It’s the year is 2018. God’s Plan by Drake is blasting on every radio station, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson have just announced their engagement, and every celebrity–along with their devoted fan base–is sporting the infamous Gucci Belt. This accessory took the fashion world by storm and refused to go down without a fight. But how did the golden interlocking ‘G’ hardware come to be the predominant piece we’ve all come to know and love?
In the beginning…
The “model off duty” look was and always will be a token of style to imitate. The effortless, “I woke up like this” demeanor that every runway model quickly masters before reaching the peak of their career, is attempted by adoring fans and fashion connoisseurs daily. In 2018, however, models began hitting the town donning a new addition to their outfit: The Gucci Belt. From Kendall Jenner to Alessandra Ambrosio to Cindy Crawford, everyone has seemed to acquire the accessory. The introduction of The Gucci Belt into the closets of luxury fashion icons commenced the beginning of the item’s Fashion Cycle. Soon enough, The Gucci Belt would trickle down into the hands of those of who don’t have a stylist for every occasion. Ah, the Circle of Life.
Dupes upon dupes upon dupes…
When a trend hits the ground fast and running, fast fashion companies are quick to do the same: after all, they do have to keep up. As expected, everyone who stays up-to-date with current fashion trends, or simply has access to Kendall Jenner’s Instagram feed, is vying for the new ‘It’product. But priced at a whopping minimum of $480, the piece is not available to just anyone. Customers who love the trend but can’t afford to drain their savings often turn to fast fashion companies. Ultimately, these companies make their profit by imitating current trends for a smaller price and substandard quality. In the next phase of the Fashion Cycle, you’ll find that these brands have already listed knock off ‘double O’ belts for a sixteenth of the luxury price….because who doesn’t love a good Oucci belt!
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…
Like the Adidas Superstars in 2016 or Resin Rings in 2021, all fashion trends have an expiration date. I sobbed as I shoved my Fila Disruptors into the back of my closet years ago.
After wearing The Gucci Belt to almost every occasion that pops up on the calendar and exhausting its versatility, it’s time to hang up the belt. It’s just how it works in the fashion world: things go out of style. The final stage of the Fashion Cycle entails the retirement of a once popular staple item, but for what reason? Maybe we as a fashion community found a new trend to obsess over? Maybe the general public decided belts were a hassle? Or maybe it was established that The Gucci Belt did not truly elevate an outfit, other than its price tag? This is the hard truth of most luxury fads.
As mentioned before, The Gucci Belt is just one example of a fashion trend that has fallen victim to the Fashion Cycle. It’s almost inevitable. However, it isn’t the piece that loses its chic, it’s the overall accessibility of the item that causes it to become “out of style”. Over exposure is the leading cause of death in any fashion fad. Once a trend becomes available to any and every buying customer, the piece loses its sense of individuality. Originality and distinction in fashion is what sets a good outfit apart from a great one, so, understandably, when an item becomes ‘mainstream’, it has more than likely reached its peak in the Fashion Cycle. Unfortunately, it only goes south from there.
Although it can be easy to get swept away in the strong riptide of fashion trends, it’s important to remember that what truly builds style is incorporation of personality into one’s wardrobe. The next time you’re flaunting the latest Zara drop, or sporting the newest Urban Outfitters corset, be sure to add a touch of personal style. Whether it be your favorite pair of earrings, or a pair of shoes that makes you feel like you can take on the world, adding your own hint of individuality to your outfit will not only make you stand out, but make you feel special. Happy hunting!