Am I late to the (hipster) party?

Face it, all us fashion lovers have been there. And by there, I mean called the ‘H” word at some point. “Look at your outfit, you’re such a hipster!” says your co-worker, or your friend’s friend’s friend. Or worse yet, your friend’s mom. It’s kind of annoying. At the same time, there’s no denying millennial hipster fashion had a big influence on the way we dress now. But hey, wait a minute, where did all the real hipsters go anyway? Well, I did some investigating, and today I’d like to present the exciting first instalment of what may become a fixture here on Showfashionews.com. It’s fun and super vital to keep your fashion game on fleek by staying up to date. At the same time I think it’s cool to check out trends of yesteryear and their modern importance. So, without further ado, let’s do the rise and fall of 2000’s hipster style!

The Millennial Hipster Arrives on the Scene and a New Look is Born

The word ‘hipster’ is actually pretty old. It came into use during the 1920s in USA. Once upon a time, it was the cool lingo to describe people in the jazz scene. Then in the 50s and 60s it came to refer to beatnik-types. After a period of moderate usage the next few decades – I’m looking at you Kramer! – it came back again with a vengeance in the early 2000’s. American Apparel started to get big, thrifting was cool, and Pitchfork Media came on the scene and started popularizing indie band after indie band. The boho/’hipster or homeless’/“are you in Broken Social Scene?”  look suddenly started to go mainstream, and fast.

Once upon a time, Cobrasnake was the ‘Look Book’ bible for hipsters

The Millennial Hipster Look

The hallmarks of hipster style were oversized glasses, flannel shirts, V-necks, ripped tights, beat-up old leather jackets. Oh, and for awhile we had that hoodie and a suit jacket thing. Smoking cigarettes, carrying old messenger bags,  and generally looking you didn’t have a job and didn’t care at all were all very cool. In hindsight, millennial hipster fashion really sat in the moment of post 9-11 USA culture. The economy was so-so, and pop culture was just getting out of its late 90’s post-grunge funk. Hipster culture offered a way to rebel in a way that was somehow even more nihilistic than grunge. On that note, some people hated hipsters so much that they called them The Dead End of Western Civilization. Seems a little harsh! Anyhow, as far as we can tell, the ‘real hipster’ look started to vanish in the early 2010’s as normcore (and now ‘gorpcore’, whatever that is) started to take over. The 2005-2015 career arc of once-super-hip, now total-has-been photographer Cobrasnake offers a good visual history of how the tribe called ‘hipsters’ dressed, from the auspicious beginnings until the trend stopped being trendy. I guess ‘cool’ finally stopped being cool. Thanks a lot Uniqlo! (JK, <3 your socks and basics a lot). 

The Death and After-Life of Millennial Hipster Style

Some hipster styles that used to be fringe are now completely mainstream, so much so we don’t even notice them. Take the fact it’s now totally A-OK for a fella to sport a scraggly or enormous beard at most jobs and offices. In 2003 or 2004 the world wasn’t quite so enlightened! Meanwhile, while American Apparel may have helped the mass commodification of the hipster look, it was ‘bad business’ and finally burned out into bankruptcy in 2017. Urban Outfitters followed a similar model, but with significantly better business sense. It cast a wider and more inclusive lifestyle net, and as a result it’s been able to adapt and is still going strong.

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Meanwhile, the people who used to be ‘real hipsters’ back in the day are pushing baby strollers or walking to start-up jobs in Williamsburg. Or maybe they’re totally normcore’d the F out and listening to techno at Berghain. LOL. One thing’s for sure, the hipster is dead, long live the hipster!