Why nostalgia was 2019’s biggest fashion trend
2019 saw nostalgic fashion become a best-seller on both the high-street and luxury catwalks, and gave heritage brands the chance to capitalise on decades of design to produce retro-styled pieces for shoppers.
The trend kicked off back in January when menswear brand Perry Ellis launched the second drop of its Perry Ellis America capsule collection, which paid homage to the brand which first launched on the back of Levi’s in 1984.
The second instalment saw the brand’s logo appear on vibrant nylon tracksuits, on washed denim and other pieces with bold hues.
In April, Tommy Hilfiger got in on the action – adapting its vintage 1986 Tommy Jeans Coca-Cola collaboration for a modern audience. While the designer tweaked the individual logos, the colour palette and all-American vibe of the original collection remained.
That same month Guess unveiled #GUESSVintage, which involved more than 150 authentic vintage pieces, sourced from all over the world. GAP followed next, with a 50th-anniversary tribute to denim, including styles from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Even retailers like Target embraced nostalgia, celebrating 20 years of designer collaborations by re-releasing clothes designed with help from Missoni, Anna Sui and Rodarte while Coach honoured its roots at New York Fashion Week with a pop-up called Coach Originals.
Later this month, 90s streetwear stalwart DKNY has announced it is making a comeback, launching a new collection based on archival pieces by Urban Outfitters.
So why was retro-fashion such a big deal this year? The throwback fashion trend arrived during a ‘perfect storm’ for an industry. It tied neatly into both the ‘cop vs drop’ limited edition mentality currently doing the rounds, as well as the fact that retro-pieces tied neatly into some of the major trends on the catwalks this year – such as nineties streetwear, eighties denim and seventies colour palettes.
Will 2020 see more of the same? We look forward to the first few Fashion Weeks to find out.