As anyone who pays too much attention to fashion or technology knows, history moves in circles. And these days that circle seems to be exactly 20 years long.
While just five years ago designers and IG moodboards alike were pining for the 90s — either via Gosha Rubchinskiy’s vision of the post-Soviet Union or Aaliyah’s stunning canon of outfits — the beginning of the roaring 2020s has re-piqued our fascination with the deranged and spray-tanned aesthetics of the 2000s: from the idea that Ed Hardy might be okay again to the next-level kitsch on high display at this weekend’s socially-distanced VMAs.
Many moons ago, at the last fashion week before COVID or the turn-of-the-decade, Thom Browne hosted a special event in the basement of Sotheby’s to unveil its new phone with Samsung. The act was done in typically Browne-ian high style, with a performance art theater of a uniformly-clad 1950s typing pool of office drones periodically stopping to fiddle with their phones (now on pre-order in a fully branded kit including ear buds and a smartwatch for $2799).
The spectacle was so immersive that at the time it was difficult to see it for what it actually was: the second-coming of the 2000 fashion phone, as documented at length by our compendium of the decades most extra telecommunications devices co-signed by Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and beyond.
And while we’re here, can we also take a chance to universally accept how clever it was that the phone industry used the term “folding” to revive the flip-phone as something new?