This feature was originally published in 2013.
From The Fresh Prince to Clueless, ‘90s pop culture inspired a new wave of styles. The final wardrobes of the 20th century combined multi-colored jeans and neon windbreakers with punk-rock pleated skirts and grungy flannels, just to name a few. It was a decade that united many genres, and saw the rise of iconic moments in style history. Tupac redeemed the bandana, Kurt Cobain refused to purchase a new pair of unripped jeans, and Saved By the Bell's Zack and Kelly bonded over their matching zubaz pants. Overalls and onesies made an epic comeback (thank god), and denim on denim went from a silly Halloween costume to the runways of some of the biggest names in fashion. Don't sleep on the Canadian tuxedo, y'all.
The ‘90s were also a time when branding and marketing in fashion found their jam. Logos took over, not just in ads but in apparel—and people started to associate themselves with certain brands. Those associations quickly became their own subcultures; the brands you chose and identified with were engrained in your personal narrative. Take Nike, for example: What started off as a simple ‘swoosh’ trend quickly evolved into one of the most profitable global phenomenons sneaker culture had ever seen. We have the ‘90s to thank for cultural staples like Air Jordans, which skyrocketed to prominence then and remain relevant today.
No matter how much time goes by, designers and the fashion forward are constantly looking back to the '90s for style references and guidance. The jeans, sneakers, and branding of the '90s continue to pop up in all of our favorite looks, and we have a myriad of brands to thank for the decade's staying power. From the pioneers of streetwear to the rise of hip-hop fashion, these are the best brands of the '90s.