier, worn by celebrities, models, and the middle-class shopper. Many of these brands had outlet stores, so the logo purse was available to even more people. Having the same branded purse as many others was a form of escapism, it was a unifying factor that let people forget how much money they made, and instead focus on being like the rest.
The rise of fast fashion helped people afford a designer bag, since they could save money on the rest of their wardrobe. As the decade went on, it became increasingly popular to mix designer and fast fashion clothing. People were more concerned with looking the part and fitting into a certain style tribe than who was making the clothes.
Early 2000s (2000–03)
• When the 2000s kicked off, the fashion was profoundly influenced by technology. From 1997 until 2001, there was a monochromatic futuristic approach to fashion, with metallics, shiny blacks, heavy use of grey, straps, and buckles becoming commonplace. This was called "Y2K fashion". The apparel was made to be as dark, reflective, technological, and as sexy as possible. When the original iPod was introduced in 2001, the earbuds, as well as the gadget itself, became something of an accessory for early adopters.
• Particular pieces of Y2K clothing included mesh tops, wraparound sunglasses, wireframe rectangle glasses, box-pleated skirts, handkerchief tops (often in a metallic pattern such as silver or gold for a disco feel), satin skirts, leather skirts, concert t-shirts with rhinestones, sparkling shoes, halter tops, sequinned pants (popularised by Peter Morrissey), and embroidered and sequinned tops (inspired by Easton Pearson), along with the famous pearl printed black cocktail dress by Karen Walker, which was successful worldwide.
• In the year 2000, some of the casual women's and girl's fashion trends were oversized sunglasses, aviator sunglasses, oversized hoop earrings, jeans worn for numerous occasions (such as mid-rise, boot-cut, fabric accents down the sides, fabric accents sewn into the flares, lace-up sides and tie-dye), wedge flip flops, hot pants, denim jackets, chunky sweaters, pashmina scarves, Skechers, belly shirts, and tube tops.
• In Africa, Europe, North America, East Asia, South America, and Oceania, the early 2000s saw the continuation of many mid and late 1990s fashions due to the continued influence of teen pop stars such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, such as the military look, while introducing newer more vaguely dystopian post modern trends. From 2001 onwards, women wore long-sleeved shirts with bell sleeves, cowl-neck tops, crop tops, Burberry, hoodies, flare jeans, hip-huggers, low rise pants, white jeans, whale tails, cargo pants (especially ones made out of silk, satin, and velvet) hip-hop inspired sweatpants, daisy dukes, thong underwear, and solid bright-coloured tights.
• 9/11 and the mortgage crisis of 2001 impacted fashion by bringing in a new wave of conservatism. This created a rise in denim, the American fabric of the working person. Jeans became acceptable in every situation, from the supermarket to the red carpet. It was a slow shift to conservatism, seen in how jeans started low-rise in reflection of the sexy Y2K style and moved through various waistlines and leg widths. As mentioned with the social classes, logos became a form of stability and comfort in fashion. There was a sense of unity in the country because all kinds of people were buying the same brands and sporting the same logos.
• Perhaps in reaction to the streamlined, futuristic, outer space-themed Y2K styles of the year 2000, distressed denim became popular in America from 2001–08. Pants became lower waisted and significantly more flared than they were previously, and often featured elaborate embroidery rather than the utilitarian, no-frills style of before. In the UK, it was popular for women to wear skirts over trousers, floral print shift dresses, and colours like black, purple and pink. Big, chunky shoes and sandals were popular, with thick wedge heels and imitation leather straps decorated with floral embroidery, while previously successful sneaker brands like Sketchers declined in popularity.
First-wave 1980s revival
• Although the 1980s fashion revival was not in full swing until 2001, the first movement had started in the late 1990s and continued into the early 2000s. This first wave primarily focused on the early 1980s. Such trends that emerged during this period included denim miniskirts, ripped "distressed" jeans, denim jackets, tracksuits, trenchcoats (often in pleather), puffy jackets (revived by Hip-Hop artists), and preppy polo shirts with popped collars. These remained popular until about 2008 when the revival of late 1980s fashions occurred.
• Overall, European and American women and girls wore low-top sneakers, such as Skechers, Heelys, Adidas shoes, Reebok shoes, and Nike, as well as knee-high boots with spiked heels and pointed toes (or conversely, thick low heels and round or square toes). Popular accessories of the early 2000s include white belts, aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, hoop earrings, block heeled mary janes, leg warmers (worn with mini skirts), ugg boots, flip-flops, jelly shoes, lace-up sandals, newsboy caps, ponchos, and jelly bracelets.
