The 90s fashion influence in the 21st century has become less of an expendable trend and more of a defining attribute of the influential millennial culture.

Fashion in the late 80s, and well into the 90s, sparked a cultural movement influenced by rock-and-roll music and Kate Moss’s heroine chic persona that gave birth to the grunginess so often associated with the diverse era. Grunge was in full throttle by the mid 90s that brought out the popular band tees, ripped jeans, flannel button ups, and the perfectly messy hair.

Kate Moss 90’s grunge

In 1992 Rick Marin, a writer for The New York Times, wrote about the success of the 90s “grunge affect” as the culture was approaching its peak:

“It was just over a year ago that MTV began barraging its viewers with the sounds of Seattle “grunge rock,” featuring the angst anthems and grinding guitars of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. By last summer, the glossy magazines began tracking grunge looks, the threadbare flannel shirts, knobby wool sweaters and cracked leatherette coats of the Pacific Northwest’s thrift-shop aesthetic…Then two weeks ago — all in the blink of a flashbulb — the fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who has never even been to Seattle, was hailed as “the guru of grunge.”

Youth in the 90s, Marin says, day dreamt “of the day they would trade in their air guitars for the real thing, so that they, too, could become famous rock-and-roll heroes.”

Almost 30 years later the 90s style, along with the youths dream-big attitude, has reached another peak in Generation Y. How has this style adapted? Well, it’s safe to say that chokers, ripped mom jeans, platforms, and deep, cool-toned lipsticks made an impressionable impact in the 90s and has possibly inflicted what many have called “millennial nostalgia.”

Social media, including Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr has contributed to the nostalgia in making it easier for us to access fashions time capsule while simultaneously affecting the next viral trend. Fashion labels have taken to social media not only to market and promote new collections, but to also gain an insight on millennial interests, with the 90s culture as a common denominator in fashion, movies, television, and music.

The 90s fashion icon, Kate Moss, has potentially passed the 90s supermodel baton to best friends and Instagram sensations, Hailey Baldwin, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, who wear the trend to perfection.

Along with the legendary Doc Martens, oversized T-shirts, and denim overalls that capture the distinctive 90s style, the rise of athleisure also draws on the trends from this era, with comfortable body suits, high ponytails held in place with vibrant scrunches, and stylish sneakers for the new casual chic.


Written By Nastasia Delmedico