Who started the Y2K fashion and is the trend coming back?

Who started the Y2K fashion and is the trend coming back?

The y2k trend, known as the “fad of the millennium bug”, has been around for two decades. And by the looks of clothing trends to date, we don't see it going anywhere anytime soon.

The y2k trend, known as the “fad of the millennium bug”, has been around for two decades. And by the looks of clothing trends to date, we don't see it going anywhere anytime soon.

The trend started before the early 2000s and was popularized by the movie “The Matrix Reloaded” in 2003. In the movie Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) was wearing a metallic black leather coat over a white shirt with dark pants.

This look of Carrie complemented the Y2K style, thus serving as another hallmark of this evolving fashion trend.

The y2k fashion trend has been circling back in recent years. Some celebrities have worn clothes that resemble this trend.

In 2018, stars like Rihanna rocked the Y2K aesthetic by wearing a black leather coat over a white shirt with dark pants at an event in London.

Rihanna's appearance was one of the most prominent examples of celebrities bringing back this trend. Rihanna's influence in recent years in the fashion and beauty industry has been huge.

There is a lot of debate surrounding the early origins of the Y2K fashion trend. But Missy Elliot made sure her impression of Y2K didn't go unnoticed in her 1997 "Supa Dupa Fly" music video.

The Y2K fashion trend was inspired by technology, categorized by shiny metallic-themed clothing. Dominant clothing items included shiny materials, leather pants, silver shade and tech accessories.

The popularity of this fashion trend returned in 2000. American clothing retailer Urban Outfitters collaborated with various designers to present new collections inspired by the Y2K trend.

The company's goal was to make it easier for customers to dress in Y2K style. They wanted people to be able to buy a piece of clothing that they could wear with different clothes. That way, they won't have to change clothes frequently throughout the week or month, and they won't look outdated.

Y2K in pop culture

Famous hip-hop artists such as Jay Z, Diddy P, Nelly, Snoop Dog and 50 Cent started wearing tracksuits, baggy jeans and bandanas, quickly turning Y2K into pop culture.

Pop artists including Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie also started to influence this 2000s fashion trend by wearing low-rise jeans and pairing them with velvet tracksuits. Not to forget, flip flops for the full Y2K effect and Von Dutch trucker hats or jackets.

The brands behind Y2K fashion

Today, the same brand has expanded its appeal by presenting more dimensioning of its pieces. Their clothing line has now expanded from women to men and children. Additionally, they have collaborated with iconic brands like Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Richard James and Vetements. In partnership with these famous brands, they now feature limited edition items.

The Y2K fashion trend was also popularized by French fashion designer Christian Audigier. He claimed the style was a response to the Y2K scare and was intended to reflect the uncertainty of the future.

The emerging Y2K fashion trend inspired their famous Ed Hardy and Von Dutch clothing lines. Popular names like Jay Z, Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake have become brand ambassadors.

Some of the most popular items from Christian's Audigier brands that have gone mainstream are:

  • Ed Hardy tees with skulls and tigers,
  • Hardy Tee as a dress, and
  • Von Dutch trucker hats.

What was it like living in the Y2K era?

The most iconic thing about that era was the clothes people wore. It was very different from what we use today. Many fashion trends in the early 2000s came and went quickly.

For example, people used to wear a lot of red and blue instead of black and gray. And they often had floral prints on their clothes or accessories.

Some of the most notable items that people wore in this fashion style include:

  • Sport clothes
  • Nike Air Max
  • Sneakers
  • high collar
  • Sneakers

Y2K fashion survived the fall and made a comeback in recent years.

Is the Y2K fashion trend coming back for 2022?

The Y2K trend is returning to the fashion industry through new designs, styles and colors.

Popular brands like Forever 21 and H&M promoted this trend in 2016 with their spring/summer collections.

The same happened with Dolce & Gabbana, which incorporated stretch fabrics in its Spring 2014 collection.

Comfort is an essential part of the Y2K trend. That's why many fashion brands now offer items made from stretchy materials so people can wear them for hours on end.

Today, brands like Blumarine, Diesel, Von Dutch, Birkenstocks and Crocs are making a comeback Y2K fashion items adults can wear reminiscent of the 2000s fashion times.

Some Y2K-inspired items are made from the same material as yoga pants. This material is called Lycra or Spandex and it helps keep you cool and flexible.

The trend has started to make a comeback in Generation Z clothing closets. Now young people are wearing comfortable baggy pants with short tops or oversized T-shirts, wearing Jordans or Dr. Martens, and putting on trendy accessories .

In the eyes of the young man, Y2K fashion is now considered “vintage”, which they think is fashionable. It seems that this trend is not going away anytime soon and is now part of the fashion trends for 2022 .

It's unclear if this is a marketing ploy to influence fashion brands or if it's a temporary trend.

For now, people are buying and wearing clothes with this style again!


The roots of the Y2K trend originate somewhere between the 1990s and 2000s. Its futuristic designs drew inspiration from the developing technology of the time.

Many artists and fashion icons began to contribute to the popularity of the Y2K fashion movement. They soon began to adapt their clothing styles to the new trend.

In addition, fashion designers took inspiration from the new trend and brought Y2K-inspired clothing pieces to the public for sale.

As of this year, the trend is making a comeback and being rocked predominantly by the younger generations.

Considering these events and current trends, we can predict that the Y2K clothing style will remain for quite some time.

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