|Kate Moss, 1993|
In the age of instant gratification and reappropriation,
do trends still have the power to become iconic?
The first time I saw Adidas Superstars, I was impressed. Effortless, minimal and undeniably 90s, they were everything I looked for in a shoe, refreshingly relevant despite having a rich and enduring history. I nabbed my all-white first pair midway through 2014 and have been hooked ever since, perennially repurchasing a new pair every time the white inevitably was tainted by city dust. They went with everything without looking like they were intended to, making me feel connected to an exclusive network of 3-stripe fans. I convinced my friends to buy them, befriended Adidas Originals employees back when I was the only girl in the store, even connected with one of my college best friends through the brand.
Yet, upon moving to the East Coast, my appreciation for them dissipated. By the end of 2015, they (and their kelly green Stan Smith counterpart) were everywhere, on everyone. A once-enduring passion subsided; I tearfully said goodbye to shoes that were my staple, indifferently allowing them to get muddied and worn as I explored new terrain. While it was sad to say goodbye to something that I previously thought was my own, I realize now that it was inevitable--and certainly not unique to that particular pair of Adidas.
You see, in the age of increased access to style inspiration (whether through the amassed popularity of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram or live-streaming of fashion shows), "buzzword" items are paradoxically becoming diluted by their trendiness. As they are made the norm rather than the deviant, their iconic status becomes tainted and immemorable, reappropriated into markers of the current generation rather than generations past. While this claim certainly does not apply to every trendy item, it applies to most; as fashion is a constant cycle of remaking past trends, it is no surprise that items like Adidas Superstars have become en vogue once more.
When considering current styles, it is important to think of the mark that our generation is making; will the early-to-mid 21st century be remembered for reusing past trends, or creating trends itself? In the age of seemingly limitless inspiration and resources, why is it so difficult for iconic pieces to manifest themselves? Analyzing current and recent fashion, it is hard to think of popular pieces that were completely new or memorable. While trends like normcore are fairly unique to the 21st century, other trends equally individual are few and far between. As we enter into a new age of innovation and production in the fashion industry, these are all questions to consider. Reuse and recreation are an inevitable aspect of the fashion cycle, but creation and originality are just as important.
And, for the record, I am considering buying another pair of Adidas. C'est la vie☺