From Lily Rose Depp’s Y2K headphones to Asap Rocky’s kid-friendly tamagotchi
What does it take for a product that seems unrelated to fashion to catch on? Maybe it’s just that them readily available on the market and has a dashing sponsor who makes them seem appealing? Technology has come a long way since the days of the economic boom, when owning a phone or TV was a source of great pride in the neighborhood and a Smeg fridge was a status symbol for the wealthiest families. Today, technology is an essential part of our daily lives and is frequently small enough to fit comfortably in our pockets.But when did a high-tech item become a necessary component of a look and frequently the face of a very specific aesthetic? What do the digital accessories we use today—from Asap Rocky’s kid-friendly tamagotchi to Lily Rose Depp’s Y2K headphones to Kanye’s “futuristic” AirPods Max—tells about us and what connections they have to fashion?
Before the iPhone
Before the iPhone rose to the status of the ultimate phone, generating lines of miles long and waiting lists for each new release, the world of telecommunication was much more diverse. The first tech product to signify a social status was Blackberry, whose production was recently declared to be over. However, it was also during this time that Kanye West used the flip phone (which Samsung relaunched last year in the middle of the 2000s), and fashion brands experimented with branded phones.There was a time when mobile phones were truly a luxury item on par with an it bag or the last pair of Prada boots. Examples include the Motorola i883 Baby Phat, a brand created by former model Kimora Lee Simmons, which featured Janet Jackson, Lil’ Kim, and Britney Spears and was studded with 0.4-carat diamonds, the pastel pink Juicy Couture T-Mobile, the Motorola Razr V3i Dolce & Gabbana in 2005, and Looking at a person’s phone can reveal a lot about their personality (and cash account), from career men with Blackberries to sneakerheads with the Supreme BLUE Burner Phone to heiresses with the most recent $85,000 Dior Phone Réverie model.
The obsession of strange headphones
Headphones have proven to be a versatile accessory and a means of expression for the catwalks of major designers thanks to Apple’s clever decision to introduce the iPod in 2011 with the first pair of white headphones the world had ever seen.Matelassè leather headphones created in partnership with Monster for Chanel’s AW15 collection, Martin Margiela’s call center helmet for SS16, Marine Serre’s retractable earphones for SS19, the €4,379 D&G headset, and Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Horizon headphones. But although the iPhone has eliminated the appeal of numerous phone brands, this cannot be said of the AirPods, whose hegemony is threatened not only by the newest AirPods model from Apple but also by wired earphones and Beats.An upsurge that has turned out-of-date hi-tech models into a new trendy accessory, as the Instagram account @wireditgirls attests through “mood” photos that depict the love and passion for a technological era, oftentimes taken by people who did not actually live that era, like Timothée Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name and Bella Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp, and Zoe Kravitz for street style
The latest fashion obsession is analog photography.
Five long years have passed since Kendall Jenner wore a Contax T2 on Jimmy Fallon’s program, and 2.5 years have passed since Frank Ocean used his trusty analogue to cover the Met Gala for Vogue. For a while now, analog photography has been the newest craze in fashion. In addition to headphones and smartphones, nostalgia for earlier technical periods now includes rolls of film and camcorders, appealing to both celebrities and the most renowned fashion photographers.From Tyler Mitchell, who attended the Met Gala in full Bode attire and with a Yashica around his neck last year, to Rory Kramer, who launched an archive account for his analog photographs. Tom Holland, Zendaya, Peggy Gou, Chris Hemsworth, and Emily Ratajkowski are just a few of the famous people who have recently—and especially recently—been pictured holding an Olympus or Kodak disposable camera around their necks or in their hands.The most popular technological accessory is no longer the most recent release, a sterile show off of their purchasing power, but rather everything that seems unusual, dated, or vintage, thanks to the Y2K revival of the latest catwalks and a tendency on the part of celebrities to obsessively take care of every detail of their look, including books in hand. Gen Z and Millennials seek refuge in a technological era far enough removed from the present to be historicized and return in the form of a trend, piece of furniture, or cool accessory. This is motivated by childhood memories of cartoons on cassettes, Tumblr, MySpace, and a disc eater instead of a radio.