Sex and the City
Sex and the City impacted how women cared about fashion and how they shopped. The show depicted women as empowered consumers, each with their own independent styles that shopped based on what they wanted, not what they were told to wear. The main characters became fashion icons, inspiring window displays, fashion lines, magazines, and women globally. Carrie Bradshaw, the main character, is credited for making Manolo Blahnik a household name from her obsession with the shoes. Trends inspired by the show include stilettos, designer handbags (with two episodes centred around the latest It bag), large fabric flowers, and berets.
Mid 2000s (2004–06)
Many fashion trends were carried over from the ‘90s and early 2000s into the mid 2000s, and were quite similar. However, many new fashion trends and brands impacted the fashion industry in the mid 2000s.
• It items were very popular in the 2000s, particularly the early and middle years. Examples of some highly sought-after It items of the mid 2000s included Kate Spade wallets, Prada sneakers, Christian Dior saddle bags, designer-brand jeans such as True Religion low-rise boot-cut jeans and 7 for all Mankind skinny jeans, Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, Balenciaga cargo pants, Von Dutch trucker hats, and Takashi Murakami's collaboration with Louis Vuitton for their iconic It bag.
• Popular mid 2000s trends for women were embroidered low-rise jeans, yoga pants, thong underwear, cowl-neck tops, tube tops, denim jackets, bell-sleeved shirts, jean shorts, crop tops, whale tails, tracksuits, cargo pants, capri pants, trenchcoats, puffy jackets, longer tank tops worn with a main blouse or shirt, infantile dresses, 1940s inspired New Look dresses and sandals, leggings, 1960s style peacoats, tunics worn with wide or thin belts, and "vintage clothing" including hippie and Boho inspired dresses with paisley patterns. Crocs were a brief fad for both sexes in the summer of 2006, despite their kitsch connotations, and in 2006 the minidress made a comeback with the hemlines being unusually short.
• Introduced in 2005, skinny jeans became popular in 2006. High heeled shoes were replaced with ballet flats, Sperry Top-Siders, Converse Chucks, and the Keds popularised by Mischa Barton.
• Popular accessories included trucker hats, aviator sunglasses, small red glass or pearl drop earrings rather than the large hoop earrings of the early 2000s, jelly bracelets, knee-high boots with pointed toes, uggs, Heelys, platform boots, ballet flats, mary janes, studded belts, shutter shades, crucifixes and rosaries, large silver belt buckles with rhinestones, black nail polish, fairtrade African bangles, Native American beaded jewellery, Indian and Middle Eastern slave bracelets, purity rings, small leather handbags, small scarves, and simple jewellery made from recycled eco friendly materials like hemp, wood, sea shells, glass, seeds, and white metal.
• From 2005 until the end of the decade, more elaborate military inspired clothing became a unisex trend in Britain. Due to the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and a resurgence of interest in 1980s fashion, teen and college age women frequently wore cavalier boots, Greek fisherman's caps, jewellery with anchor motifs, leather look drainpipe trousers, frilly satin poet shirts, sashes, harem pants, braided hussar jackets, and dress uniforms with epaulets inspired by female pop stars, British indie/garage rock band The Libertines and MCR's The Black Parade.
Late 2000s (2007–09)
Carry over styles
• Many early and mid 2000s fashions remained fashionable in 2007; This included items such as denim miniskirts, whale tail, hip-huggers, boot-cut jeans, tank-tops, ripped jeans, hoodies, cargo pants, white belts, cropped jackets, capris, infantile dresses, boho-chic, and Crocs.
• In early 2009, there was a large scale 1980s revival in Europe and the US, which incorporated general items of late 1980s and early 1990s streetwear, such as neon colours, gladiator sandals, animal print or polka dot headbands, knitted sweater dresses, Nike Tempo shorts, wonderbra and sloggi underwear, sundresses, geometric pattern tops, slap bracelets, ballet flats, black spandex leggings, pale denim jeggings, light, translucent tartan shirts worn with a camisole underneath, kinky boots, riding boots, ripped acid wash skinny jeans, and neon leg warmers worn with bare legs and a dress or skirt. In America, the crop tops that exposed the navel were replaced with longer camisole tops, boat neck blouses and mid rise pants, and miniskirts were replaced with longer dresses like the babydoll, bubble skirt, skater dress, and sweater dress. Long, baggy empire line shirts were taken in at the bustline and often paired with a belt. Fur coats made a comeback, although many women used "fish fur" due to real fur's association with animal cruelty.