Cybercore is the next aesthetic trend in Y2K fashion
Whether it’s a fashion trend on TikTok or a certain style taking over Instagram, the aesthetics of the internet are constantly changing. Our “Core Club” series breaks down the looks you’re starting to see a lot on social media and shines a light on the people and brands that are channeling them best. Next step: Cybercore Y2K.
The Y2K revival has been in full swing for the past few years, regardless of its polarizing reception, and now cybercore is another fashion aesthetic set to make a comeback. The style is heavily influenced by the early days of the internet, offering a mix of techwear, cyberpunk and classic 2000s fashion. Bella Hadid and Willow Smith have recently worn cybercore in their street style, while TikTok’s #cybercore hashtag has garnered over 69.8 million views at press time, as well as #cybery2koutfits having at least 11.7 million views. The “It” girl of the moment, Julia Fox, has also been consistently dressed in a sleek, latex version of cybercore in recent months.
Cybercore is a mix of futuristic and sci-fi inspired fashion that’s also nostalgic for the past. Much of cybercore is influenced by Photoshop, the onset of digital publishing, and older web aesthetics, such as GIFS, video games, and clip art that expressed Internet culture from the mid-1990s to the late 1900s. 2000s. This trend has been bubbling in the fashion space for years – in 2018, models like Hadid and Kendall Jenner helped popularize tiny sunglasses inspired by the classic 1999 film The matrixand runway collections from Balenciaga, Vetements and Balmain featured black leather or PVC trench coats, clean, monochromatic suits and tech-inspired digital prints.
“2000s movies and music videos inspire my cybercore”, fashion student and content creator, Andra Rotaru, shares with NYLON. “Growing up, I listened to Blaque and TLC, and the music videos still inspire me today. I saw the Zeno trilogy that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s that made me nostalgic, but I also appreciate the style and the wardrobe of the movies. Rotaru also cites the half-bleached blonde hair style, playful fashion, and Japanese street style as other major influences on cybercore. There is also an increase in content creators posting selfies and taking videos of themselves using older cameras and other early 2000s tech accessories. It” from Apple, now in fashion, have not only become a stylish status symbol, but they also give a feeling of nostalgia for the year 2000.
“Bright colors, all-rhinestones, and metals are essential building blocks for achieving the cybercore aesthetic,” content creator Charlotte Chiasson said NYLON. Destiny’s Child and their iconic rhinestone-embellished low-rise jean sets immediately come to mind. “A lot of what was popular was heavily influenced by black culture. Many black rappers of the era influenced this style by using metallic and bling clothing, with light blue colors and futuristic vibes,” adds Chiasson, who has also sells styling sets to people looking to channel aesthetics.
The technological advancements of this era were also reflected in clothing, influencing the rise of cybergoth, cyberpunk, and cyberpunk rave as subgenres of the aesthetic. The unspoken rule of fashion is that it comes back every 20 years and the cybercore revival is one of them. “It was only a matter of time for the cybercore style to make a resurgence in our culture,” notes Chiasson.
Other nods to various styles within cybercore that are growing in popularity include goth, rock ‘n’ roll, and punk styles. The digital fairya creative agency specializing in internet and youth culture specialists, calls this particular clothing movement a “The Chrome Hearts Effect.” Gothic crosses, scripture writing and tattooed heart imagery are the main components of this style, which was first recognized when ’90s rock stars – Motley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses – wore the Los Angeles-based brand in public. “Cyber Y2K tends to be reminiscent of what might be worn at a Nickelback concert in the 2000s – but in the best way,” Biz Sherbert, editor of The Digital Fairy told NYLON.
Cybercore is the next wave of Y2K fashion that’s nostalgic for an era whose technological advancements have been vastly surpassed today. Whether the style pays homage to early (and outdated) internet culture, the coveted style of black girl groups, or the goth elements of early rocker’s wardrobes, the mishmash aesthetic is collectively on the rise. Although cybercore is now sleeker and more polished than it has ever been, the fashion styles of aesthetics are taking relics of the past and altering them to take us into the future.