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Revival of Y2K: Culture behind the glitz and glamour

Iziah Moreno
Notable celebrities such as Kali Uchis and Jennifer Lopez are examples of public figures who have incorporated the Y2K aesthetic into their styles.

Iconic denim on denim, glitzy tops and bright-colored tracksuits have returned as staples in this season’s fashion trends. Behind the Y2K fashion and makeup, is a culture founded by Black and Latinx communities. As Gen Z continues bringing back past fashion trends, the culture continues to be represented through the love of the Y2K trend.   

From the ‘90s to the early 2000s, mainstream fashion like iconic nameplate jewelry, baggy pants or random pieces were commonly used to put an outfit together. Along with the clothing, thin-shaped eyebrows, and shimmery eyeshadow began with Latina culture. Icons across generations like Jennifer Lopez to artists like Kali Uchis continue to rep the look. Another example is the Beyonce chain blouse that has shined through the fashion industry and trends today in different designs and colors.    

Emma Takem, a junior majoring in nursing, incorporates Y2K fashion into her lifestyle.    

“I was born in the 2000s, so I feel like it’s a great thing that Gen Z (is) incorporating trends and styles from back then because it shows how culture can grow and evolve,” Takem said. “And we as Gen Z, we’re taking the trend from back then (Y2K) and we are incorporating our own aesthetics and bringing it to life.”     

The spin on Y2K creates a new, yet familiar foundation for the fashion trend.   

“It empowers us as Latina/o(s), and black women and men because it’s basically like a heritage,” Takem said. “So, we’re able to be more confident and bolder about ourselves because we have a foundation we can look back on.” 

Anthony Vasquez is a junior at UTEP majoring in nursing. (Iziah Moreno)

Having the original style to look back on allows generations today to learn how to recreate outfits from the Y2K era and add their generational touch.    

“People from back in the day, (we) basically look up to them to build our style and confidence in growing that and it’s going to continue for generations,” Takem said.    

Y2K fashion is accessible across genders, including men.   

Anthony Vasquez a junior majoring in nursing is one of many men across the world who enjoys the aesthetic of Y2K fashion.    

“I feel like it’s significant because it’s a way of embracing that culture that founded the fashion in a way,” Vasquez said. “I think it’s very cool that we are able to embrace it.”   

Embracing the culture of Y2K and its originality is the foundation of the expansion of fashion today.   

“There’s definitely other ways to embrace the culture, fashion being one of them, it brings more light to the culture,” Vasquez said.  

When remembering fashion trends, it is important to remember the culture behind the statement pieces or looks. The memorable style of Y2K will continue for years with every generation’s new touches.  Fashion changes over time and trends die, but to admire the beauty of Y2K is to know that it is never staying in the past.  

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the multimedia editor and may be reached at [email protected] or Instagram @by_avery_escamilla

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About the Contributors
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
Iziah Moreno
Iziah Moreno, Photo Editor
Iziah Moreno is the photo editor for The Prospector. He is a freshman majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he hopes to work in the world of photojournalism and media.
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