Millennials, it’s time to ditch festival fashion – Sourcing Journal
With the oldest millennials turning 40 and the youngest celebrating their quarter-life anniversaries this year, the 2021 festival season and the fashion that goes with it may not have the same energy as in 2019.
And that’s not a bad thing.
Arguably the main festival fashion scene, Coachella won’t return from its two-year hiatus until April 2022. A regular fixture since 1999, the two-weekend music festival in Indio, Calif., Has earned a permanent place on Millennium Bucket Lists, thanks in part to the fanfare marketed around the event, including H&M Coachella branded products, a list of events sponsored by Levi’s and Revolve, and the annual stream of Instagram posts inundated with the signature of the cohort. bohemian aesthetic – an vibe that surely screams “cheugy” by demanding Gen Z standards.
A label synonymous with “basic” and “trying too hard,” cheugy resurfaced on TikTok this spring when Gen Z users began naming millennial-centric trends they deem outdated – a roll call that covers the entire range of designer items like the “Double G” from Gucci. belt, Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull tote and Golden Goose sneakers, to skinny jeans, a Chevron print and items featuring feminist phrases like “Boss Babe”. And the term is not limited to fashion. Cruises, Minion memes, and Ax Body Spray have all received dubious names.
The very concept of festival fashion, this idea that a weekend full of music means it’s an open season to dress up as pseudo-hippies – not to mention its existence as a commercialized manufactured season. mainly by fast fashion companies consuming virgin polyester – is cheugy in and of itself.
A deeper dive into the category, however, reveals one cheugy culprit after another. Wreaths of flowers? Cheugy. Ugg boots in summer? Cheugy. Embellished captain’s hats? Cheugy. Temporary metallic tattoos? Cheugy, and probably problematic given that many models steal sacred symbols from Hindu, Buddhist, and Native American cultures.
Indeed, political correctness, like taste, has not been a strong suit of millennials when it comes to dressing for music festivals, especially older ones. Festival “trends” such as dreamcatcher-themed accessories, fashion and shoes adorned with beads, “ethnic” or “tribal” prints and embroidery, and the use of bindis as make-up, appear in tops the list of offensive festival faux pas millennials embraced in the 2010s. The cohort’s penchant for accessories with Native American feather headdresses is perhaps the crankiest yet, given that Congress National Indian National (NCAI) campaign has been campaigning to eliminate Native American stereotypes since the 1940s. Organizers of the Tall Tree and Bass Coast festivals in Canada, as well as the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, have finally warned attendees to stop appropriating the heritage of indigenous peoples as part of their off-grid costume.
These items, which often ignored the anger of socially conscious consumers, began to fade before the pandemic, giving a runway to trends like bike shorts, deconstructed denim and merch t-shirts in 2019. The climate in 2019 which people felt comfortable and confident in wearing such a daring culturally appropriate fashion, however, is light years away.
Last summer, the Black Lives Matter movement revealed fashion’s pervasive exploitation of minority talent, creativity and ideas. It also revealed the obscurity that obscures when designers are simply “inspired” by a region of the world – a common description for all types of fashion collections – versus acts of outright appropriation of culture. Although brands are committed to diversifying their workforce and including underrepresented voices in their decision-making processes, companies continue to grope and stumble.
Following the outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Louis Vuitton released his $ 705 monogrammed keffiyeh stole modeled on a keffiyeh, a scarf often seen as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
And the colorful embroidery used by retailers like Zara and Anthropologie hasn’t gone unnoticed by Mexican Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, who issued an open letter to brands in May calling for their cultural appropriation of techniques unique to the Mixtec people of San Juan Colorado and the Mixe community of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec. The letter spoke “in defense of the cultural heritage of indigenous communities in order to avoid plagiarism of their identity elements” by companies.
Other brands are trying to correct their mistakes. As anti-Asian attacks in the United States escalated last spring, white-owned streetwear brand Chinatown Market responded to a Change.org petition that described the brand’s nickname as an “act of cultural theft.” By announcing that it would be renamed. In a statement, co-founder Michael Cherman said, “The Asian American community rightly demands that we think and act more honestly. We should have done it sooner, but it’s never too late to do the right thing. Our name was inspired by the shops, people and vibrancy of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York City, but that’s not our name to use. We haven’t done enough to think about what this name would mean to Chinatown communities around the world and we have to own up to this mistake. “
What this new era of awakened consumerism means for a category of merchandising that has relied heavily on the traditions and crafts of oppressed cultures, all in the name of escape, remains to be seen. While we get our first glimpse this summer of several signature Gen Z events, including Chicago’s Lollapalooza with Post Malone and Crocs collaborator Miley Cyrus, and New York’s Governors Ball with urban festival setting Billie Eilish. Never really made it a hotbed of the most classically extravagant festival outfit, at least not by ostentatious Coachella standards.
The Coachella hiatus, however, provides an opportunity for millennials to gracefully exit festival fashion and make room for Gen Z.
By the time Coachella enthusiasts begin to take control of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree next year, three years will have passed since the last festival. Gen Z will return with more buying power and influence over fashion, meaning their demands for inclusiveness, sustainability, equality and fair representation will (hopefully) trump. the fleeting fads that millennials started.
The Generation probably won’t be without their own cringey take on festival fashion – you look, Coconut Girls wearing pukka shells and Cosmic Girls wearing metallic corsets – but Gen Z are warned about the abuse of culture and of identity. Aside from being fodder for TikTok, the goofs, face palms, and “what the hell were you thinking” moments that keep millennials awake at night (and allow meditation and sleep apps to do business. Quick) is a masterclass on growth and the importance of righting wrongs.
And that doesn’t mean millennials shouldn’t go to festivals. Go and better yet, go like yourself.