2023 Fashion Predictions

Laila Tolbert, Staff Writer

    In 2022, we saw the rise of the democratization of fashion thanks to apps like Twitter and Tiktok giving birth to spaces for people to discuss fashion. Brands like Balenciga, Heaven by Marc Jacobs and Rick Owens took over during 2022. New aesthetics were popping up almost every week, such as the coquette aesthetic or the rockstar girlfriend aesthetic. New trends popped up during 2022 with Y2K styles becoming more popular with low rise jeans, studded belts and tracksuits. Slogan tees also became a trend this year with people; people wore shirts with abrasive messages on them, like “I HEART [add abrasive message here].”  But now it’s a new year with new trends bound to take over. Below are my 2023 fashion predictions.

1. The death of brands

    During 2022 people become more engaged with big fashion brands. Logo mania came back in style out of its Y2K retirement home with things such as the Heaven by Marc Jacobs baby tees popping off. Big fashion brands and designers have definitely seen a rise of popularity. Even less popular designers became more popular among the masses designers. Rick Owens, for example, saw a rise of popularity thanks to rappers like Playboi Carti. Balenciaga saw a rise of publicity with their outrage marketing, as well as their Balenciaga croc and “the homeless shoe” designs. But it’s this same outrageous marketing that ended up getting them in trouble when they released their holiday ad campaign that many felt was in poor taste due to the way how children were used for this campaign.

    It’s not just Balenciaga that’s in hot water, however. Heaven by Marc Jacobs is also receiving some criticism mainly from fashion people on TikTok. Many of these people feel as though Heavens’ marketing is disingenuous and also that Heaven uses East Asian culture, mainly Japanese culture, to seem cool and trendy while not actually appreciating the culture. 

    “I hate how heaven by Marc Jacobs is so heavily inspired by Asian culture. They exploit Asian fashion and steal. Their new collab with Wong Kar Wai is so lackluster and lazy it’s honestly so disappointing to see them fail with having such good resource material. The newer stuff is so expensive and bad quality,” TikTok user ohmaiigod said. “Thinking about how Heaven by Marc Jacobs markets their clothes on every niche influencer to the point where I don’t think they’re niche anymore,” another TikTok user scoottyy said.

     Kanye West and every brand he has been involved with have also taken a hit due to his anti-semitism. I think there is definitely a sentiment of people growing tired and weary of brands. Because what’s the point of buying this 100 dollar shirt from this brand if they are going to do something in the near future to get them canceled. I think in 2023 people will become less big brand obsessed and move towards smaller designers and brands. Or maybe no brands at all and finding fun ways to style non designer pieces. I think brands and designers that don’t feed into logo hype and create logo manic designs like Rick Owens won’t take as big a hit as other fashion houses might.  

2. Aesthetic fatigue 

    In 2022 we were introduced to many new aesthetics to the point many of them had so much overlap that there was no real difference between them. Examples include the downtown girl aesthetic and rockstar girlfriend aesthetic. Trends got so recycled to the point where aesthetics such as “vanilla girl” started to pop up. Aesthetics are everywhere. It won’t take you long for someone to upload a random aesthetically pleasing TikTok and have someone comment “What aesthetic is this?”  Pushing everything into an aesthetic box is becoming stale to many to the point where many are pushing back and making fun of these niche aesthetics. I think 2023 people are going to try not to fit into absurd aesthetic boxes. Many will find it cringe to label themselves as an aesthetic; many will adopt the mindset “What aesthetic? I’m just naturally this cool.” Going against the aesthetic labels will become the new cool thing. Coolness is a social currency many try to obtain, and authenticity is the ultimate form of coolness.

    “Social media is killing us. Be Yourself. Be Cringe. Stop this aesthetic stuff.” Instagram user quenblackwell said. “Everything has to be an aesthetic. Is it not exhausting? How much of your life can be perfectly curated content?”  Twitter user Chinwee said.

    Going without an aesthetic label will definitely be on the rise in 2023.

3. Goodbye Y2K! Hello indie sleaze!

    2000s fashion has been on the rise over these past few years. The fashion cycle has three key stages: the introductory stage, the acceptance stage and the rejection stage. In 2020 Y2K fashion went through the introductory stage. In 2021 and 2022 it went through its acceptance stage as it started rising in popularity and being accepted by the general public. In 2023, however, I think Y2K will go down in popularity and slowly enter its rejection stage. We have already seen millennial women shriek with fear when they heard low rise jeans were making a comeback.  A new style has been an introductory stage, though, and that style is indie sleaze.

    During 2022 people have been reminiscing on the old days of Tumblr/MySpace and styles found on that site. A prime example of this is people recreating twee outfits on TikTok and people doing the messy black eyeshadow Effy Stoneman type of makeup as well. Indie Sleaze is a pushback against the prevalence of aesthetics. The whole point of indie sleaze is you don’t have to try hard to look cool and, like I stated previously, coolness is a social currency.  People are pushing back against “The Clean Girl” aesthetic (which consists of effortlessly looking naturally beautiful and encourages fitness, neat hair and clear skin indie sleaze is a contrast to everything that the neat put together aesthetics on tiktok stand for. Which signals to me that starting near the summer and further through the year we will see the rise of indie sleaze before it completely explodes in popularity in 2024.

So, What’s Trendy?

    My 2023 predictions: personal individual style and sustainability.

    Many say that the trend cycle is moving faster than ever making it harder for consumers to keep up with what’s in and what’s out. According to After Breaking Mag, “Trend cycles are moving so fast that we not only have to keep up with trends but even micro trends as well.” Because all of these trends are so hard to keep up with I feel like people are just going to stop even trying to keep up with fashion trends at all. Further, people aren’t going to spend their money on new trends that can very easily go out of style the next time someone buys them. Because of this, people will look towards second hand markets such as Depop or Grailed for new clothes. Many items people will purchase on these apps are unique and hard to come by. And with the current rescission, who will reasonably spend all their money on cheap fast fashion that will only survive five wears at best?

    In 2023, we will see a lot more of people’s personal style with individuals carefully considering the clothing that they are buying.

    “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” – Vivienne Westwood