Crack out the lip gloss, butterfly clips, and hair straighteners, because Y2K is back in baby blue business. Characterised by the “sexy, trashy” aesthetic, Y2K has recently made a comeback through the demands of throwback-hungry Gen-Zers. The most recent brand to enter its renaissance is Juicy Couture, who have been making headlines this week with the launch of their 2021 spring/summer campaign.
Making a name for itself in the early 2000’s for its iconic velour tracksuit, Juicy Couture was quickly associated with society’s cool girls. Think Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and J-Lo.
However, the brand’s original image wasn’t necessarily the most inclusive, if we think of the stereotypical size 0, tanned, white girl (ahem, Paris Hilton) who dominated its marketing strategies. Juicy Couture’s revival tackles this issue in its newest campaign.
Designed by Amy Gibson, the London designer who led Beyoncé’s IVY PARK collections, Juicy Couture’s 2021 rebranding meshes all of our nostalgic favourites with a contemporary finish. The humble velour tracksuit is still central, but we’re also presented with trending staples such as tie-dye, bodysuits, and diamante fishnets.
Gibson also put a very 2021 spin on the collection by including vintage references. The designs drew inspiration from 80’s synchronised swimming costumes. Although not quite the dramatization of Baywatch, the new designs for Juicy Couture do feature sexy plunging necklines, bodycon dresses, and the occasional over-the-hip-bone hemline.
The 2021 campaign for Juicy Couture is all about inclusive empowerment – the showcasing of real women and real bodies, not just the girls you’d see on the cover of an early 2000’s magazine. With a new Juicy Couture comes a new definition of the modern woman, one that is all shapes, all sizes, and all races.
On the direction of the new collection, Gibson commented: “The global vision for ‘new Juicy’ is absolutely anchored in empowerment… Our culture has moved towards different values: independence, ambition, and strength.”
The campaign successfully delivered this message through their selection of models, who include entrepreneurial fashion founders Taiba Akhuetie, Lois Saunders, and Sharkkana Pryce. The models are stunning in the new Juicy Couture designs, serving an attitude that would make even the biggest Y2K sceptic want to invest in some low-rise trackies.
It’s official. Gone are the days where every woman was a clone of their predecessor: hail in curves, textured hair, and stretch marks.
With its successful relaunch and 300% increase in comeback sales making Juicy Couture one of the best performing brands in lockdown, it’s safe to say that Y2K is here to stay. So, as Regina George would say, “Get in loser, we’re going shopping.”
Words by Charlie Colville