How brands are embracing the noughties revival

Nostalgia marketing is rearing its head once again with a spate of brand comebacks and collabs that are channelling the Y2K aesthetic. But what role should brands be playing in the trend, if any?

The return of low-rise jeans, frosted eyeshadows and the Sugababes can only mean one thing – the noughties are well and truly back. While the laws of nostalgia suggest that the Y2K revival was destined to follow on from the 90s sportswear boom seen over recent years, the trend began to rear its head in a big way during the onset of the pandemic, as OTT fits and trashy reality TV became the form of escapism we all needed.

Like any good viral trend, it didn’t take long for #y2k to take over our social feeds. All of a sudden, archival Instagram accounts featuring butterfly hair clips and baguette bags were providing new visibility for throwback looks, while TikTokers such as @hellotefi were educating a new generation of teens on early aughts dramatics, including the feud between Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. “There’s a really nice confluence between TikTok and Depop in particular,” notes Vairi MacLennan, head of content at Mother. “You either see a trend for the first time on Depop and then go to TikTok to search it. Or you see something on TikTok and go to Depop to shop it. It feels like they really work hand in hand.”

Topicals the Digital Fairy
Topicals creative direction by the Digital Fairy

Unsurprisingly, brands have also been trying to get in on all the nostalgia action. This is particularly true in the case of the fashion and beauty worlds, where a spate of iconic noughties brands have been relaunched with today’s consumers in mind. These include Juicy Couture’s diamante-encrusted velour tracksuits, which at one time were the unofficial uniform of reality TV starlets; the return of high street favourite Tammy Girl; and a rebooted Blumarine, which recently used noughties supermodel Sasha Pivovarova as the face of its AW22 campaign. Shot by Petra Collins, the campaign sees the model lounging atop a barbie pink car submerged in a pool, natch.

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