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Trend Alert: Brands Go Back To The Future

Submitted by on May 14, 2010 – 8:30 am48 Comments

No need to chase the new-new anymore. Nowadays, it’s all about digging back in time for those long forgotten gems.

At least that’s what’s happening with brand like Keds, Levi’s and more.

Archive-inspired product on Keds’ heritage-focused website, theoriginalsneaker.com

Brands are going back into their archives, dusting off classic looks and relaunching them. Beyond that, there is a resurgence of old, previously washed-up brands, take Members Only and Triple F.A.T. Goose.

We also saw brands like Doc Martens, Dickies and Carhartt, once traditionally worn as workwear, regain its mainstream traction in recent years. Now, even those brands are going back to the classics that got them noticed in the first place. Dickies just re-released their “Uniform Shirt” and “Uniform Pant” as the “Dickies 1922″ capsule collection.

The updated Uniform Shirt

The original, from 1936

There are many theories as to why this trend is becoming more and more prevalent. As WWD.com put it, “Economic insecurity has fueled nostalgia for more stable eras. Marketing-saturated consumers are eager for products that feel authentic and evoke a simpler time.”

Beyond this, when it comes to the young, cool kids, they are consistently seeking out ways to be original. With many previously exclusive streetwear brands becoming more and more mainstream, this demographic is not left with many options.

“Consumers 16-to-29-years-old are obsessed with being true to themselves, and are attracted by passion, originality, integrity and authenticity. Heritage is a signifier of those things,” said Ian Pierpoint, chief executive officer of Sound Research, a research agency that focuses on youth and young adults and has studied consumers for Pepsi and Axe, as well as apparel companies.

Levi’s is displaying this jean from the 1890s in-store

I frequently scour vintage stores to find original unusual pieces and future trends. The best archival revivals are from brands who understand they can’t simply regurgitate old styles as they were. Today’s consumer is looking for classic shapes with modern updates, innovative fabrics and refined details.

Images: WWD

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