Revenge of the 90s

  • Checkout
  • November 22, 2016
  • Jessica-Belle Greer
Revenge of the 90s

Pokemon Go

With 500 million downloads worldwide Pokemon Go the most successful mobile game of all time. Restaurants in particular are cashing in on players running about trying to catch virtual zubats, offering weary players a spot to take a break and refuel.

The main demographic, men aged 21-27, show that this game is all about nostalgia as players try to, finally, ‘Catch ‘em all’.

Fashion’s 90s redux

Clothing designers seem to be the first to draw inspiration from decades recently gone by and we have seen a fair share of choker necklaces, Doc Martens and floral skater dresses on sale for the past few years.

But it doesn’t stop there. WGSN reports ‘youth tonic’ will be a major trend in 2018. Thes fashions will be a result of a mix of eras that reflect how teenagers are inspired by eras they have not experienced, and for teenagers now, that’s the 90s.

Brown lips and lip pencils

Although brown makeup shades are a typically hard colour to sell to a wide range of complexions, reality TV star Kylie Jenner– who was born in the late 90s and perhaps felt she missed out on this trend – has led the charge in brown again lips. Her US$20 million Lip Kit empire and hefty social media following (79 million on Instagram) promotes 90s-esque pouts with many a brown lip selfie. Around half of the 21 lip kits for sale on her website, that come with a lipstick and lip liner, are a shade of brown, including ‘brown sugar’ and ‘true brown’.

Articles like ‘How to Wear '90s-Inspired Brown Lipstick—No Matter Your Skin Tone’ from Allure shows consumers are ready to take on the brown lip challenge. Meanwhile, Statista has found that lip liner sales are up almost 16 percent. Lip gloss, on the other hand is in decline. The sticky Juicy Tubes of the 2000s and its kind are at -3.8 percent growth.

Calvin Klein

With a greyscale campaign that harks back to Calvin Klein’s iconic photoshoots with a young Kate Moss and Mark Walberg, the brand has brought its cotton underwear range’s popularity forward into pop culture.

Featuring a modern model update, with Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber, who have also posed in the underwear for their own social media images, the brand has managed to grow their underwear sales with millennials. Since the campaign hit last year, the brand grew 25 percent, but more interestingly, in the under 25s category the brand grew 83 percent driven by lingerie, as according to Kantar.


They annoyed parents back when their batteries could still be taken out of them and now Furbys are having an indestructible resurgence. Combining their ‘retro’ charm with modern technology for kids, The Hasbro toy is connected to apps and an iPad, and immediately update themselves when a new game or song is added to their repertoire.

They were the Christmas craze of 1998, with 40 million original Furbys sold in the first three years from release. Now the Furby Connect is on the top of the Toys R Us 2016 ‘Must-Have Christmas Toys’ list, along with other old favourite Lego.

Harry Potter

Believe it or not, the Harry Potter craze began in the late 90s when the first three books were published. The wizard franchise is making a comeback with J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in cinemas, which has already reached US$75 million in the box office.

In the lead up to this a makeup brand called Storybook Cosmetics released a set of Harry Potter themed make-up brushes and went viral with articles by Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Seventeen, Marie Claire, MTV, The Huffington Post and more.

A recent Buzzfeed article called ‘19 Magical “Fantastic Beasts” Products You’ll Want To Buy Immediately’, featuring iPhone case, posters and Christmas tree ornaments, tells us there will be more products jumping on this bandwagon.

Mariah Carey

Popular culture’s fascination with Mariah Carey began in the 90s when she released chart toppers such as ‘Always Be My Baby’ and ‘Heartbreaker’. The diva has now made a comeback, just in time for Christmas as many stores play her now iconic ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ track.

She has an eight-part mini series ‘Mariah’s World’ airing on E! Channel in mid-December, US music tours booked and a special edition Mac Cosmetics make-up range hitting the stores next month. 

What now?

Now that the 2000s are well over a decade ago, some may be wondering if it is safe to try make pastel baby-doll tops and colourful VW Beetles popular again.

Although some social media influencers, like Kendall Jenner and her remake of Paris Hilton’s 2002 birthday dress, have blatantly ripped off 2000s style, others are warier of this trend.

vintage Paris Hilton vibes. 21 21.

A photo posted by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Fashion blog Man Repeller have recently posted a warning to product designers who are tempted to bring back the decade. In ‘Fashion Is Getting Dangerously Close to the 2000s’ the writer, Amelia Diamond, ends with: “…What this all boils down to is a plea: a plea to beg designers to pretend like 2000 – 2008 didn’t happen… Redux the redux of the ’90s, for all I care.”

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