If seeing a black and white poster of an angular model staring into the camera gives you emotional whiplash, then you were fully present for all ten years of the 1990s. Calvin Klein and its disaffected modeling campaigns weren't the only fashion fads to grip the decade. There are so many brands from the 90s that we worshiped back in the day, and with Gen Z bringing 90s fashion back in a big way, you might be curious to see which have lasted and which didn't make the cut.
What Happened to Our Favorite 90s Brands?
From the Delia's catalog that every teenage girl waited patiently to come in the mail to browsing the mall for the baggiest pair of JNCOs, 1990s fashion demanded so much of our attention. Before social media and the thrifting movement, we were really brand loyal, and there were so many interesting brands that popped up in the 1990s for us to spend all our money on. No doubt, you've seen Gen Z pulling out boxes of their parents' teenage clothes, and you've probably been tempted to see just what you held onto as well.
Depending on just what items you scrounge up, there might be an online shopping spree in your future with the few brands that've made it to the 2020s.
If you were femme in the 1990s, then you absolutely had a subscription to the Delia's mail-in catalog. Opening in 1993, this unique fashion brand with low-rise cargo pants, colorful bucket hats, and sheer cardigans took off. What made Delia's such an important piece of 90s fashion was that it marketed to girl power and female independence, which was a huge part of the cultural conversation at the time. Delia's was a safer way for you to be individualistic in the face of other options, like shoving safety pins through your eyebrows.
Although the company filed for bankruptcy in 2014, it came back four years later. Yet, modern-day Delia's isn't the same earthy, laid-back style it once was. Instead, it's a sexier and grittier version of 90s-inspired fashion that's exclusively sold through the online retailer Dolls Kill. You've grown up, and Delia's has too.
Delia's catalogs are the epitome of fashion don't fight me pic.twitter.com/MvPKubWRLM— no nap jack(PARODY) (@urchaoticfriend) May 31, 2021
Haim Milo and Jacques Yaakov Revah launched Los Angeles-based clothing line, JNCO (Judge None Choose One), in 1985. These two were the minds behind the massive pant legs, some 69" wide, that had a chokehold on 90s teenage fashion. JNCOs were just one of the many jean products that ushered in the denim decade. Remember how your JNCOs doubled in weight anytime it rained, and you had to spend hours at school with wet jeans all the way up to your knees? Yeah, we do too.
Be honest. Did you ever own any JNCOs? pic.twitter.com/FFjeoAXII5— Jordan Ashley Moore (@AncientLitDude) January 7, 2023
Unfortunately, JNCOs fell into obscurity when brightly colored fashion denim came back. But, it'll surprise you to know that they're still going strong designing iconic, wide-legged pants, to this very day.
If they'd set Mean Girls in the 1990s, they'd have decked the 'plastics' out in Calvin Klein. Calvin Klein was marketed as the sexier, more 'grown-up' alternative to other fashion lines. Just take a brief glance at their black-and-white ad campaigns with barely clothed models pressed up against one another. "Are you wearing your Calvins?" became a sultry way about asking people if they were wearing trendy and expensive underwear - underwear that helped, in part, to launch Mark Wahlberg's career.
Either way, the company has been around since 1968 and has that unique staying power of a traditional fashion house. You can still buy all sorts of Calvin Klein goodies on their website, though they've updated their fashion to reflect the times.
If you weren't walking around in JNCO jeans and micro t-shirts, then you probably rocked an iconic red, white, and blue bandeau or sweater. Gone were the days when people thought about a country's flags when they saw red, white, and blue. Instead, the famous brand, Tommy Hilfiger, was on the brain. This preppy-chic style brand had been around for a few years before the 90s, but when celebrities started decking themselves out in the color-coded clothes, we just had to, too. They've turned into a true American classic, and you can shop their catalogs in stores or online.
Anyone who's watched an episode of ABC's Shark Tank knows all about Daymond John getting his successful start in business with his clothing line, FUBU (For You By Us), which launched in 1992. It became embedded in 90s Hip Hop culture. Back when Dr. Dre was best known for spitting rhymes and not for selling his expensive headphones, he and other artists like Ludacris and LL Cool J made FUBU one of the 90s 'it' brands.
The company has managed to stay relevant all these years, partnering with other retailers and reimagining their fashions to fit modern trends. They even recently celebrated their 30th year anniversary. Check out just what sorts of clothes they're doling out now on their website.
Limited Too couldn't have been farther on the fashion spectrum from FUBU. The vibrant stores and clothes in them were a 90s tween dream. Limited Too was a subsidiary of The Limited, and it was a playground where you could spend your allowance on all sorts of clothing, accessories, stationery, and more. Fuzzy pens, glitter-covered journals, and colorful mannequins were just one part of the Limited Too experience.
Unfortunately, Limited Too, as we know it, disappeared in 2009. Tweens today can find similar styles in Justice, a store that took over Limited Too locations.
What do construction workers and hip-hop artists have in common? They made Timberlands a household name. The original Timberland shoes, with their pale yellow color and sturdy construction, were created in 1973 but didn't make a big splash until the 90s when hip-hop artists took to wearing them everywhere. Untied and loose-tongued, you can find Timbs in all sorts of colors and styles today, as well as a ton of other clothing and accessories on their website.
Are 90s Brands Worth Anything Today?
Vintage fashion is all the rage, and in the past few years 90s brands have had a major uptick in popularity. You can thank Gen Z's casual style for bringing back 90s fashion and making your old clothes valuable. Now, don't get your hopes too high. For every $1,000 pair of jeans, there's a $15 sweater around the corner. Beyond name brand luxury items, 90s fashion sells for every price under the sun. But, with its newfound popularity, check for these brands before donating your clothes for free because they're definitely something to keep and try to sell in other online retailers like Depop or Poshmark.
The 1990s Lives on Through These Brands
Amazingly, 20+ years later, most of the famous brands from the 1990s that we all spent our hard-earned babysitting money on are still around today. What can we say? You can't get rid of a good thing, and these 90s brands were the very best.