Instead of big fashion powerhouses that inspire people what to wear, trends are increasingly found in the streets. This so-called “bottom-up-fashion” was first described in the late 1970s, but is especially alive and kicking right now. Gen Z has inverted the design process bottoms-up as social media and resale platforms give them a stage to present their styles. As a result, many Gen Z’ers tend to adapt pieces representative of trends into their own personal styles, as opposed to following trends full-scale.
Often these styles then find their way into upper-class fashion. Take the Internet Aesthetic Cottagecore as an example, which is about romanticizing a more rural and pastoral life. This term first mentioned on Tumblr in 2018 was popping up on Instagram feeds of dozens of influencers during Covid on a large scale. It did not take long until upper-class labels like Jaquemus, Louis Vuitton and Dior picked up the trend in their runway shows.
As many people can now decide and influence what’s trending through social media, this has accelerated trend formation. Keeping up with fads will be more challenging.